Speed up 3D Solid Modeling with Offset Edges and Convert Edges commands

The new Offset Edges and Convert Edges commands help you to extract 2D entities from the edges of 3D solids or surfaces. This is in particular useful to extract construction entities you will use as a reference to create other 3D shapes combining with boolean operations or Push/pull actions.

3D Solid Modeling with Offset Edges and Convert Edges commands

In this video, we will learn more about the new OFFSETEDGE and CONVERTEDGE features that will help us save time when editing 3D solids in ARES Commander.

But first, let me make a quick summary of the 3D features of ARES Commander. For that, we have a specific workspace that offers us a quick way to access 3D tools.

It should be remembered that through basic 2D tools we can close closed shapes that we can easily convert into 3D solids. Although it is also true that ARES Commander allows the direct creation of three-dimensional shapes very easily.

In turn, we must remember that we can select any 3D solid in ARES Commander and edit its shape, simply by using its grips. What gives us greater freedom.

Recall also the PUSH AND PULL command that will allow us to extrude from any face. Even to extrude in a negative way. We can also combine simple 3D shapes, to create more complex shapes using Boolean operations.

We can also copy faces, which can be used to create other types of shapes from them. We can easily create an extrusion. Or resort to other tools such as the possibility of creating a solid per revolution, starting from one of the copied faces.

To do this we simply determine the axis of rotation through 2 points. Now let’s take a closer look at the new features of ARES Commander. You will find these two new commands here: “CONVERT EDGES” and “OFFSET EDGES”.

Alternatively we can also call these commands from the command line as we do with any other command in ARES Commander.

Let’s choose OFFSET EDGES first. We approach one face and click. Note that a new entity is appearing at equidistance from the edges of the selected face. You can vary the distance with the cursor and click to validate or enter a value.

If we change to another display mode, we can see better the new entity created. When selecting it, we can see that it contains grips. We could therefore easily edit this entity, exactly like with any other closed polyline.

In this case, being selected, we can for example extrude it with a certain value. We choose again, OFFSET EDGES.

After choosing a face, we can see that 3 options appear that contains a capital letter that can be used as a shortcut. Or as you know, we can choose the “down” key on the keyboard to open the contextual menu.

If we choose CORNER, we can opt for ROUND or SHARP options. SHARP would be a straight corner, while ROUND would give you rounded corners.

We choose the ROUND option. When moving the mouse out of face, the rounded corners are drawn. We choose another face, and we choose DISTANCE.

Unlike in the previous example, in this case we want to enter a specific value for the OFFSET, and choose if we want to do it in or out of the figure. We indicate this with a click.

We continue in the command, we choose this other side, and after pressing the down key on the keyboard, we choose CORNER again. Now we choose the SHARP option to get a shape with square corners.

Extrude 3D forms using Extrude or Push and Pull Command

Of course, at any time we can extrude these forms, either using EXTRUDE or PUSH AND PULL. Again we can either pick a point or enter a specific value for the extrusion height.

The other new tool is to CONVERT EDGES. By pressing the down key on the keyboard, we can choose EDGE or FACE. In this case, we choose to FACE first and select a face. Thus, ARES Commander will create entities on the edges of that face.

These borders are 2D elements, which we can copy, or move if we wish. If you try to extrude these entities you will realize we get 4 faces. This is because the edges are independent entities and not a closed polyline.

We use CONVERT EDGES again. Now we will use the other option, i. e. EDGE. With this option, we can choose only specific borders that we like to clone to create new 2D entities that we could also further copy, and/or move independently.

Obviously there are many more 3D functions in ARES Commander, for example, I recommend taking a look at the video explaining how to use the DYNAMICS CCS. This is a fundamental feature that you can enable or disable from here.

In the Ribbon, you will also find other interesting tools such as POLYSOLIDS and HELIX. Learn more about the new features in ARES Commander.