Top 10 Features: Hybrid Modeling – Part 2

Let’s continue with our in-depth analysis on the main properties of Hybrid Modeling.


In the last number of this survey we shortly spoke about flexibility and the advantages implied by Hybrid Modeling in ThinkDesign, above all in order to be able to fully exploit the functionalities of solid and surface modeling.

For example, in consumer product modeling – where the style characteristics represent a high added value and sum up to the mechanical and functional characteristics of a product – it is often required to be able to alternate between and use both types of approach. Maximum freedom and full geometric shape covering are possible through the advanced surface modeling commands; speed, easiness of use and parametricity are, on the other hand, the ingredients of solid modeling.

Let’s take into consideration the small vacuum cleaner represented in the picture below: in the very same environment we can find the stylish bitmaps and the commercial parts used for the evaluation of the volume sizes and of the bounding boxes. On the styling curves it is possible to create the main surfaces in an associative manner. From the very beginning, by means of an associative usage of surface modeling, it is possible to retain the history of the created entities and, as a consequence, redefine them according to the main curves and to the functions applied to them.

The set of the initial surfaces can be transformed into an open solid (skin) through the ‘Make Solid’ command. A skin (hybrid solid) can be modified both with solid modeling operations, Boolean operations and solid features.

Typically, the normal to a face of a closed solid is outward bound. When some surfaces are transformed into a solid, the normal of all the adjacent faces (manifold) of the skin will have the same direction. The orientation of the normal distinguishes the external part from the internal one: the empty part form the filled one.

For this reason, if you apply a feature like a slot or a hole to a skin, the volume subtraction will be performed on the opposite side with respect to the normal orientation and so, where, conventionally, it is believed that some “material” must be present (dark side in the picture).
Intersections, trimmings and fillets can be performed on a skin in the very same ways and as fast as on a closed solid.

By applying a thickness to the skin, you will get again a closed volume on which it will then be possible to perform subsequent features. At each moment it is possible to intervene on surfaces in order to redefine them and to modify their shape.

In next article we shall see how – through Hybrid modeling – it is possible to simplify and to improve an imported geometry.

See you soon!