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This guide provides curriculum ideas and other helpful suggestions for computer graphics, drafting, design, engineering, manufacturing, 3D design and art instructors who want to incorporate Rhinoceros® NURBS modeling for Designers into their program. The guide includes curriculum ideas as well as a complete sample 15 week and 10 week syllabus. Use as much or as little from this guide as you need, or change it to fit your particular needs. This guide gives you a starting point for teaching 3D modeling. If you choose to customize the guide, the original document is in Microsoft Word format and is included as a download (not available as a single download yet).
Rhino can be used in almost any curriculum that teaches 2D layout or 3D modeling. This guide uses design and problem solving activities as well as step-by-step instruction to teach NURBS modeling.
Rhino is a powerful design and visualization tool you can use with most computers running Windows. Use it to create designs and 3D images that would be difficult to make or take a very long time with other CAD or drawing programs. Rhino lets students create models quickly without having to go through weeks of instruction to make something that is precise and looks realistic. Many students can create simple models in less than ten minutes after some demonstration and instruction.
Students can continue beyond modeling. Once a model is completed in Rhino, it can then be used with other applications to further enhance a project. For example, students can create a model and export the file to a CNC machine for prototyping or manufacturing. Or they can render the model and use it on web pages, newsletters, and presentations. Using Rhino plug-ins like Flamingo, Penguin, and Bongo, the student can render, illustrate, and animate the model. In addition, models can be exported to most other design, rendering, and animation software applications.
The biggest decision to make is your approach to teaching Rhino. We will discuss two approaches in this document: technical proficiency and technical adequacy.
When setting up the classroom, you will need to install these products:
Technical proficiency is learning NURBS modeling as a subject using Rhino. It requires a structured approach to learning. Each command and technique is presented and practiced on a daily basis. The following sample schedule is based on using the Rhino Level 1 Training Manual as a textbook. Students will become familiar with most of the commands available in Rhino before they begin their design projects. The sample schedule can be modified to take from four to six weeks to cover the basics of Rhino.
This approach allows for mastery of the program with fewer projects. While this approach requires more structured class time to learn the software, they will have a broad range of skills in which to complete any project.
|Week||Subject||Training Guide Section|
|1|| Rhino basics, create two-dimensional objects,|
simple editing commands
|Chapter 2 & 3|
|2||Precision modeling||Chapter 4|
|3||Editing||Chapter 5 & 6|
|4||Solids modeling, surface modeling||Chapter 7, 8, & 9|
|5|| Importing and exporting, dimensioning,|
|Chapter 10, 11, 12 & 13|
|6–18||Projects||(See Sample Activities)|
Technical adequacy is using Rhino as a tool. It requires students to learn only those commands that will help them finish a project. Only the most frequently used commands and techniques are presented. Other commands will be learned as needed (just-in-time learning).
With this approach, students are involved in more projects and learn how to model in Rhino through problem solving activities. The following sample schedule represents the most common commands used to make most of the objects students will model. There are advanced tools that will let them get greater precision and accuracy with their design, but these can be left for later.
Demonstrating commands needed for each project can take as little as five minutes. The total time used to teach Rhino can be as little as two and a half weeks or as long as a quarter. Once students see how it works, they can practice and create designs with each new tool. It is important that students not only create designs that are assigned to them, but also be allowed to make their own.
Also, for the first few weeks, along with teaching Rhino, some lessons on fabrication machine operation and safety procedures are helpful. The first few projects may be focused on various fabrication techniques, allowing students to see how each machine works.
Notice that this approach lets you introduce students to a wide variety of commands in the first two weeks and gets them started with modeling very quickly. With this method, you should use the Rhino Level 1 Training Manual as a reference. The Rhino User Guide is complete with tutorial models that build on the introductory tutorials below.
|Day||Project||Training Guide Section|
|1||Create a Castle||3D Solids, Move/Copy/Rotate|
|2||Design a Logo||Extrude, Color, Boolean|
|3||Design a Chair||Sweep, Loft|
|4||Arrow Accuracy||Coordinates, Extrude, Revolve|
|5||Screw Driver||Revolve, Array, Boolean Difference|
|6||Rubber Duck||Point editing, trim, blend, join|
Design Process Workflow (two student groups is ideal)
'Drop Dead Dates' need to be considered as part of the framework for project progress and completion.
All of the sample activities are based on the following design problem format (or similar format):
|Arrange students into groups (details to follow).||Students get into groups and go to assigned areas.|
|Instruct students on the design challenge (give them the problem handout). Make sure they understand the parameters of the designs (See Sample Activities section).||Read the handout.|
|Instruct them to begin drawing ideas on paper.||Students Brainstorm Designs|
|Instruct them to model in Rhino.||Students begin drawing their designs on paper and modeling their products on the computer.|
|Review objects with students to determine
if they meet the design parameters.
If not, have them fix.
|Peer review (details to follow).||Students analyze their material against the parameters to insure it meets the criteria.|
Working in engineering is about working on a team and working on a team that has to work with other teams. This mode of working can be modeled in the classroom in various ways. Here are two to consider:
An effective model to allow some design process and at the same time be involved with more technically advanced projects is to use a model made up of component parts. Each student chooses to model one or more of the parts. This part is either replicated or redesigned as a new / improved part of the finished model. This part is then assembled with parts from other students to complete the model. This can be quite exciting and instructional for students. This is a good way to control the complexity of projects.
When your class includes students with computer drawing experience varying from basic to advanced, you will have to do some grouping. Students with similar experience form groups and work together as a team. Students can be separated into levels—basic, intermediate, and advanced. The example below is based on the bottle design activity (see sample activities). Minimum objectives for each group are shown in the following table:
|Levels|| Rhino Capabilities Used|
(Basic Navigation and following:)
| Type of Bottle|
| Other Projects
(Or other objects chosen)
|Basic|| Line/Curve, Solid primitives,|
Boolean operations, Revolve, Rendering
|Any bottle||Glasses filled with a liquid|
|Intermediate|| All above and the following:|
Extrude, Sweep, Transparent
| Bottle with |
| All above and following:
|Advanced|| All above and the following:|
Lofts, Control points editing, Surface
tools, Text tools and
| Irregularly shaped|
bottle with label
| All above and following:
Floor and windows
This grading rubric is included to help students understand what is expected and the critical parts of their project development. It reflects on instructor's bias toward achieving excellence. The grading scale can be interpreted as 4.0=A. 3.0=B, 2.0=C, 1.0=D, 0.0=F. In this scale, half points could be interpreted as pluses or minuses. This rubric is organized into Groups which have different sections that can be applied to different project types:
A slide presentation of rubric can be found at Student Grading Rubric
One of the best ways to get students to learn how to use Rhino is to have them make real world objects. Encourage them to figure out how to break down an object into various modeling operations and then do it with precision. Here are some examples to give to students so they can practice their skills:
|Dice (4, 6, 8 sided)|
|Table with objects on top of it|
|Screwdriver, nails, clamps|
|Table or desk lamp|
|Tube of toothpaste, toothbrush|
|Computer, monitor, printer|
|School desk, office chairs|
|Watch, alarm clock|
|DVD player, stereo|
|Dishes/pots & pans|
|Lipstick, mascara, perfume bottle, Sculpture piece|
|Hammer, wrench, pliers|
|iPod or Android Music Player|
|Electric wheel chair|
|Phone / Camera|
|Car, truck, train|
|Sunglasses, safety glasses|
|Airplane, helicopter, Drone|
|Computer mouse, FLash drive|
|Piano, musical instruments|
|Child’s pull toy|
|Cell phone, remote control, Robot|