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Rhino 3D scripts for paper modelers

For those, who do not know what scripts are, here is a quick overview. Using built-in programing language RhinoScript (built on VBScript), you can create custom functions or better to say macros in Rhino 3D. The main purpose of these functions / macros is to reduce time and make your work more efficient. And it also reduce failures.
But back to my scripts. What are they doing? Why do you think I should use them? Well, when I started making my very first model with intension to publish it on the web, I knew there will be a lot work not on the model itself, but also on the instructions, creating the glue tabs and "numbering" of parts. The question was, how to get rid of these not very unpopular "jobs". And the answer was RhinoScript. I've created several script which could be divided into two groups:

  • Creation of glue tabs
  • Numbering

All scripts are very useful when it comes to creation of glue tabs (both "triangle" and straight tabs), numbering of parts, editing the numbering, adding special characters etc.

Downloading and installing scripts

One of my friends said to me: "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to create a glue tab is insignificant next to the power of the Force." And you can be doubtful too. Are these scripts so great? I will answer with simple question - Why don't you try them out by yourself?

Downloading the scripts

Based on the version of Rhinoceros you have, download the correct version of the scripts by clicking on the button below. Small zip file will be downloaded.

Installing the scripts in Rhinoceros 3D v5

Unzip downloaded file and copy PaperModels-en-v5.rui file to your preferable location. In Rhinoceros 3D click in upper menu on Tools, then click on Toolbar layout.... In newly opened window click on File and then on Import toolbar. Locate and select your unzipped file and click Open. Be sure that in the new window Paper Model is checked. Click OK and you will see new toolbar in Rhinoceros. Tolbar can be also docked as a new tab.

Installing the scripts in Rhinoceros 3D v4

Unzip downloaded file and copy PaperModels-en-v4.tb file to your preferable location. In Rhinoceros 3D click in upper menu on Tools, then click on Toolbar layout.... In newly opened window click on File and then on Open. Locate and select your unzipped file and click Open. In "Toolbar collection files" section you will see a new toolbar collection - PaperModels-en-v4. In lower section you will see two checked toolbars - Glue Tabs and Numbering (if not checked, then check them). Right now, you should see both toolbars in Rhino and you can work with them just like with all other button and toolbars.

Using the scripts

There are various functions hidden behind all the buttons. So let's find out what are they doing:

Straight Tab Icon

Left mouse button: Create a long straight glue tab. You will be asked to enter height of the tab and angle of side line of the tab. Then you will choose starting and ending point of the tab and also a side, where the tab should be drawn. You can continue to draw tabs by simple by simple choosing new points and sides.

Right mouse button: Create a long straight glue tab with proof test. This function makes the very same tab but you will be asked to prove if the side of the tab is correct. If "n" is submitted, existing tab will be deleted and new tab will be created on the opposite side.

Straight Tab Icon

Left mouse button: Create triangle shaped glue tabs on a curve. You will be asked to enter height and width of small triangle tab, then you will have to choose a curve and point the side, on which tabs should be drawn. You can continue to draw tabs by simple choosing new curves and sides.

Right mouse button: Create triangle shaped glue tabs on a curve with proof test. The very same test will be executed as for "straight tab with proof test" function right after first triangle is drawn. If "n" is entered, first triangle is deleted and all triangles are drawn on the opposite site. Otherwise, the rest of triangles are drawn.

Simple Numbering Icon

Left mouse button: Simple numbering. You will be asked to enter starting number, height of the font for number and then for place where number will be added. After adding another number, this new number will be increased by one.

Right mouse button: Simple numbering with letters. You will be asked for number and for a letter to start from. After submitting a place, number with letter will be drawn. On the next click a new number will appear, but the letter will be changed to the next one in alphabet.

Numbering with line

Left mouse button: Numbering with line to a part. Upgrade of previous function with added line. You will be asked for two points. First one is place where the line will be pointing to, second one is the place where number will be placed.

Right mouse button: Numbering with letter and with line to a part. Same numbering as for right click but with increasing letters, not numbers.

Straight Tab Icon

Left mouse button: Numbering in circle with arrow. Numbering with nearly the same function as "numbering with" line, but instead of line, empty circle will be drawn around the number and simple arrow will be drawn instead of pointing line. Instead of font size, you can change size of the circle.

Right mouse button: Numbering with letters in circle with arrow. No number increase, letters will be added and increased.

Numbering with yellow circle

Left mouse button: Numbering in colored circle with arrow. Very same function as numbering with empty circle, but this time circle has fill in yellow color and arrow has fill in black color. You can change color of circle fill after you enter size of the circle.

Right mouse button: Numbering with letters in colored circle with arrow. Same function as for left click, but instead of increasing numbers, letters will be added and increased.

Straight Tab Icon

Left mouse button: Add a special character to the numbering. This function will add a special character (e.x. * ) to selected number. You can also add letters and numbers to the numbering.

Right mouse button: Remove non-numeric characters from numbering. Removes all "non-numeric" characters from numbering. Including letters and special symbols.

Straight Tab Icon

Left mouse button: Increase numbering from specific number. You will be asked to enter number you would like to increase and the difference you would like to add. Entered number and all numbers above this number will be increased by the entered difference. Decrease could be done by entering negative number. This function is very handy when you forgot to number one part and thus you need to increase all numbers by one for example.

Right mouse button: No function.

Notes

Understanding of how the scripts are working could prevent several errors. So, please read the following list of notes.

  • All points, lines and texts have z-coordination set to 0.
  • For numbering functions, several new layers will be created. For increase function, it is necessary to have all numbers in NumberingPM layer.
  • RhinoScript is based over the top of whole Rhinoceros 3D system. That's the reason why is the execution speed of these functions so low.
  • If you would like to change my scripts directly in RhinoScript, simply hold the shift key and click with the right mouse button on the icon of function you would like to change. A new window will be opened, with code for both, left and right mouse button.
  • Default values could be changed directly in the code - as mentioned above.

Known bugs

  • Triangle tabs function sometimes draw all tabs except the last one. Until I find out how to solve this, simply copy one of the triangles to the last position and rotate it to match orientation of the last segment.
  • Sometimes tabs are drawn on different side than you would expect. Try to choose side once again but this time choose side closer to the starting point of curve. If this does not work, use right click function with proof test and change the side by entering "n" when asked.

If you came to this part of this article then you are very brave and of course you have huge amount of free time :). I hope my scripts will help you to maximize your potential and bring peace to your dirty souls!

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