Welcome to the article, in which we are going to learn about SelfCAD's 3D modeling tool called Extrusion. I am going to explain all of its ins and outs and present its general applications. On top of that, I will share a few Tips and Tricks that you could use with Modifications.
Extrusion is one of the Modify tools available in SelfCAD, and you can find it in the main Toolbar, in the Modify drop-down list. As its name suggests, it allows you to modify selected objects, or selected regions of objects, by extruding them by a customized distance.
Modify is a unique category because the tools in it do not rely on the topology of the object to apply their modifications. Instead, they cut the object and create new topology when needed.
On top of that, the Advanced Settings of the Extrusion will allow you to set the Macros for this tool.
Follow this article to learn all about this tool!
Select the object
The first step of using any modeling tool is selecting the object on which you want to use it. You can select objects by either left-clicking on them in the workspace or by selecting them in the Object Management section, in the right-side panel. The second option has an in-built search engine, which is extremely useful when you are working with multiple objects.
Activate the tool
Once the object is selected, you can activate the Extrusion tool by selecting it from the Modify drop-down list or use a shortcut by pressing the ‘M+E’ combination on your keyboard. This way, you’ll open a Tool Setting Panel with all of the customizable options for this tool on the left side of your screen. Activating the Extrusion tool will also enable the Gizmo that you can use to Modify the object.
There are two ways to extrude the object. The first option to do so is by dragging the Gizmo mentioned in the previous paragraph. The second option is to type in the value directly into the text-box or to move the slider next to it to customize it. Extrusion, in its basic setting, will modify each of the polygons of the figure. You can use positive both and negative values to achieve different effects: by using negative values, you'll extrude the object inwards, and by using the positive ones, you'll extrude it outwards. In the following paragraphs, we will cover additional settings to customize the Extrusion even further.
Select a region
SelfCAD allows you to not only extrude the object itself, but you can also extrude some of its regions. To do so, you need to select them first. In the Right Side Panel, you will find an Interactive Rectangle, where you can enter one of the following selection modes: Face, Vertex, and Edge. Then, you can select the parts of the object that you want to extrude.
Extrude a region
Extruding a region works exactly the same as extruding the object itself does. After selecting a region or regions that you want to modify, you can either drag them with the help of the Gizmo or type in the values into the text boxes to extrude the selected region with the typed value.
Vertex Normals is the first setting that changes the way the Extrusion will apply to objects. By enabling this option, you will Extrude the object based on the direction of the vertice's normals, as shown in the graphic above. Once again, you can use positive values to extrude the object outwards or use negative ones to extrude it inwards.
Side Extrusion is the second setting that changes the way the Extrusion will apply to the object. Instead of extruding the object inwards or outwards, by enabling this option, you will extrude its regions to the sides, as shown in the graphics above. It works similarly to the Inset tool that you can read more about here.
Cut Intersection is a rather straightforward feature. It will appear only when you set Extrusion with negative values, and by enabling it, you will be able to cut a hole in the object. For this option to work as intended, you have to set the Extrusion to match the size of the object. Otherwise, you will create a regular, negative Extrusion.
Individual in another feature that changes the way the Extrusion will apply to the object. This option is available only when you are extruding at least two separate regions that face different directions. As the name suggests, you will extrude selected parts independently from each other, in the directions that they are facing.
Connect Neighbours is a very straightforward feature, as it allows you to connect the regions of the model that separated during the extrusion. It will connect their closest edges and fill them with polygons. Needless to say, this option is available only when you are extruding regions of the object.
At the very bottom are the Advanced Settings of the Extrude tool, which is the part that makes this tool so interesting. Here, you can add additional effects to the extrusion, such as setting the number of repetitions that the software will apply to the object and even create templates that you can use in the future. But let's focus on one thing at a time.
The first of the advanced settings is called Add Option, which allows you to add additional effects to the extrusion. First, click on the + button, which will unfold the customizable options. In the drop-down, you'll find the list of the effects that can be, added to the extrusion, and below the drop-down, you'll find the text-boxes where you can customize the added option. You can, of course, add more than one option to the extrusion to make it more intricate by repeating the process.
Repeat is a simple feature that allows you to set the number of repetitions of the extrusion that the software will perform on the object. Each repetition will use the same settings, and they will be executed, on top, of each other.
At the very bottom of the Advanced Settings is the feature called Load Macro, which allows you to save the settings customized above in the form of a template that you'll be able to reload and use during future extrusions. You can choose stored macros from the drop-down list at the bottom of the panel.
And that’s about it for the Extrusion. After reading this article, you should know the basics of the Extrusion tool and how to use it, know about its different applications and what is more important, know how to implement and customize its advanced settings. Of course, the graphics shown here were just examples, and using this tool on other shapes will give you slightly different effects, but its underlying principles will always stay the same.
That's all I have for you today. I wish you success in your future projects. See you, and stay tuned for more content to come!