Welcome to the article dedicated to SelfCAD's 3d modeling tool called Inflate, in which I'm going to explain all of its ins and outs, as well as present its applications. The Inflate is one of the Deform tools available in SelfCAD and, as its name suggests, it allows you to deform selected figures or their regions, by rounding and extending segments in a chosen direction on the axis. Deform tools, in general, rely heavily on the level of the detail of the object, so by increasing its resolution beforehand, you will achieve much smoother deformations.
Select the object
The first step of using any tool is selecting an object, on which you want to use it. You can do it by either left-clicking on the object in the grid or by selecting it from the Object Management section in the Right-Side Panel.
Activate the tool
Once the object is selected, you can access the tool itself. To activate the Inflate tool, you need to choose it from the Deform drop-down in Main Toolbar or use a shortcut by pressing the ‘D+I’ combination on your keyboard. This way, you’ll open a Tool Setting panel with all of the available, customizable options for this feature.
Now you can start inflating the object. As usual in SelfCAD, there are two ways to do that. The first option is to drag the gizmos around the selected axis to inflate the object in the desired direction.
The second option to inflate the object is by typing in the values into the text-boxes, with each of them referring to inflating the object on a different axis. This method has an advantage over the previous one, as it will keep the symmetry of the object during inflating. You can select the check-boxes near them to copy the values between the axes as well.
In SelfCAD, you can not only Inflate the whole figures but their separate regions as well. It requires you to enter the specific selection mode by choosing it on the Interactive Rectangle in the Right-Side Panel and then selecting the region of the figure you want to inflate.
Inflating regions work on the same premise as inflating entire objects did - you can do it either by dragging gizmos in their respective directions or by typing in the value by which you want to inflate the object into the text-boxes.
Below are the Advanced Settings of the Inflate Tool. The first setting is called Symmetry, which allows you to inflate the object proportionally to the used axis.
The second, of the advanced settings, is called Origin, which allows you to set the vertical position of the gizmo. You can use one of the preset positions available in the drop-down list. In practice, Origin allows you to set a point from which the inflation will take place.
Manual gizmo position
Manual gizmo position is an extension of the Origin feature, but instead of setting the placement of the gizmo on the vertical axis, it allows you to place it at any place in the grid.
One of the advanced settings is available for Region Selection, and its called Local Transformation. Enabling this option will adjust the placement of the gizmo to the vector of the region's normal, granting you the possibility to inflate selected object or its regions in different directions, independently from the rest of the model.
Another advanced setting is available for Face Selection, and it is called Individual Transformation, and to enable it you need to select at least two faces. This option forces the Inflate Tool to treat each selected Face as a separate object and inflates it independently from each other.
And that's all there is to the Inflate feature. After reading this article, you should know the basics of the Inflate tool and how to use it, know about its different applications and how to use 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 had for you. I wish you success in your future projects. See you, and stay tuned for more content to come!