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Modeling frames

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I'm working on trying to figure out how to most efficiently model frames based on "existing" geometry.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to work simultaneously on selected polygons first, so, for example, I can perform inset/extrude/move operations in relation to the object center and/or surface normals. (Imagine extruding and modifying all the spikes on a spiked ball shape.)

Next, I'd like to figure out how best, then, to extrapolate "frame"geometry in the same way. (Imagine the Frame tool, but parametric and with assignable cross-sections...)

Not sure exactly what the terminology for these geometric operations may be, but here's a really basic example of before/after. This was done by starting with the cube, insetting all sides simultaneously, but then I had to add lines from the inset square to the outer corners and move the inset square toward the center of the cube individually.

Any suggestions appreciated!


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Have you tried clones?

Maybe if you build the object from parts made from clones, then you could make a change to one and the rest of the "parts" would update?

So if the cube side where clones, once you made a change to the thickness of a side, the rest would be the same.

You could even make a component of the clone assembly..



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I wonder whether you are approaching this the best way. I would change the size of FormZ existing geometry by working in wireframe and area selecting then moving points or segments. It is not parametric but so quick to do does it really need to be?

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Hi guys - 

Clones: Tried it... maybe a solution. Will have to investigate a bit more.

Alan - might be ok for simple geometry, but wouldn't really work, time-wise, for something like a complex prism where even a small change can have a pretty big ripple effect...

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