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modeling a dune buggy

This tutorial is about modeling the dune buggy shown to the left. An effort has
been made to use as many distinct form•Z tools as possible.

1. Building the roll cage with the Axial Sweep

Use the V-Line tool in the Shapes palette to draw the cage shape as
shown below. Try to keep the lines as connected as possible with the
Join tool. Then use the Fillet tool in the Edit suite to round some of the
corners. It is okay if the cage you drew has some variations com-
pared to the one we show.

Draw a number of small Circles (Shapes palette) to use as sources

and sweep them along the lines of the cage with the Axial Sweep tool
in the Derive 2 palette,

Union the pieces, if desired. The result should be as shown.

2. Modeling the muffler as a 2-Source Sweep

Draw a Spline in the curving shape of the muffler, then draw two pro-
file shapes--one in the shape of the front and one in the shape of the
rear of the muffler. We used a Circle and a Rectangle with rounded
corners by use of the Fillet tool.

Activate the 2S Sweep (Two Source

Sweep) in the Derive 2 palette and select
the two drawn objects, followed by the
path. The result is shown to the left.
3. Creating the shocks with the Helix tool
Draw a Line on the Z axis.
Activate the W-Helix tool in the Derive 2 palette.
In the Tool Options select “Wire Helix Along
Path” and set the appropriate # Of Cycles and
Radius for your model. Click on the previously
drawn line to create the helix. Adjust the scale
and Tool Options if necessary.

Draw two small circles that will act as the width of the spring and the
piston, one slightly larger than the other. Activate the Axial Sweep tool
in the Derive 2 palette and sweep the larger circle along the straight
path, and the smaller circle along the helix. The results should be as
shown above.

4. Modeling the car body as a nurbs object

Draw cross sections for the car body using the V-Line tool in the
Shapes palette, roughly as shown, using the top, front, and side pro-
jections. Again, these profiles suffice to be similar to the ones we
show, they do not have to be the exact same.

Using the Pick tool, select each profile from front to rear. Then acti-
vate the N-Loft tool in the N-Surfaces suite and click anywhere on the
screen. In the Tool Options, we used By Loose Lofting and the
Degree was checked From Source.

The generated nurbs surface can be adjusted by moving the control

points, if necessary.
5. Cutting out the wheel-well and windows
Draw a 2D path in the shape of the wheel well. Position the path over
the body of the car (but not on the body). In the same projected
view, use the Slice tool in the Modify palette to cut the shape of the
line into the car body. Delete the sliced object.

We will use the same process above for the window and the wind-
shield to produce our desired results.

6. Adding the scoop in the car body

Create a Cylinder (Generate palette) that overlaps the edge of the
car body.
Activate the S-Split tool in the Modify palette and select the car body,
and then the cylinder. Use the Delete tool to remove the excess
cylinder material and leave the indentation on the body. Do the
same proces to both sides of the dune buggy.

7. Trimming the body with molding

Activate the Derive Segment tool in the Derive palette and select a
window outline. The body of the buggy will now be ghosted and the
outline of the window should be apparent. Axial Sweep a small Circle
around the derived outline to create the molding and then make the
body visible again in the Objects palette. Repeat this process for the
other window, the windshield, and the outline of the body.
8. Modeling the wheel with revolutions and trims

Use the 2D drawing tools in the Shapes palette to

draw the profile of the wheel and the line of
revolution, as shown to the left.

With the Revolve tool active (Derive 2 palette),

click on the wheel outline, then click on the
drawn axis of revolution. The overall shape of the
wheel should be completed.

Draw the 2D profiles of the negative areas that will be used to define
the spokes of the wheel using tools in the Shapes palette. Select the
Extrusion tool in the Derive palette to make the 2D profiles into 3D
objects. Allow these objects to intersect the the revolved wheel we
created in the previous step. Use the Difference tool in the Modify
palette to remove the extruded objects, leaving their shape in the
wheel. Use the Round tool on the wheel spoke edges, if desired.

Lastly, draw a 2D profile of the tire and Revolve it around the same
axis that was used for the rim to complete the geometry of the wheel.

9. Create a car seat by subdividing a cage

The car seat will be molded by first generating a cage approximating
the shape of the seat and then subdividing it to derive its final form.
Again, it is not necessary to for your to be exactly the same as ours,
just try to be close.

Generate a cage shape, roughly as shown below. We drew five

boxes (Rectangle tool, 3D Extrusion selected in the Tool Options),
Unioned them together, and then moved some of its faces and
edges to give its final shape. Use snaps throughout this process.
Activate the Subd tool in the Subdivision suite
and click on the cage to subdivide the rough
shape. You can then edit and move the points
of the cage to achieve the desired shape.

10. Modeling the steering wheel.

We will start off the steering wheel by drawing

some reference lines using the Circle tool and
Spline tool, as shown.

Draw a small Circle that will serve as the cross-

sectional diameter of the steering wheel.

Activate the Axial Sweep tool in the Derive 2

palette and sweep the smaller circle along the
larger construction circle. Use the same small
circle to sweep the 4 spoke splines but in the
Tool Options, select Scale and set the X and Y
to 0.5. The resulting object is shown to the left.

Generate a Sphere that is slightly larger than the

diameter of the steering wheel cross-section, as

Rotate (T-Form palette) the sphere with the

Multi-Copy selected in the Tool Options to
create the grip along the steering wheel. In our
example, we used 25 copies of the sphere.

Activate the S-Split tool (Modify palette) and pick

all the objects of the steering wheel except for
the 4 spoke objects.

In the Modify palette, select Stitch and stich

together all the surface pieces of the steering

Use the Round tool in the Derive 3 palette to

blend the steering wheel grips (the spherical
objects) with the rest of the geometry.
11. Modeling the lights (housing and lens)
Activate the Sphere tool in the Generate palette
and create a sphere that is 4”x4” (or to scale with
the rest of the model). When the sphere is gen-
erated, in the Tool Options under Closure pick
None, and set Horizontal from 0° to 180° and
Vertical from -90° to 90°.

Create a 3D extruded Ellipse that will intersect

the middle of the housing, as shown. Use the
S-Split tool in the Modify palette on the two
objects and then Delete the part of the extruded
ellipse that was inside the housing.

Stitch the two objects together (Modify palette)

and then use the Round tool in the Derive 3
palette to give the housing and elliptical post
continuity. The result should be as shown to the

To model the lens, create another Sphere with

the same diameter as the sphere we created for
the housing. Use the I-Scale tool in the T-Form
palette to flatten the sphere into the shape of our
desired lens.

To model the ring that attaches the lens to the

housing of the light, generate a Torus from the
generate palette. Again, the major diameter will
be the same as the lens and the housing. It
might be easier to create this object directly on
the housing. After the diameter is established,
make the minor radius significantly smaller to
obtain a geometry roughly as shown.

This completes the individual parts of the dune buggy. To finish the
model you will just need to Move, Rotate and/or Scale the above
objects into their proper places.