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Step 3. Plotting Points in 3D Space with Rail Molds

Rail molds are a series of interconnected points that lie in 3D space. When joined, these rail molds create a spline line that is easily editable to mold the framework of your model.

The next step is to plot some curves in 3D space, taking points of reference from the 2D background images. This creates a crude 3D representation that is easy to manipulate with regards to proportional placements.

The rails themselves are easy to create. They are simply placed points, a function found in most software packages. These points are then connected in sequence to form the rails.

The simplicity of this initial structure proved to be an invaluable technique, no mass of points cluttering up view ports, just a simple clear indication of structure. As you can see from Figure 3, the rails even at this early stage vary from the backdrops as the translation from 2D to 3D starts. The ultimate result you are looking for is what looks right in 3D!

Figure 3 Elevations used as background template in modeler interface with spline rail mold.

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Don't go point crazy! Plot a few choice points around the outline of you 2D plans. The curve of your spline will be easier to manipulate if there are fewer points. A typical point count for the side outline shown in Figure 3 is around 28. Even this could be seen as excessive.

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