Union, Subtract, Intersect | Shapr3D for Beginners


The Boolean tools, such as Union ,
Subtract and Intersect are useful in creating some more complex designs,
especially when dealing with multiple body design. For example, when you have
multiple bodies within one design project. Just as a simple
example, we have this particular shape, which is a kind of a mesh
enclosure shape. We can see that this looks to be a fairly complex design.
I’d probably have some troubles trying to design this with just
our extrusion or revolve tools, or even with our sweep and loft tools. But how
this complex body was built? It was by using the Boolean tools with two
fairly simple bodies. For example, here I have two bodies. I have my white
body here, which is a simple extrusion with just a number of
square hole cutouts there. Then a red body as well, which is just a
simple revolved body. By using the Boolean tools, in this case,
specifically the Intersection tool, I’ve created that much more complex body.
To use the boolean tools is nice and simple within Shapr3D, I’ll just
go on my left-hand side, and to Tools, and here, I have Union, Subtract and
Intersect. In this case, I’m gonna tap on “Intersect”. First, it will ask me to
select the first body I’d like to intersect. Let’s select my white body
here and tap “Next”. Then select the bodies or groups
I’d like to intersect with the first one. This is nice.
I just have two bodies that I’m intersecting, but of course, I could have multiple
bodies all intersecting with each other as well. In this case, it’s just going to be
the red body here and tap “Done” once I’m happy with my selections.
Now I’m seeing the intersection of these two bodies, it gives
me that much more complex design. My other Boolean operators work in a
similar way. Looking at this bracket design as an example, most likely I just
want this to be a hole cutout, but I see it’s coming in as a cylindrical
extrusion. On the top, I have this rectangular body that could
be used to cut away or subtract a keyway slot cutout. In just
the same way I have my main body which is the white bracket and I’m looking
to subtract these two red bodies. I’ll jump into Tools and will use
Subtract tool. First, I’m going to select the body or groups to remove from,
that would be the main bracket body. Tap “Next”,
and select the bodies or groups to remove. I can
select as many bodies as I’d like. I have the two bodies that I’d like to grab in
this case. Notice in the top left- hand corner, I also have an option to
keep the original bodies. That would subtract the body but hold
on to my red cylindrical extrusion and the red rectangular extrusion as well. In
some cases, I would need to hang on to these bodies for later on, but in this
case I’d like to get rid of these red bodies. So I’m going to turn
“Keep original” off, then select those two bodies. Once happy with my
selection, tap “Done”. Now I can see those two red bodies were subtracted
from my main white bracket. Now I have a circular hole cutout through the
cylindrical face as well as the keyway slot cutout on the top.
Finally, I have the Union tool, which will be used to combine or union bodies. I’m jumping back to my original bracket design. If we remember how we
built this up, we actually built it first by doing the three cylindrical
extrusions. If I double tap on those, I can see that it’s only selecting
those individual bodies, so those are actually three separate bodies. Then I
extruded the baseplate component. I can see that that is its own unique body
as well. Right now I have four separate and unique bodies. However, in a
lot of cases, I may want to combine or union these bodies. Of course, in real
life, if this was a metal bracket, it would all be one component,
not four unique bodies. When dealing with 3D design, sometimes we may want multiple
bodies within a design, and sometimes we may want only a single body, and we may
want to union or combine bodies. For example, in this case, if I was
trying to add an external fillet to this edge, I could see that this is not
exactly what I’m looking for. The problem here is that since these are
unique bodies, it’s only adding the fillet or chamfer to that bottom plate instead
of intersection of that edge between the bodies. What I might like
to do is first union or combine all four of these bodies here. I do that
just the same, going to Tools, now “Union”, select all the intersecting
bodies or groups that I’d like to unite or combine. That’s going to be all
three cylindrical as well as the base body, and tap “Done”. Now it should
have combined or unioned all of the bodies. A quick check of that, I could
just double tap again, notice it’s selecting or highlighting the entire
design, not the individual body. Now, if I again try to add that fillet on
the internal edge there, I can see that that fillet is coming in as I was
hoping for. Here’s one example of where the Union tool might be very useful.

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