GR6 Theoreticals Further Information...

Theoreticals and Aesthetic Design

Working with theoreticals is a technique used on traditional clay modelling as well as Alias models. It's used because fillets and blends (Secondary Surfaces) can disguise the structure of the form, and it's easier to understand the volume, balance and aesthetics of your design in its basic block form (Primary Surfaces).

The fillets and blends also take a lot of time to model, and typically the design will go through many iterations before the final aesthetics are decided. It's much quicker to model to sharp edges during these iterations.

Faster iterations by building only to theoreticals

Theoreticals and Downstream Engineering

Working to theoreticals provides more flexibility to downstream process. In particular, if an engineer needs to modify a detail fillet, having the original theoretical edges allows them to make modifications.

Engineering changes facilitated by theoretical models

Extendable Surfaces

Extendable Surfaces are necessary to ensure usability in CAD-Modellers like CATIA V5. The process is hidden to the user, but Part Design in CATIA V5 automatically extends surfaces. If they can't extend successfully to create a theoretical intersection, then the process will fail.

You can check if your surfaces are extendible by using Object Edit → Extend.

Tip: Set the Merge option to off to create a separate extended piece to check the curvature, without modifying the original curve or surface.

Problems caused by not building to theoreticals

Problem Solving

You can often waste time by trying to fix fillets that don't work, without understanding that it is sometimes the underlying primary surfaces that are causing the problem. Removing the blends and checking that your primary surfaces extend to the desired intersections is a good trouble-shooting technique.

Getting into the habit of building to theoretical intersections in the first place will avoid these problems.

Using the Extend tool to check curves and surfaces

Breaking the Rule

It is common for some large blended shapes to be constructed as blends from the start, rather than strictly building to theoreticals first:

Not building to theoreticals