[Plugin] extrudeEdgesByEdges.rb

Copyright 2009/2010 (c), TIG
All Rights Reserved.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED
WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.extrudeEdgesByEdges.rb
Extrudes two sets of grouped edges into a faced mesh...
Usage: Make two sets of edges [from lines, arcs, curves etc].
These represent the 'profile' and the 'path' for the mesh.
Make a group of each set.
Note: If the groups share a common vertex then that fixes the
new mesh's location, otherwise the nearest vertices are used,
with the new mesh located near the profile, Move it as required...
Now Select these 2 groups.
Run the Plugin: 'Extrude Edges by Edges'.
It makes a grouped faced 'mesh' from these two edgesets.
The progress at each stage is reported along the status bar.
When the mesh is made the view zooms to include the original
profile/path groups and the new mesh group.
Then there are dialogs asking for Yes/No replies...
If you want to 'orientate' the meshfaces (which may not always
be necessary: if it's chosen then it will be done as well as
possible for any convoluted shapes.
If you want to 'reverse' the meshfaces.
If you want the meshfaces to 'intersect' with themselves
(This is only necessary if the mesh has convoluted reentrant
surfaces). Intersecting the mesh might compromise some later
triangulation...
If you want to remove any 'coplanar edges'.
If you want to 'triangulate' the new faces:
on very complex interpenetrating meshes a triangulating error
message might appear  answer 'Yes' to undo triangulation,
'No' to keep what's been done so far...
Note that the triangulation 'undo' is separate within the main
action's 'undo'.
Finally, if you want to delete the original two groups.
Note:
Large numbers of edges in the groups increase the new faces and
other operations exponentially, therefore only extrude the parts
that can be copied/exploded together later...
For example:
2 edges x 2 edges >>> group with 4 faces & 12 edges
4 edges x 4 edges >>> group with 16 faces & 40 edges
8 edges x 8 edges >>> group with 64 faces & 144 edges
16 edges x 16 edges >>> group with 256 faces & 544 edges
32 edges x 32 edges >>> group with 1024 faces & 2112 edges
...
Very large groups will eventually be made but the screen can
'white out' and the 'counter' might appear to stop changing for
several minutes... It is working.
Use 'Smooth' and/or 'Show Hidden Geometry' on the meshgroup,
also 'Sandbox flipedge' tool to retrianglate, as desired...
Rarely some combinations of edge groups might go into a 'loop'
and then SUp needs 'killing'  so save first !Donations:
Are welcome [by PayPal], please use 'TIGdonations.htm' in the
../Plugins/TIGtools/ folder.
OR
Version:
1.0 20090622 First 'beta' release.
1.1 20090625 Speed improvements  face making time ~halved,
typename >> kind_of?, triangulation glitch trapped
and orientation improved.
1.2 20090625 Orientation speed optimised.
Glitch on groups erase fixed.
1.3 20090626 Edges not facing in convoluted shapes trapped.
1.4 20090707 Triangulation improved. Rare intersect glitch fixed.
1.5 20090708 Zooms to show new group.
1.6 20090708 Zooms to new group fixed for large models.
1.7 20090709 Coplanar edge erasure errors trapped:
0.999999 made 0.99999999 !!!
1.8 20090808 Orienting and Triangulation speeds improved.
2.0 20100114 Debabelized, 'Extrusion Tools' Toolbar added.
2.1 20100120 Typo in lingvo translation fixed.
2.2 20100120 Lingvo files updated  thanks FR=Pilou, ES=Defisto
2.3 20100121 Typo preventing Plugin Menu item working corrected.
2.4 20100123 FR lingvo file updated by Pilou.
2.5 20100124 Menu typo glitch fixed.
2.6 20100216 Now in own submenu 'Extrusion Tools...' in Plugins menu.
2.7 20100222 Tooltips now deBabelize properly.
2.8 20100222 Tooltips etc now deBabelized properly.
2.9 20100428 Tool now exits gracefully.
3.0 20100517 ES lingvo adjusted by Defisto.NOTE: from 20100212 the latest versions of these files is in the zipped set downloaded from here http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?p=217663#p217663

Question, TIG: do the two groups of curves need to be on perpendicular planes?

Awesome TIG! You'll get lots of people excited about this script
Chris

@gaieus said:
:shock:
Question, TIG: do the two groups of curves need to be on perpendicular planes?
No  but it's best if there's some noncoplanarness [if that's a word !]. If they are at some angle to each other you will get a 3D mesh. If they are coplanar you'll get a weird 2D mess... You can also have several bits of lines/curves  they don't need to be continuous  just grouped together as the required 'profile' and 'path'... The lines/curves can also be complex in 3D but the resulting intersecting mess might not be what you are expecting or want...

from what I see, this is awesome. The thing I need to model classical decorations..

OK TIG, that's what I meant. In fact, I'd probably not need it for coplanar curves (I can't really imagine a situation like that when it's needed butof course, who knows) but definitely something other than perpendicular can be handy.
Even better this "freedom" of the different elements in the groups (I guess that's why they are grouped but I wou;ldn't understand the answer anyway )

@unknownuser said:
@unknownuser said:
Tip: single lines and arcs won't group, so draw another edge,
then group everything, edit the group and erase the temporary
edge...Seems it's not necessary! (line, arc)
Just go Menu Edit / Group for each object!
Then launch the plugI find that single lines or arcs won't group, but drawing another temporary line with it then grouping, then editing the group and deleting the temporary line seems to work to give a single arc group... It's because I use ashortcut key that isn't available on a single selection, BUT the Menu Edit >> MakeGroup item is still OK... So if you can group single arcs via the menu without a hitch then that's great...
Any ideas on improvements or clever uses welcomed... 
@unknownuser said:
Tip: single lines and arcs won't group, so draw another edge,
then group everything, edit the group and erase the temporary
edge...Seems it's not necessary! (line, arc)
Just go Menu Edit / Make Group for each object!
Then launch the plugWorks like a charm! Bravo!
Here with 2 arcs without "another edge"!

Next steps will be with 4 curves closed so Coons surfaces

WOW This is like Rhino Sweep alone rail. Very cool!

Thanks TIG..
I noticed it actually does not follow and rotate along the path. Although interesting proposition, and it works without any problems, it would be usefull if it coud also work in manner that can be predictable in design terms.

I pushed it with a lot of geometry and it seems very stable. It performs orienting and reversing faces without problem. Triangulation did not make any problems as well.

TIG
One can add a point too and then group.
Killer script.
dtr

It doesn't matter what's in the groups  only edges get processed...

@sepo said:
Thanks TIG... I noticed it actually does not follow and rotate along the path. Although interesting proposition, and it works without any problems, it would be usefull if it coud also work in manner that can be predictable in design terms.
This tool extrudes edges by edges without rotation. If you want rotation use followme tool or followme_and_keep script: you'll need to make the profile faced first by adding a back set of lines  you also need to unhide/unsmooth all edges to get a 'mesh'... The advantage of extrudeEdgesByEdges is that the profile and path can be in complex in 3D and also not continuous... 
Thanks TIG!

TIG:
This was the subject of one of my first wishful posts. "Extrude" a curve along a curve.
Excellent work!!!! This is another one of those jaw droppers. We're gonna have you bronzed. Plotparis will jump out of his seat when he sees this.
Thank you.
mitcorb 
TIG:
This also works with the freehand tool in SU6, if anybody was wondering.
mitcorb 
Really great tool, TIG!!!!

TIG,
It is great, Thanks
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