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Welcome to day number two of Learn Shapr3D in 10 Days for Beginners. I’m Kevin Kennedy, and today let’s take a closer look at the User Interface, important settings, and how to orient and navigate your design, as well as common selection techniques.
Upon opening the Shapr3D app, you’ll land on the Discover tab. It’s here that you’ll see a list of your recent activities, allowing you to quickly access recent designs. Important software updates and highlighted tutorials are also listed here.
I’m on the macOS version, though it’s important to note that the iPad and Windows versions all have similar user interfaces, with some subtle differences. You’ll find it easy to switch between Shapr3D on other operating systems.
The Designs tab is where you’ll access all of your Shapr3D files. From here, we can create new designs or right-click on any existing designs to manage them. It’s important to note that your design files are not synced automatically across devices. The files are stored locally by default. In the near future, Shapr3D will support syncing files across devices.
At any time, you can select the plus symbol in the upper right corner to create a new design file.
On the far right, you can import Shapr3D and additional CAD file formats, by selecting them from your local computer folders.
The third and final tab is where you’ll find a variety of learning and support material. Learning material includes videos on the official Shapr3D YouTube channel, common workflows, and inspiring stories that share what other users are creating.
You can also quickly access the Shapr3D Manual, as well as the official forum if you have any software or workflow-specific questions.
Let’s now take a deeper dive into the Design workspace. Select the Designs tab and double-click to open the file from Day #1.
The lefthand pane is called the “Items Manager.” The Items Manager lists all the bodies, sketches, planes, and images that make up your design. When working on larger assemblies, you can filter by type or create folders to further organize the items in your design.
We can also select items before using any of the tools, or we can select the eyeball icon to toggle the visibility of items.
Right-clicking on items will allow us to quickly Zoom to the item. We can also rename items, which I encourage you to get into the habit of doing. Renaming items as you create them will help you quickly find them later on, particularly with large assemblies.
Notice we can also create 2D manufacture drawings from bodies, or delete items. Note that drawings are only available on a paid Shapr3D license.
We’ll cover the details of creating manufacturing drawings on Day #10. Just note that any existing drawings will live in the Drawings tab.
The second core section of the user interface is called the Title Bar. Starting on the left, we have the Sidebar icon, which allows us to toggle the Items Manager.
The Home icon brings you back to the Designs tab, where all your Designs will live.
The middle lists the name of your active design file.
The “Section View” icon hides everything in front of the current grid, allowing you to view a section of your design. This will be dependent on your current view of the design.
The Snaps and Guide icon allows you to turn on or off snapping to the grid, sketch guidelines, and additional points that we’ll discuss throughout the course.
Next, we have the Units icon, where you can set your desired unit and change the specific format for inches and degrees. Selecting a unit type will make all dimensions in your model appear as that unit type, regardless of how they were originally created.
Lastly, is the Help icon. View the latest new features, and open the Manual, Keyboard Shortcuts, Forums, and Tutorial videos. You can also open the search dialog to activate recent tools and quickly find tools.
The third core element is the Orientation Cube. Use the Orientation Cube to change the orientation of your design. Select a side, edge, or corner, to change the view.
After selecting one, the rotation arrows will appear, allowing you to rotate the view. At any time, you can also double-click on the cube to revert to the default orientation. Resetting the view can also be done with the keys Command + 1.
Click and drag the cube around to rotate the camera.
In addition to the Orientation Cube, you’ll want to get familiar with the Mouse or Trackpad navigation. Let’s look at the trackpad navigation, and I’ll link to the Mouse navigation in the video description.
To rotate the camera with your trackpad, simply hold down Shift and pan with two fingers.
To move the camera, pan with two fingers without holding any modifiers. This allows you to pan the model in any direction.
To Zoom, pinch in and out with two fingers.
To Zoom to a specific face on your model, hover over the face and press the space bar. You can also do this by double-clicking with two fingers on a trackpad. Note that you must click the trackpad, not tap on it.
Keyboard shortcuts CMD + 2 through 7 will allow you to jump to each view of the Orientation Cube.
Let’s now take a look at some selection techniques. These will be critical in being able to model efficiently and effectively.
When you click once on a body, it will select the chosen face. However, a double-click will select the entire body.
If I create a copy of this part via the “Copy” icon, you’ll find that we can select multiple parts by holding the Shift key and double-clicking each body.
You can also select multiple edges and faces of the same body while holding the Shift key.
Keep in mind that you can also select bodies and other items from the Items Manager. You may find it easier to select items here when designing multi-part models.
We can also click and drag to make a window selection over any items in our design.
Notice the shortcuts that you can tab through to filter the selection options. Using a filter will help you focus on a core workflow. For example, faces will help you extrude a closed sketch profile.
The shortcut CMD + A will let you quickly select everything in your design.
Use the Escape Key to clear all selections.
The fourth and final section of Shapr3D’s user interface is the Menu. Located on the left by default, you’ll find that you can access the Sketch menu, which houses all the Sketch tools. The Add menu houses construction geometry, images, files, and more.
The Transform menu includes tools to manipulate the position of your design, including Align, Move, Rotate, Scale, and more.
Lastly, the Tools menu includes all of our tools to create and modify 3D bodies. The Tools menu lists core CAD features such as Extrude, Loft, Shell, and more. All of which we’ll use throughout this course.
Shapr3D also has an adaptive user interface. When you select a face, body, or other items in your design, the software will predict the tools you can use based on your selection. Notice the Menu adapts to show tools according to your needs.
You can also quickly activate specific tools by starting to type the name of any command. Notice the search box appears, where you can search and activate the desired tool.
To summarize, Shapr3D consists of four core interface elements, including the Items Manager, the Title Bar, the Orientation Cube, and the Menu.
Be sure to subscribe for more free Shapr3D lessons and check out ProductDesignOnline.com for more resources. Then, click on this YouTube playlist to view the rest of the ten days.