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Creating Conic Curves

A conic section with a defined shoulder point

A conic curve is a segment that can be defined by three points: the beginning point, the end point, and a third point.

The third point can be defined in one of two ways: with a shoulder point that lies on the interior of the conic curve between the beginning and end points, or with the tangent intersection that is the intersection of the beginning and end points' tangent lines. For both methods of defining the third point, the tangent lines and intersection are shown and the conic curve's ρ (rho) value can be changed using the text field.

  1. Click on Curve on the toolbar.
  2. Click Entity Type, Connector.
  3. Click Segment Type, Conic.
  4. In the Segments, Conic Segment Options frame, toggle on Shoulder.
  5. Click on an arbitrary point in the display window (point A).
  6. Click on a point similar to the location of point B.
  7. Click on a point similar to the location of point C. (The curve's shape is generated.)
  8. Enter 0.6 for ρ.
  9. Notice that when ρ is edited, the third control point does not move but the tangent intersection does and therefore slightly changes the shape of the conic curve while in the Shoulder mode.

  10. In the Segments, Conic Segment Options frame, toggle on Tangent Intersection.
  11. Notice in the figure to the right that the third control point shifts to the tangent intersection.

    A conic section with a defined tangent intersection
  12. Enter 0.5 for ρ.
  13. Notice now that when ρ is edited, the third control point moves but the tangent intersection does not and therefore more drastically changes the shape of the conic curve while in the Tangent Intersection mode.

    See the description below for how to edit the location of a control point before moving on to the next step.

  14. Apply
  15. OK

Editing Control Points

There are two quick ways to edit a control point location before a connector is saved by using the Apply or OK commands. The first method simply requires that you move your cursor over the control point in the display window until it highlights in orange. Hold the left mouse button depressed while you move the point to a new location then release the left mouse button. The second method requires that you select the control point by holding the Ctrl key while left clicking on the point. The control point will become highlighted and the XYZ field in the Point Placement frame will update to contain its current coordinates; change the values and hit Enter to change the control point location.


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If you have questions about the steps outlined above or on any other meshing topic, please contact us via one of the following methods.

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