Alias Automotive to Rhino switch


#1

Are there commercial plug-ins available from McNeel or other vendors that bring Alias’ “construction history” to Rhino 3D’s toolset? That would make switching all our designers over much easier.

Any links to vendors much appreciated!


(Marc Gibeault) #2

No plugin needed!
Check the History toolbar…


#3

Thanks for your reply!

So, that means when aligning (Match in Rhino) curves with curves or surfaces or when moving projected curves, everything interactively updates?


(Wim Dekeyser) #4

For a list of history-enabled commands in Rhino, check the help file. Rhino 6 has more commands that can record history.

Note that if you perform operations on a child object, the history will be destroyed.


#5

Thanks, we will give that a try. Particularly aligning curves and surfaces (“Match” in Rhino, I believe) while having curvature combs displayed as reference is an essential when designing power tools and sports equipment. History sounds good!


(Wim Dekeyser) #6

Also see the video that Pascal posted here:
(You’ll need the Rhino 6 WIP for doing that…)

This works with Curvature Graph on as well:


(Tom) #7

Hello,

are you sure its the history what makes you work more comfortable, faster and better?
I doubt that!

Its the surface tools (… and the experienced person behind that pc, knowing how to use them)
Unfortunately Rhino doesn’t provide a rich functionality for product design related surfacing.
Please don’t see this as critic to Rhino or as an advertisement for other cad-software, but for this kind of work, Rhino is simply not the best. So the money you will safe by purchasing a cheaper Rhino license will somehow be compensated back by a slower workflow.
In my company most Icem Surf users can perform much better than our alias users without having any history capability, just because Surfs analysis and matching tools are just a tick better. By exploiting them you only need minimal effort in changing design, because first guesses are often closer to what you want.
Visual Shape Research (or ASM) , made by some Icem devs, is a good plugin for Rhino to enhance surfacing capability,but sadly they were bought by Autodesk and stopped to sell releases. You might be able to still get VSR plugin licenses somehow.


#8

Thanks for the replies!

So one must wait for version 6 if I understand correctly, if one wants to use these functions for typical industrial design projects.

For us, construction history is extremely important, because we are constantly fine-tuning G2 curves in relation to other curves or surfaces in relation to other surfaces. When moving control points normal to the surface that has glitches, you need the G1 or G2 curvature comb to reflect what you are doing in real-time, in order to get acceptable quality - while also observing the highlight flow and Gauss curvature. We actually think that Rhino does have enough surface tools, which is why we’re evaluating it for all of us. It is only some control tools and evaluation tools that are crucial in industrial design and then - Rhino 6 really sounds like a good solution. Icem is too specialised, it is rather attuned to automotive and airframe hull designers. The great thing about Alias and now Rhino, I believe, is that typical industrial design form languages can be quickly achieved and then controlled to ensure sufficient surface quality and I am almost certain that with Rhino one can do just that.

This https://vimeo.com/158046912 is what intrigued me to Rhino. Looks the business (only evaluation missing, but that is probably just the video where the guy did not bother). When would this version 6 be released for Windows, you think?


(Vanessa Steeg) #9

Hi,

Rhino 5 already has History enabled in quite a few commands, listed above by Wim, this includes most surface creation commands and Transform tools. It’s very useful for concept creation and iterating between different solutions!

Rhino 6 WIP has History enabled on even more commands, this includes MatchSrf.

You can try out V6 WIP here, https://discourse.mcneel.com/c/serengeti.


#10

Thanks!

Rhino 5 is lacking what we need to switch; it really is interactive curve and surface manipulation while observing internal and external constraints - but version 6 looks like the business. We’ll have to try it out on some typical products now.


(Tom) #11

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t say history is bad, senseless or whatsoever. I just want to point out, that in my opinion, tool quality is way more important than a history, especially when dealing with highlights.
(I’m working in automotive class A industry, using Rhino in first instance for automation, but also for other great functionality)

Just let me explain the basic workflow I’m used to, which can be mapped to rhino as well. We only do theoretical shapes without blending. After we define the curvature of these surfaces/curves to absolute minimal cpcount, we start to blend. If you already know how to setup surfaces in a right way, having a good patch layout and quite homogeny curvature flow, blendings will always work perfectly without any need to modify them. Predication with the help of good analysis is a vital part of my job. That’s why its so hard to become good in class A. But once you start to deeply understand how surface interact, I bet you don’t need to care about history so much, simply because you know where to land from the beginning on.
This process cycles in detail. Here a history could improve workflow, but having shapes with minimal cpscounts is somehow the same. Now the problem,If your cpcount stays low, you are able to modify it fast and more important even manually. Rhino does not care on how to keep cp count as low as possible, that’s one of biggest problems with Rhino! The other issue is regarding not having a numerical Matching analysis:
By having a good matching analysis you are able to manually match it under a certain tolerance, sometimes with better visual result than any algorithm can deliver.

So great would be to have both, outstanding functionality and an advanced history.
However, if I would need to decide I would rather choose Rhino V5 with VSR, rather than Rhino V6 with more advanced history.


#12

Thanks, Tom, much appreciated.

The thing is that in FMCG and industrial design, one works quite differently than in the automotive industry. Our designers won’t need Class A surfacing, for example. History is so important because the designer “thinks” while CAD-monkeying, meaning you constantly twiddle back/forth until you get the expression of the product the way it was sketched or mocked-up. Low CV count, so easily achieved in Alias, is indeed not good at all. Over all, our kind of deadlines are excruciating, one does very little iterations, because product cycles in consumer goods or sportswear are like “please finish the rendering for yesterday and have the CNC-mill running last week” ; )

I rather not try to “find” VSR on the internet, because establishing a workflow with a discontinued software could lead to issues in a short time frame.

So, we will download Rhino 6 next week and see how far this gets us; in any case, it sounds exciting!


(Tom) #13

Well, its always hard to compare jobs, and unless you won’t need class A, Rhino is perfect and its fun.
I really like the history of v6 and I hope this is going to move on.
I’m currently developing Advanced Surface Tools for Grasshopper. If you are interested I could send you an current build for Grasshopper. The alpha found on Food4Rhino is quite old (10 months). I play with the idea to port some functionality to rhino as well. Extrapolation, Real Trim, Crown, Flange/Draft, matching with reduced cpcount … and other useful features, but I doubt that I can match up with VSR. You are probably right, you shouldn’t count on discontinued software. Have a nice weekend


(Tom) #14


#15

Cheers! Looks very interesting, although I have no clue what I am looking at with that grasshopper thing ; )

But before you send anything, we first have to get Rhino 6 and model some typical situations in order to evaluate the workflow. First things first!


#16

PRE-ORDER

I’m very interested in what I could do with that combination. I’m not into automotive, but I’m working on a project (an old car from the sixties with challenging shapes) as to learn class A modelling.

I tend to read posts by @Stratosfear extra carefully as to learn from a “surface genius”. I haven’t seen many posts from him recently, but I look forward to posts which reveals such level of insight. One can see that the resulting surface patches didn’t just happen by accident, instead careful analysis lays behind.

Why don’t you (@TomTom) and @Stratosfear write a “Class A Surface Essentials” (e-)handbook together? With simple example files including step for step models side by side (if there are more class A professionals in this group which I’ve failed to mention, please accept my sincere apology).

In any case, I’d be first to pre-order a copy. Promise. :slight_smile:

// Rolf


#17

i am interested. Can you send me acctual build ? (its problem with grasshopper for mac ? )


(Tom) #18

don’t worry, Grasshoppers old name was “Explicit History”. The idea is to actually safe what you do in a node based editor. However by having no mouse input, modelling in grasshopper makes only sense for very repetitive tasks, like doing some complex patterns, which would be a pain by doing them manually. I try to add some surfacing tools in it, because grasshopper cannot fully mirror Rhinos Tools.

I’m very interested in what I could do with that combination. I’m not into automotive, but I’m working on a project (an old car from the sixties with challenging shapes) as to learn class A modelling.

I tend to read posts by @Stratosfear extra carefully as to learn from a “surface genius”. I haven’t seen many posts from him recently, but I look forward to posts which reveals such level of insight. One can see that the resulting surface patches didn’t just happen by accident, instead careful analysis lays behind.

Why don’t you (@TomTom) and @Stratosfear write a “Class A Surface Essentials” (e-)handbook together? With simple example files including step for step models side by side (if there are more class A professionals in this group which I’ve failed to mention, please accept my sincere apology).

In any case, I’d be first to pre-order a copy. Promise. :slight_smile:

// Rolf

If you are interessed I could send you a current build end of the week. However coding surface tools is obviously very challenging, and therefore don’t expect any great magic. Grasshopper is also hard to master, and having no mouse input is problematic as well

Class A is very complex and I’m still learning it. I have only two years in experience of pure class A, which is nothing compared to people in my company having up to 20 years. That’s actually the downside. Good surface modelling tools are important, but people being able to use them are really rare, especially those who are willing to write a manual or even coding some tools. And some basic concepts of class A cannot be fully achieved with pure Rhino, so everyone doing class A, will tell you that using Rhino (even with VSR) would be problematic. However if I find some time I could write down some basic concepts. There are actually no books about this topic, as far as I know. Some rare hints can be found in german literature.

On the other hand many surface tools developers are no experts in modelling tasks, which is making it really difficult to define “good”. As you may already noticed, its not always about mathematical correctness or making it robust even for unexperienced user. Practical applications can only be made in combination of both. Icem for instance was made this way, in a really close way to class a industry, making it to special for the average user and its price nearly unaffordable.

i am interested. Can you send me acctual build ? (its problem with grasshopper for mac ? )

I’ll send you end of the week. I only need an email? The best Is to send a short request to AdvancedSurfaceTools@outlook.com

However, I haven’t tested it for Mac. One component uses a winform, but the others should work without.
So not sure, you gonna have to test. If not there might be a possiblility by referencing the core library and writing short scriptcomponents. We will see.


#19

Same here, but I really do like the challenge. I’ll send a request to your email AdvancedSurfaceTools@outlook.com

// Rolf