Any tips on how I can model this chair?

So I am trying to improve my modeling skills when it comes to organic shapes and I’ve given myself a little homework assignment. Here is the chair that I am trying to model:

It is the Anne chair by Ross Lovegrove and I’ve definitely bitten off more than I can chew. However, I am determined to model it. I’ve watched some tutorials on modeling different pieces of furniture and picked up a few things but I just can’t figure out the best approach.

I was able to get a 2D and 3D dwg from the designers website and I have been using the 2D elevations as references. I’m trying not to use the 3D file because I want to build a NURBS model totally from scratch. The 3D mesh you get from the DWG isn’t a whole lot of help even for getting better elevation views. Here are those files just in case you are interested:

Anne-2D.dwg (435.0 KB)
Anne-3D.dwg (4.2 MB)

So does anyone have any ideas on the best way to go about modeling this thing?


You have taken quite a bite! Fairly expert modeling task for a surface NURBS modeler. If your goal is to increase your surface skills, stick with this one if you can, as you’ll learn a lot.

Break the the project into regions doing the easiest sections first, then work to fill in the ‘Y’ regions last using blends, surface patches and network surfaces. Trace over the 3D you downloaded to help you visualize when stuck. Cut out the holes last.

This form is more suited to sub-d modeling, i.e., tsplines. Lovegrove self describes himself as “Captain Organic” for a reason.

Good luck!

Yup, that shape indeed has all characteristics of SubD topology, including the non round hole, which occurs when deleting a particular face of the low poly control cage (using the mesh based method). Here’s a rough
5 min version of that frame. Auto-remeshed inside Zbrush + auto-nurbified using Fusion 360.

A pretty nice mesh turned into not so nice Nurbs in 3, 2, 1…

lovegrove-anne v1.3dm (2.2 MB)

here is a page about y-branches…you’ll need it! :wink:

Hi Kyle, there’s no link in your post - I’m sure there are several pages on y-branches but I’ll just add a link to one…

It’s pretty simple operations if you go section by section.
Here’s my coffee-brake example.
Anne-m.3dm (1.5 MB)

1 Like


Thanks for posting that. Slightly disconcerting that was your “coffee break” example but I will persevere.

Could you briefly outline a few of the steps that got you to that point? I feel like I am over complicating things. I have been thinking that curve from two views is the way to go but I can’t seem generate enough useful curves that way. Perhaps I am choosing the wrong segments to use or perhaps there are just some commands that I am unaware of.

Thanks for posting the file. I will continue to investigate it.

I left all the construction curves, you should be able to replicate the process step-by-step.
I began by creating a profile and a rail curve, using the Curve command and placing two of the rail curve points on the same Y value so they are continuous when mirrored, to create a Sweep.
If you want the profile curve to change shape/orientation along the sweep, you can copy the rail curve at the other end of the profile curve and scale it as you want. This way you’ll retain the structure of the curve and will have a nice sweep 2 rails.
Since you began with simple and smooth curves, you can easily adjust the surface by moving the control points too. You could also use History when using the sweep command and you’ll then be able to adjust the surface by moving the curve’s control points.
You can create the other face by either offsetting the curves or the surface. In both cases change the default tolerance to something very loose, like 0.1", to get the same structure as the original.
You can create curves on the front view and the side view and using these to trim the main surface, then use Pull on the trimmed edge to get the corresponding trim curve on the offset surface.
I used BlendSrf to create and control the smooth surfaces between the two surfaces.


I wonder if this is just me or at some point doing this project you start asking yourself if this is even a good way to practice Rhino?
I decided to do a “homework” kind of project too not so long ago, but boy was it frustrating. And my problem was not so much in learning new approaches and techniques (I haven’t learnt much I believe, just wasted time, I donno) but in realization that all this is done so much faster and easier in mesh based programs (3ds max for example) and who am I kidding, like people don’t do this kind of stuff (game props, fun stuff) in this kind of software and that I should stop fooling myself and do this kind of project in Max next time. What do you guys think?

This is what I was working on, still WIP (image is not my work, I search stuff on Pinterest and implement my vision).

That depends on a lot of things.
But for a lot of us here, meshes are not an option. I can’t use them anyway for our process, real parts made of real materials in the real world…


I understand your sentiment and I think it depends on how familiar you are with the program.

I’ve been using Rhino for 5 or 6 years and mostly do architectural modeling where a lot of the projects are more rectilinear. In that area of modeling I feel extremely confident. I also will do some furniture design where the intention is to design something that I am going to build myself in a wood shop so again the designs aren’t organic but I have to build the damn thing.

But when it comes to modeling organic surfaces and the like I am fairly novice so I thought that this would be a good way for me to up my game.

With that being said I have changed the scope of my project because none of the curves and surfaces I was generating were accurate when compared to the 3D DWG and I realized that I had wasted many evenings working fruitlessly. Now the goal is to cleanup the 3D mesh, and then reverse engineer it to make an accurate NURBS model.

I will still get the opportunity to do the organic modeling and I am learning a lot on how to deal with imported meshes. And I am actually making progress instead of spinning my wheels and wasting my evenings.

I also agree with @Marc here.

I’m an architect as well, I guess it depends on a goal. If your goal is to create a beautiful game prop for a portfolio or just to show to friends, then probably meshing is the way to go, since you don’t plan to fabricate it, making it with nurbs might take more time and frustrate you more. If your goal is to fabricate, then by all means, nurbs is the way to go. If your goal is to learn Rhino, I guess just do something in it, even if it seems to be impractical.
I listed all these to show that I thought on the problem and came to the conclusion, I would add that reading this forum regularly and repeating methods suggested here is in a way teaches me more than “homework” modeling, although it is also a somewhat good way.

1 Like

not condemning polygon modeling in general but i though it was about NURBS here
and anway how did we get from this beautiful and challenging chair on top to f*** guns?

also architects should not play with guns at all :wink: they should not even play with people,
they are here to make the world a better place i thought :blush: but unfortunately
thats what the world does to those who have visions.

too many wrong movies too man kiddy games where people kill each other…
nah… lets stick to NURBS pls and skip the guns.

but also trying to model something organic in wood, I love Lovegrove design, but this suits much better to mold plastics. It is pity to force wood as natural material to suit our modeling skills

Are you considering T-splines or you want to go vanilla Rhino all the way? I’d try to do this with T-splines if I were to do something like this.

i would believe carving and shaping wood in all directions is an ancient worldly tradition. especially on this chair the wood comes out rather beautiful than waisted. in indonesia and sure not only there wood can become anything you can imagine :slight_smile: