Boolean-difference pipe network from solid


I am trying to subtract a network of pipes from a surface. The goal is to mill this surface with the tracks from the pipe network and build a model with small elements.

The boolean difference keeps failing. There are no naked or manifold edges, the objects are not grouped - put them in 2 layers (mold and pipe) to be able to select all for the boolean difference.

I’m sure I am missing something obvious as I am not too experienced and would love some help/input.

Im attaching the rhino file, the two important layers are mold and pipe, rest is mumbo jumbo.

Thanks in advance! Albin

think you forgot to join file :grinning:

I did upload the file but maybe I’m not doing it right? I can’t see it either.

try to reupload

Just drag and drop the file into the message window… --Mitch


Nope - perhaps the file size is too big?

Ah. That could be it!

Maybe this works better:

Damn !

Not easy to do, do you want to keep each Triangular shapes separated and cut each parts with each pipes intertesecting with ?

first i think you need to change your tolerance to 0.001 , boolean will work better, but that’s not the solution for all.

may be it’s a work for grasshopper.

I just want a surface that follows the shape of the “tent” structure, but with tracks outlined in it that can be milled - imagine I lift up the net of pipes, and the dent the pipes would have made is now visible in the surface.

I can then build the framework with small elements that I place in the milled tracks and glue together or join in some other way.

It works just as well the other way round, if I could “dip” the whole object i have now and get the negative of it, and mill that. To be honest this would probably be preferred, because I would not have to work in the deep “holes”, instead they would be peaks!

The structure is made in grasshopper and I’m more confident using that, but I haven’t found a way using that route either.

Am I making sense??

If you have any ideas I would love to hear them :slight_smile:

Just to be sure , is something like that you want to do ?

exactly! you are a star!

If you could send me that file I’ll be very happy, deadline in the carpentry to start milling is in 70 minutes hehe, then it can work through the night.

How did you do it? :slight_smile:

I don’t find any way to do this easily in Rhino, many booleans fails, and i think we should spend many time to work piece by piece.
as Zbrush have powerful mesh boolean tools, i tried to work on meshes version , and that works in this way.
But i don’t know if it’s good enough for you ?
Albinno.rar (19.7 MB)

thank you very much! i think that should work good for me.

what do you work with that has made you so good at these things, if I may ask?

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If you cannot do it in one step, do it in several steps - divide your pipe network into several networks, and subtract each of them separately.