Can Rhino model any object which polygonal packages like Maya are able to create?


Heck yea!

I’m still waiting for my check…

Glorious times indeed!


However, some models are almost impossible to perform in Rhino (via NURBS) for production or printing. What do you think of it?


You need to supply some images of consumer or industrial product that supposedly cannot be executed in Rhino. In my nearly 25 years in the product design business, I have not seen a product one could not execute with Rhino/NURBS.

Some products are very difficult to execute, but not undoable per se (if one would have the time and budget).


This I believe only applies to parts with a lot of (possibly irregular) detail.
If one needs a 3D model of sponge or believable cloth, very ornamented jewelery or the wrinkled face of an old man, one should use other software (not SubD, but rather sculpting software). People reading and writing here usually do not have that need and they will answer you from their personal experience background (here mostly Industrial Designers).

I consider fleshing out certain shapes faster with a combination of various mesh modelling techniques (not only SubD)…

Asked to recreate this wash bowl so that it is recognizable I would not use Nurbs but SubD, as I could handle all these shape blends a lot faster and without planning ahead. One could simply massage the whole volume until it looks right – this doesn’t work with with a Surface model.

Zbrush (not; not a SubD tool) gives you wonderful radial symmetry…
One can work on 1/5 sector of such a car rim and just go crazy. Not doable in the same interactive way outside 3D sculpting programs – even SubD is too rigid for this sort of design ideation. But one needs to understand that the outcome is no more than a concept model. As soon as precise 3D geometry for cnc machining is required one needs to switch over to Nurbs: To proper surfacing tools – not some bobbly wobbly Nurbs compatible SubD.

Here’s a clip done by an automotive designer, showing the overall principle.


But this is a very big waste of time for the sake of quality. :pensive:


But then you need to remake the model in NURBS for production?

Such models are simply impossible to perform in NURBS for printing, and therefore people make (for example) organic matter in the mesh.


Yes, that is correct.
But there’s no way to design anything of only moderate complexity and to 3D model just once.
Design is an iterative process.


Okay, but people use mesh to print complex models. And what is the result of quality?


Alias’ Rotational Scale tool does the trick with rims (unless you are after a proper model).


If you need surfaces/solids for design development and subsequent production, you need the time and budget - and professional clients from top-tier brands allocate them, because they know they will receive quality.

Try doing this product with polygons and then develop the injection mould tooling from that. Zero chance. With Rhino, Alias, SolidWorks - piece of cake.



And some people sell refrigerators in Greenland. And other people don’t have HP sauce with their full English breakfast.


This gives you the radial instancing, yes.
You remain bound to the rigid rules of Nurbs surfacing and need to plan every single step.

(Gustavo Fontana) #213

This is very true, the problem is that it takes someone many years and hundreds (if not thousands) of models of practice to reach this point of mastery and clarity. People like you Lagom are a rare breed, and you should be very proud of your accomplishments.

Nurbs surfacing is extremely complex. It’s a technological and skill divide that still keeps many people from executing at any level of fidelity what they have in mind, they have sketched, or they could sculpt with a clay model.

The process is also so rigid that after you do everything just right you end up with just one solution and making changes after you see your “version 1” takes another round of commitment in time and budget to do a version 2.

This reality is great for a very small number of people who decided to invest a large portion of their career to develop surfacing skills, and who where lucky enough to have great masters as teachers of it, and access to the handful of jobs in only a few places in the world where they can do this, and make a living doing it. This is terrible for everyone else, the people that just want the god dam tools to give them the design they want. And then when they see it, react to it and want something else. And decide what that something else is in real-time by pulling and pushing live G2ish smoothed SubD geometry.

I think that even for profesional Class-A surfacing folks seeing more SubD work being done by more designers (better tools and workflows need to exists, all tools done to date are amateur crap for nerds like us) will benefit them too. It will create more business for modeling/re-modeling things ‘right’. For a while that might continue to be Nurbs, but I think the future is undeniably hybrid.

I can also see a possibility where like in any other industry, or any other technological advancement, the incumbents (advanced users and vendors of Nurbs surfacing) will first ignore SubD, then they will laugh at it, then they’ll move on to criticize its limitation, and eventually they will be replaced by it. We are now at the criticize stage. And that’s fine. This is a healthy debate. Keep it coming.

This week I get to rebuild cleanly in Nurbs again all the ‘shitty stuff’ I’ve been slapping around in Modo for the past several weeks. Could I have modeled this current design from scratch in Nurbs? Absolutely. Could I have come up with this level of design evolution and arrived at what I’m modeling today? Absolutely not. It would have taken a few more months, if ever, but the client would have run out of time and money before that happens. So using ‘shitty geometry’ until now is a wonderful business strategy. And I go as far as thinking that not using ‘shitty geometry’ is financially reckless.


PS: …what is not healthy is you guys getting off-topic on how to spend money buying fancy cars. I have one word for you guys: motorcycles. Nothing make me happier than reckless ways of 3D modeling and reckless forms of transportation. Live a little you’all, we don’t know how much more time we have.


A thorough design process takes time, enough to contemplate mouse clicks.


I would not be so pessimistic.

I often see beginners/students who after 1-2 years have good career paths with well-known brands and external design studios. You only have to look at the hiring spree in Europe and Asia that is growing for some years now.

Also, in many cases, you as the designer don’t have to go all the way to Class XYZ or whatever some like to call it. When I see phase two concepts, after a thorough drawing and mock-up phase, I’m already very happy if all dimensions, draft angles and mould lines have been considered and the rest can be left to technical designers/CAD operators.

The future is actually going towards relieving designers of 2D/3D CAD work altogether in order to let them play out their core strengths, slowing down the hackneyed can-do-ism, much needed by top-tier and even second-tier brands in Europe and Asia today. It is, for example, astounding to see Chinese MA students aware of what is happening, although there is, in comparison to the U.S and Europe, a comparatively short history of industrial design in the modern sense.

It may well be different in the U.S. though.





Yey, everyone’s right!..:grinning:

Seriously though, thoughtful posts. You’re all spot-on. Glad you guys are doing the heavy lifting. Keep the good stuff coming.

Oops, guilty as charged, officer.

I’m blaming you for this one @gustojunk : I still have my first sport bike, one of the original sport bikes, a 1985 Honda Interceptor 500. Has antique plates, and could still be a daily driver, though it only sees about 1k or less a year these days.

Total irrational connection to that thing. Told the wife to bury me with it!

(Gustavo Fontana) #217

Great points Lagom. I think we have some agreement. A hybrid approach would allow designers to give you higher fidelity captures of their design intent. Also look at what software most young designers are gravitating towards right now: Solidworks and Fusion360. They are topologically challenged (although in a very rudimentary and backwards way F360 is also an attempt to hybrid), but they more predictable and easier to learn. If I can make a language learning analogy: those MCAD/Cloudy packages are like learning Pinyin vs. Rhino is like learning Chinese Characters. The surfacing skills (in sketching and modeling) of students now are practically non-existing. So they will have to get more help from experts of course.

I’m actually quite optimistic about the entire industry.



I doubt SolidWorks is easy to learn. When I see young professionals with SolidWorks products in their student portfolio, it is blocky shapes, nothing that would have been even easier to mock-up in a workshop. I rather suspect another trend to blame - apparently, education must be easy and fun, effortless, and millennials instantly want to be all-singing-and-dancing professionals, entitled to “awesome” results. It is, in my experience, nearly impossible to discuss radius versus fillet versus chamfer versus crowned ledge, because of the quick-fix SolidWorks virus and a diminished vocabulary of form and creative expression.

Once in the real world, at work, it is almost as if they have to begin learning anew.


Can SubD kill NURBS in the next 50 years (somewhere), or is it likely to be just a hybrid?

(Tom) #220

yep, so true. Patience and dedication is a raw skill, in conjunction with accurate self-reflection…

… which quite often yields a strange language nowadays: “a technology “killing” another technology”. That is bs.
A. You don’t know what happens in 50 years. Maybe you don’t even model on computers anymore.
B. Its a different approach, so it extends possibilities, potentially replace it in some areas
C. and again, what will be the benefit? Faster modelling? Why is this so important to you. Less work, more money? Greedy? If you dream of that, work for a bank. You don’t get rich from CAD work only. Forget, its becoming worse. No matter how good you are. If people in India work for 1/10 of the price nobody cares how fast you model with Sub-D’s.
@Lagom @ec2638

People are fucked up anyways. Winterkorn is the tip of Iceberg and a result of this development. If you walk with open eyes through this world you will see a lot of this hypocrisy. Not only at Volkswagen, look in your governments, go into a mall and see how they fuck you up.
Good to hear they do something against it, but that’s just little cosmetics. As said, it didn’t change much since the beginning of mankind, just that you get constant information from around the world, immediately. But you know, my impression is that this constant awareness of bad news, just drives many people mad. And if you ask yourself what has this to do with this thread, I will claim its a lot. Because the argumentation is based on competition and profit, but if you buy a product, house, a car or whatever the majority of the money isn’t spend on development anymore. There is a bunch of people profiting from it, who don’t even care how you model it.