Cannot figure out any way to thicken and smooth the following mesh

Hey :slight_smile:
I have a problem, I do not know how to thicken and smooth the following mesh. I used dendro, tried zbrush (not sure if I used it correctly), tried cocoon, and some others too. Do you have an idea about this?

Thank you for your response :slight_smile:

problem mesh thickening (24.1 KB)

@laurent_delrieu Do you think dendro is an option in this?

Kangaroo shrink-wrap + ZBrush Dynamesh! :wink:

It will not be possible for me to look but yes Dendro seems a good option
Did you look at this post ?
Dendro followed by quadremesher then Catmull &Clark gives very good result to have a smooth mesh

But the inside, the hollow part, is not shrink-wrap-able, right? Shrink-wrap does not wrap internal, or did I misunderstood that?

Yes, when I try it, it becomes too heavy or it will become a blob.
Maybe I am doing something wrong.

problem mesh thickening (58.1 KB)

It will not be possible for me to look at for a week. If you want a thickness of t you have to place points at distance less than t/4 with a radius of t/2. It is important to flatten all data in Dendro. That’s all I can do.

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Maybe try the Weaverbird thicken mesh component?

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Shrink wrapping in kangaroo is not the way. Shrink wrap in ZBrush. Shrink wrap is just a technique. ZBrush calls it as “project” in Dynamesh I believe. Can you save us some time and just upload the mesh as obj or stl. no need for the gh definition here. Dynamesh will work fine if you just give the mesh some thickness to begin with, then it won’t close your holes up.

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Possible to do with Dendro. You have to make a solid (capped) mesh, convert to volume, offset volume and finally trim off the top/bottom of volume to end up with your thickened mesh output.

problem mesh thickening (45.2 KB)

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but you closed the opening?

Yeah, I capped all naked boundaries to create the basic solid but then stopped working on it before I got to the side holes which would have been the last step.

Should be able to take the naked boundary of either side hole of the source mesh, Y extrude it through the entire volume then do a boolean subtract to get the final thickened form with side holes.

@ForestOwl, here is a workflow using Rhino and ZBrush for the outer shell of the above model. It doesn’t take into account the inner shell (that you’ve also provided), since both meshes, when joined and welded, don’t provide a solid, watertight mesh and are thus basically useless.



  1. Unify the mesh normals of your mesh surface. This can be done in Rhino, as well as Grasshopper. By “mesh surface” I mean an open, non-watertight mesh.
  2. Export the baked mesh surface as OBJ.


  1. In the Tool menu, click on Import and open your OBJ. Your mesh surface should now be your selected tool.
  2. Drag the tool on the canvas.
  3. Go to/activate Edit mode** (T).
  4. Make your mesh surface - now on the canvas - a PolyMesh (Tool>Make PolyMesh3D).
  5. Select the ZModeler brush (B+Z+M) from the brush menu. Now hover your mouse over a mesh face of your mesh surface, and hold Space. In the ZModeler menu select Extrude, All Polygons, and set the Step Size (i.e. 0.025). Now you can release Space and extrude your entire mesh by dragging a face.

  1. Got to the ZRemesher menu (Tool>Geometry>ZRemeshes). Activate FreezeBorder and KeepGroups. Set SmoothGroups to 0.0, and the Target Polygon Count to Same. Now click on ZRemesher.

  1. Export your tool/mesh as OBJ (Tool>Export).


  1. Back in Rhino, import your mesh and fire up Grasshopper.
  2. In Grasshopper, import your mesh, and if you exported Polygroups - which is done by this workflow -, you need to join and weld these first.
  3. Use the Catmull-Clark component from Weaverbird to smooth your mesh further.

You can skip step 7, the extrusion, if you export a watertight, solid mesh from Rhino to ZBrush. Remeshing is always a good idea though, since it provides you a neat, regular quad mesh that can be cleanly subdivided further.

You may notice that there’s not much DynaMesh-ing going on here, simply because I got better results without it. You may have to reintroduce it though, if your meshes get messier or more complex.

My bad, I must have misinterpreted one of your previous posts! I didn’t have much luck with DynaMesh and the Project option though, even when using a solid mesh. Maybe you could expand a little upon this technique?


problem mesh thickening 03.stl (46.3 KB)

Is it that I can use a Dendro filter to make the hollow pipe within the structure “open?”

What I tried is to use both inner and outer mesh to merge to one while holding the openings open.
I tried to thicken both meshes where after I could merge the meshes with Dendro. But, then it will become a mess like the following image (there are random holes in the mesh).

problem mesh thickening (48.9 KB)

I can go with ZBrush, but then things will become more complex when I use more complex meshes. Dendro filters?

I am very glad with you solution. Thank you @diff-arch :smiley:

Now I know my way how to do it in Zbrush. I am going to test if I can do it with my messier meshes.

Thank you again for the tutorial you made.

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Sorry about my first post, I think I misunderstood the through hole logic you were going for in the mesh.
Here is an update that should be correct. This basically creates a solid volume from the main mesh then creates boolean subtraction elements for the top and side holes.
Hope that gets it.problem mesh thickening 01_dendro (54.5 KB)

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You’re welcome, @ForestOwl! For messier meshes my workflow still remains relevant. Although, you might have to experiment with DynaMesh and maybe Booleans too.
For DynaMesh and meshes in general, remember that it’s highly beneficial to have a solid, watertight mesh (instead of an open mesh). That doesn’t mean that you have to start out with a closed mesh, but it should be your end goal and the strategy to get there should be somewhat clear from the get-go.
The Dendro route seems promising too, but I doubt that it’s as powerful and quick as ZBrush, when dealing with a couple more meshes.
Could you upload (or pm me) a little more complex mesh that you’ve been writing about? It would be interesting to quickly test some things. It’s up to you though.

Here a definition that uses my own mesh populate. It is not as beautiful as David Rutten Geometry Populate but it is fast (12 s for 2 million of points).
The only trick is to generate enough points on the mesh. You also don’t need to have a fine mesh.
There is no smoothing so the result could be better

problem mesh thickening 01 (40.5 KB)


Cool script, but this isn’t smoothable anymore is it?

You still could use Dendro smoothing component.

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