Converting a Mesh to a NURBS file

I know this topic comes up from time to time, but I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion for an easy way to do convert a mesh file to a NURBS file. I ask because technology is evolving more rapidly than I can keep up, and it is possible I’m simply not aware of some new plugin or technique. I recently was able to use my iPhone 11 as a 3D scanner, with an app from Qlone, and would like to use the scans for reverse engineering. I can export the scan as an .OBJ or .STL. After I import it into Rhino (v5, Windows), I’m stuck.

I could even re-draw the object, if only I could find a way to affix points onto the mesh in key locations.


Hi HAL9000

In Rhino 5 I still believe the MeshToNurbs command is available. Just save your work before hand as the polygon count could brick the PC! Worth running it through a STL fixer before hand?


there are few workaronds but not a magic or universal solution, it depends on each model, you can use the quad mesher in the Wip to quick convert meshes to SUB-D but that works only in few cases,
an alternative could be using Quick surface or Mesh2surface which is a powerfull plugin.
Clayoo has some tools for it but again, related to SUB-D geometry.

The process is called Reverse Engineering.
Try a search in the archives and on the Rhino site for “Reverse Engineering”.

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Use ExtractPt to create a set of points corresponding to the mesh vertices.

Use Patch to create a surface with the points. Read the Help section for Patch and experiment with the settings. The surface from patch will probably need to trimmed.

A starting surface may be needed to obtain a satisfactory surface with Patch. Create a single surface which is similar to the shape of the mesh. Then use this surface as the Starting Surface in Patch.

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“Use ExtractPt to create a set of points corresponding to the mesh vertices…”

This was EXTREMELY helpful, thank you! :smiley: