Die Design Example

This was my first largish (approx. 50,000LB) die design in Rhino. I find it handles my larger assemblies nicely.




I really like the color selections… helps to distinguish the different parts. Nice work.

Thanks for the likes and comment ShockJoy.

I’m glad people appreciate it, even though it is no where near as eye catching as the beautifully rendered work I see normally on the gallery.

I think the way you present this is much better than if it would be rendered in some fancy style.
The technical nature of this model is better appreciated this way and IMO it’s good to have a gallery filled with various types of projects, reflecting the many aspects of Rhino as a CAD tool. Not just conventional eye-candy as for me this is eye-candy as well.



Excuse my ignorance, but what is the die for?

This particular die produces a high tolerance automotive part. Roughly 600,000/year.

I would show the finished part and it’s progressive process but that along with the pictures of the design may get me into hot water if a customer were to stumble on this.

Not a problem, thanks for the response.

That’s very impressive work. I do a little mould tool modelling in Rhino but never anything as complex as this, generally just single cavity form blocks.

Do you use any plug-ins to assist? I tried a demo of Rhino Mold but as it seems to have been discontinued I decided against it. Seemed expensive for what functionality it adds - although quite useful.

I don’t use any add-ons. I did use solidworks to assist with a couple things (mainly filleting and some quick face removal), but that was partially because I didn’t know how to do some things yet in Rhino. I had been using Rhino for about 3-4 months before I tried designing this. It’s been another three months since and I’m sure I could do all the filleting and even cut down on the total design time by another 30%.

My customers use SW though. So when the design was complete I translated all the files into solidworks and did all my component detailing in it. Solidworks detailing is pretty hard to beat for speed. And this way everything is already translated for them

Can I ask why you don’t use SW to do the whole lot? This type of work is what it’s made for.

I’m not saying don’t use Rhino (I’ve been daft enough to use it for doing equally complex ‘engineering’ jobs in the past) - just curious to know why you chose it over SW.

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Here is a list of reasons for me. I’m sure other people would disagree but this is what I have found:

  • Faster to do most things (Putting screws / holes is soo much faster with Rhino)
  • Rhino is way more stable. No more frustrating crashes and having the software hang up on things that leaves you scratching your head.
  • Direct Modeller. No more worries about history tree.
  • Better surfacing.
  • Better Community / support.
  • Less clicks to get the same thing done.
  • Price. Huge price difference
  • “Sketching” is more intuitive in Rhino and you have more options. I find Solidworks Crashes often with sketches.
  • Cheaper hardware. Rhino runs great with GTX cards whereas Solidworks not so much. It works much better with Quadros.
  • I prefer designing on one flat level rather than having parts, bodies, assemblies… and so on.
  • Recently Solidworks made a policy change in their pricing for maintenance and upgrading costs. You now must pay retroactively for previous missed years of maintenance to upgrade. It used to be you could pay the maintenance for the year fee and upgrade to the latest version no matter how many years you had missed. If they are going to implement this policy it should be going forward, not count retroactively. Poor decision as people bought into the software thinking they could upgrade at any time for the low price of the one year maintenance.
  • Solidworks does not allow to save in previous versions. This way you are strong armed into keeping up with the latest versions. Sleezy practice.

… The list goes on.

I’ve used SW for 9 years (what I first learned 3D design with) and since trying Rhino last June I haven’t looked back. I still like it for some things, namely detail drawings.


I am agree with you

Looking forward to see the die made and the part made. Do post some photos.

Thanks but unfortunately I won’t get to see either. I’m a contract designer and the shop is about 400km away. I rarely get to see my designs or even my customers in person.

I just realized that I lied. I do use a Plug-in. I use Pascal’s Extract Tangent Faces. That is very helpful with this kind of work.

That sounds useful, I’ll have to see if I can find it. I occasionally spend way too much time selecting faces to extract, anything to make it easier sounds like a good idea.

It’s near the bottom of this page:

Thanks, Wim. Lots of good stuff there by the looks of it. I shall do some exploring!

Impressive work, congratulations !