Importing surfaces with quadrilateral elements

Merry Christmas everybody!

I often create surfaces in a different mathematical program (in my case, Matlab), and then want to import the surface into Rhino. These surfaces are typically mesh (coordinate) data, and specified in terms of vertices and connecting faces for quadrilateral (or triangular) elements.

As an example, I have uploaded a test.obj (wavefront file) here: http://pastebin.com/n7iYmd0Y

so that you can import this into Rhino if you like.

It generates the two pictures:

Shaded view

Pen view

The thing is that I would like to create visualizations that emphasize the quadrilateral elements of the surface, which can be seen in the shaded view, but not in the pen view. So for example, is it possible to replace each quadrilateral element with both a face element and an edge element with a certain thickness?

One way for me to do this would be to painstakingly write a script that draws each individual face of the surface, and then also draws a separate edge element around the quadrilateral. But I imagine that there might be easier ways to do this.

Hopefully I have been clear about the end goal. Essentially, I would like to see the quadrilateral and edge elements over all the rendered views, without certain rendered views ‘smoothing’ out of the surface and only drawing the outer boundaries. In the future, I might want to have control over the materials for both the face and interior edge elements.

Note that I am using Rhino for Mac.

is it possible to replace each quadrilateral element with both a face element and an edge element

Command -> MeshToNurbs

with a certain thickness?

Only global under Rhino Options -> View -> Display Modes -> Pen -> Objetcs => Lines -> Silhouette and Edge Line

(tested in Win…Rhino)

1 Like

Ahah! Wonderful!