Inflatable gate

Hi everyone
I’m new in rhino community and also in rhino software so… my question is how to make an inflatable objects
and separate all the objects for high format printing to finally stitch/sew them together for one enormous inflatable gate/tent
like this one for example.
Do I need some special plugin for that?

Thanks in advance , Peter

Hi Peter,

This can be done with Rhino for sure, @Steve_Howden hes been doing it for years.
Also @hannesgrebin has been working on similar projects and could be of help as well.
Maybe either of them can give you some tips to get started.

However it’s not trivial, meaning you need to develop your own workflow and find the tools best for the job. There might be a tutorial or something around that I’m not a ware of.

In any case if you run into issues try to ask for help here, this community has proven to be a great place for fellow rhino users and developers to help out.


Thanks @Willem for introducing me. Yes, to fully make this thing working you could do the ExactFlat approach (they have an rather inexpensive online version out there but was buggy so far when I tested it and not sure how it would deal with images/textures but the normal approach would be ExactFlat and Armadillo (renders the flattened 1:1 textures to image files) or you could try if it’s simple to make rough outlines for the images and pull those AI vectors to the existing surfaces than squish, smash or unfold those surfaces with the related curves and then export it to Photoshop to 1:1 shapes and tweak the artwork right into place - this would be inexpensive not so accurate but fair enough for simple shapes.

what I know most inflatable or balloon companies have also some inhouse scripts to accelerate the process for repeating shapes like all kinds of balloons.

waiting for a simpler all in one approach, talked to the guys from Disney research they have a promising program to even check how shapes would look like inflated and the option to set inner bridges to better controll the overall shape.

Watch the video:

Here is the link to Airworks for you inspiration, they are the best for inflatables (not balloons or helium structures)

just to mention, most simple designs are rather pre-shopped shapes (look them up on Alibaba) and you would apply artworks with printed foils afterwards.

though about it, if you have a Poly modeler like Modo or Maya, you can unfold several UV patches to textures but you have to verify that all matching edges are always the same length and when welding the PVC later you have to create at least 1cm as an outline. If you have your texture to the edges, you need another PS plugin to extend your texture to those extra 1cm for overlapping the several patches when sewing or welding. Hope that helps

2 cool videos (a maya plugin & marvelous designer. this is cool stuff.