Möbius-like Surface?

How would you achieve something like the below image in Rhino?

I thought about the following, but there must be an easier way;

  • tracing the edge

  • pulling control points in Z direction to make 3D
  • splitting curve into sections
  • Sweep2Rail using segments of curve and a line running across

It seems very tedious to do that with every section, and merge all the surfaces… is there an easier way?

Inspiration = Merete Rasmussen (@_mereterasmussen) • Instagram photos and videos

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My workflow for such shapes(I’ve designed dozens possibly hundreds of concepts for high-end playgorund equipment based on this general idea)is to make a 3D curve along the centerline of where I want the strip, then make a flat(to start with)plane for the ribbon and “Flow” that onto the curve with history, then I might Twist or otherwise modify the strip to get all sorts of wacky things going on. That shape is a 10-minute job this way.


I’d shape this by hand with a strip of plastic / paper / foam, 3D scan it with my Artec Leo and then quad remesh…

Shoe laces - Gallery - McNeel Forum


I can’t help feeling that people are underestimating the work that has gone into this shape to achieve the subtleties of the curves…


This is an interesting idea, thanks! How would you initially get the flat surface from the curve? ExtrudeCrv? I have tried this as a starting point and because it self-intersects it becomes difficult.

Definitively try with SubD.

Can you elaborate ?

Nah, with Flow, History, and cage editing this is child’s play.

Just draw a simple Plane, make a center Line along its length, and Flow it along the 3D curve. Then, to make it twist around I can use the Twist command on the plane, or Cage editing, and to change the profile I might do cage editing or just point-editing.

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Jim, please show us. After all most of us won’t have done dozens possibly hundreds of exercises like this. I hope you can afford the ten minutes necessary.


You think I’m joking?

The challenge is rationalizing such a concept into sections of pipe with a minimum number of bend radii.


Not at all. I ask because I was recently working on a lighting concept that was way simpler than this and it took me ages to get to something I wasn’t wildly happy about. I’d love to see how easy it can be for someone with experience.


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Your first image suggest something not technical.
I would do it by moving points manually.
With SubD:


I am attempting the method you describe. The plane, when flowed through 3D curve gets wonky fast. Your playground example is exactly the type of thing I am trying to do.

If you have the time, I agree with @jeremy5 … it would be great to see an example video/.3dm

Of course I tried and rushed too much and it indeed got all wonky :), maybe later…

You have to make sure the radii in the 3D curve aren’t too small and making it fold on itself, you have to be aware of how the profile of the surface twists as it goes around the 3D curve independently of whatever twist you add to the base surface.

Flowing some brightly-colored reference curves extracted form the ribbon along with the surface can help keep your bearings, tell you what part of the flat surface corresponds to where on the target.

So all that really adds up to is starting simple, taking it easy, gradually adding detail.

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What I understand from the process of the artist is that it is ceramic so it seems to be done by hand.

A process in Rhino/Grasshopper could be
Draw the middle curve in Rhinoceros
Then make the “lateral lines” using a rotation angle and perpandicular frames.
Then loft

You can do the angles with genepool but you must carefully choose the number of angles and the domain I took 20 points and 720° for the domain.

Then you can make a sort of minimal surface with the shapes. The shape must be meshed. There are many many components to do that. I used Millepede because it was the first that appeared on my

twist and shout.gh (15.4 KB)

And a new version, less points for the angles but a new logic to “smooth” the angles transition using nurbs curve.
Some remeshing smoothing …

twist and shout v2.gh (24.0 KB)


ribbon.3dm (630.7 KB)


Thanks so much Laurent! Looking through these forums you are the legend of every thread. If you ever sold classes or skype sessions I would be in line.

Thanks very much. How did you split these down the center line?

I was curious and looked up the sculptor -

She works by hand, has been doing this for many years and each piece takes a long time to make.