Modelling Wax like structures

Hi all,

Am new to the forum but an intermediate Rhino user.

For a university project I have created these wax structures, shown below.

I am struggling for an efficient way to model something similar to these in Rhino, could anyone offer any advise?

Many thanks,


Hi Alun - I do not have any good ideas for Rhino on this - this looks like something perhaps more suited to a a mesh or voxel sculpting tool.


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I would try sculptris or Z-brush for that.
Or laser scan them or use photogrammetry (might have to paint them to get rid of the gloss) if you just need tham as pure mesh objects in Rhino.

How about silicone rubber mold of a physical part ? As in traditional jewelry
Replication of an object. ----Mark

Not used yet, but maybe interesting for you - Rhino render engine AIR and geometry output based on blobby objects:

Voxels are most suitable for such amorphous structures. You might look into 3DCoat – it’s cheap,
has academic pricing and a Demo. This took 10 seconds or so, just a some random strokes with the Pen.

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Hi Alun,

Mesh modelling would be the best way to go but I think it will be a lot of work for you, I don’t think there will be a quick way of doing it.

As well as the other suggestions there is also Meshmixer and 123D catch or similar.

The best way might be to paint them and then scan them.

What’s the main reason for getting them into Rhino, what do you intend to do with them?


you made a 10 second cochlea :smiley:

It is uphill struggle in Rhino. I would make small (3x3) point cloud with PointGrid command. Then I would copy it and I would rotate the copies with gumball to make the rough shape. I would explode the point clouds and edit the points with the gumball. When the shape is correct, I would make a mesh with MeshPatch command.


Thank you so much for your replies. I really am grateful.

Andy - I am attempting to represent forms similar to the wax sculptures displayed above in order to speculate them as a building material. So I will need a degree of control and the ability to reform/mould these elements. This means the welcomed suggestions of mapping a scan/photo of the models above aren’t appropriate, as what I am trying to model isn’t an exact copy of the forms above - I am trying to create objects which have a similar textural appearance, but of different forms.

I am trying ZBrush now, as I suspect this may be a task which cannot be run within Rhino alone. Many thanks for your suggestion Holo. (Just a shame the software is so expensive!)

I will also try 3DCoat later in this week and compare the results. (Thank you Hifred).


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Even if I try hard to do a quick doodle I just can’t help making something meaningful :o)

Zbrush is great (I use it too) but it doesn’t use Voxels. To represent such additive drop structures and partial merging and melting together there’s no better approach than Voxels.

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This seems perfect for RealFlow, it would also allow you to set a number of parameters to define your shape, after generating the meshes there you could take them to Rhino for detailing

If you wan’t to develop a parametric pipeline for generating these, it might be worth it to pick up Grasshopper. You could develop an algorithm for generating and clustering some points/curves (say maybe using the Kangaroo physics plugin) and then mesh these using an isosurface algorithm (say with the Cocoon plugin). Obviously this involves quite a bit of learning, but if you’re looking to get into generative design methods. No better place to start than Grasshopper :slight_smile:


Thanks for the detail, I see what you mean. I’d second Anders’ suggestion of Grasshopper to give you some kind of automation. Adding filters and layers of detail in other programs might give you the look and feel but Grasshopper would give you some kind of scalable parametric control.

I wonder if something like blender would be of use with physics? Dripping fluids etc…

I wouldn’t know where to start but i’m very interested to see what you come back with, do share your thoughts and examples as you get closer to your goal?

Good luck!


Hi, glad to be of help!

That’s why I also recommended Sculptris… It’s free.

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I’m not saying this is a good way, but you could model the base form and then apply displacement to get the intricate details. This is best done in a GPU renderer in for example Iray or Octane. Iray got a 3 month trial and it’s quite easy to use, you need a medium good Graphics card though. I run it with dual 980tis and at home with a 1060, significant difference but both works.

Me imagino que desde un grupo de diferentes imagenes de cada pieza,
se puede modelar algo similar,
pero no desde una sola imagen de cada una.
( tambien dependera que nivel de detalle, necesitas,pues las formas tienen detalles pequenios,
que la complican un poco)

Sculptris lo conozco, pero tendras la misma necesidad base, para partir.( un grupo de imagenes)
Zbrush es mejor que Sculptris, pero caro !.

Rhino : si lo deseas modelar en Rhino, te llevara un gran trabajo,pero es posible acercarse,
desde diferentes tomas de cada pieza (6 u 8 minimum, monge facades/… y blue prints !!)

Scanear 3D/ : lo mas simple,escanear el modelo,reconstruirlo en otro software.
Nubes de puntos a volumen 3D.

Hey, did you ever figured it out? I want model wax like structure.