Need tips/tutorials on what tools to use to model "Streamline" geometry

Hi forum,

I am new around here and need some tips on how to “correctly” model streamline/teardrop geometry in Rhino. I am working on a small architectural project and i can’t for the life of me model these geometries (after many attempts) or even know how to approach them correctly. From my own experience, i see 2 ways to approach this process :

  1. Model all the geometry with sharp edges/rough edges and then try to fillet everything


  1. Rely heavily on the “streamline” isocurves to inform the geometry by Sweeping e.t.c or use isocurve sections and “surface from network of curves”

Or maybe i am approaching the process in the completely wrong way.

Also, I always manage to get something close to what i envision when i am trying all these methods but i tend to end up backtracking due to some fundamental issues in the geometry and design process.

What are there some fundamental design rules one should follow when you are handling such complex geometries to stop having to backtrack ?

Would be great to get some insight from people who have handled these sort of shapes/geometries before.

Thank you!

Crappy sketch is an early ideation sketch for the pavillion.

Hi Elbert - I think rule #1 for this sort of shape is to keep your surfaces and curves as as simple as you possibly can - the devil is in the details of the design of course, but big swoopy surfaces are often best made with a very low point count if possible and shaped by direct point editing of the surfaces. I’d shy away from Sweep2 and NetorkSrf unless you really have the design pinned down - these tend to make surfaces that are tricky to edit. History can help, but I’d start with Lofting as few and as simple curves as will get you close, and then point editing.


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Avoid the primitive shapes (sphere / cube / cone) – as well as the boolean operations – if you want streamline forms.

I recommend you build everything with curves and then create surfaces from those curves. You have much better control and way better results.

An example:


If you’re just getting started in Rhino, check out this free video called Dave`s golden construction strategies: How to analyze and model like a pro. It will help you understand some workflows and practices I have developed.

Its part of a full-length course called Rhino 5 Essential Training. If you’re not a member of lynda, here’s a link for 10-days free.

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Thank you for the great tips !

Thank you !