NEXT surface tools

Rhino 3d is a formidable program, which throughout its history has benefited from powerful integrated tools such as SUB-D modeling and Grasshopper. However, he fell behind for what he was born for; a very powerful nurbs surface modeler.
From this point of view, he is close to playing his cards like software such as ALIAS Studio or ICEM SURFs. Actually, in the past an interesting plugin (VSR) dedicated to the Automotive Class A surfacing had been developed by third parties, purchased and then “destroyed”, for obvious reasons by AUTODESK.
I do not ask to implement these functionalities in the software, but at least that a plug-in is available, because in 2022 it is still not possible to perform a multi-rails sweep and the availability of dynamic tools that put in continuity G2 / G3 surfaces with the degree of accuracy required. I mean, Alias doesn’t do any magic that Rhino couldn’t do!
Thanks for listening to me


Hello - the availablilty of a plug-in is of course not up to us - the most we can do is help those developers. We can in some cases add or improve functions - it is helpful to know specifically what is needed - I understand much of this has been discussed before, but when making a request, it is useful for us to know exactly what it is that you want changed/fixed/added.

Can you describe what you mean by

dynamic tools that put in continuity G2 / G3 surfaces with the degree of accuracy required.

in some detail?


Hi -

FWIW, I’ve heard mention of Kajto as the VSR replacement. I haven’t been able to get more information on this one, though…

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Thank you Pascal

I do not think it is necessary to add further reasons why the availability of a command to generate surfaces through 3 rails or multirails is essential, since we know that it cannot be replaced, for example, as is erroneously believed, with the network surface command that almost never generates merged surfaces with adjacent surfaces within the same tolerance, and also generates surfaces with unwanted filleted edges.

When I talk about dynamic continuity, I am referring to what softwares like Alias ​​or ICEMSURF do, in which the continuity of the surfaces is achieved, in a precise way, by manipulating control points or grids, supported by elements of analysis in real time. On YouTube there are certain tutorials dedicated to Alias ​​and ICEMSURF which clearly show how to achieve quality results with the tools integrated in these software. I currently use XNURBS in Rhino, which is a great step forward, but we are still a long way from the software mentioned above.

Surface tools in Rhino have remained to those of V3 release basically…



Is there a video tutorial? Is there an evaluation version?


These so-called ‘high end’ tools copied from Alias and ICEM that 12 people are always asking for and foolish souls make plugins for that are never successful–except one that managed to be bought out by Autodesk and abandoned, yay–are never going to be sufficient to actually begin to displace those products in the automotive industry, nor are they particularly relevant to how Rhino is actually used in that market and growing those niches.

but I don’t think so…

In my automotive center we use from long time Rhino and xnurbs, with good results for one first level of surfaces quality.

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Hi Salvatore - thanks, I know there are plenty of wonderful tools out there, and plenty of videos and tutorials, more often than not in far more expensive software than Rhino. What would be most helpful for us is concrete examples, in Rhino, of something that fails to finish the job with the available tools.


Hi @JimCarruthers I agree with you on some points, and I’m probably one of those 12 people asking for some features that I knew while using VSR. I agree that it’s almost impossible to beat ICEM or Alias in their niche, Automotive industries usually have huge budgets and they will not use a software that tries to copy others, they will go for the best available, it’s also difficult to sell and recover the development investment for a plugin that should cost more than Rhino to generate some profit.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that VSR wasn’t a great way to see what’s possible with NURBS/beziers and how much friendlier the interface could be with the same math under the hood.

I think that Mcneel developers are doing some interesting enhancements lately like match with history, the extend edge function, edge continuity, refit trimmed surfaces, and some small enhancements to the gumball to mention some. All these new things can benefit everybody, no matter the industry.

If you see my post from 2020 there are some of these requests that now are integrated features
2020 request for V8

If this is a good place to keep asking I still wish we had:

1 - A more integrated way to manipulate surfaces like the Control Point Modeling tool


2 - And a better way to rebuild curves and surfaces with different criteria, like arc length, curvature or original distribution.

3 - A way to convert an asymmetric curve or surface into symmetric, respecting average, or one master side.


Hi Joaquin - can you give me examples of these?


What about sweep 3 rails?


Hi Pascal, sure I will show you some examples.
In the meantime, this is a request I made last year, that it’s related. Link
The tool is called surface/curve approximation and the specific request is for what’s called discretization or points distribution.
One good thing would be the visualization of points during the preview.


So… the approximation is asked to prioritize maintaining arc length or maintaining the progression of curvature, correct? - is it restricted to single spans?


The surfaces approximation tool from vsr converts any single or multi-span surface to a single span.
I’m not sure about the math behind it, but if I could choose I would combine rebuild and rebuild UV and have the chance to get single or multi spans depending on the degree and points you choose.
Isn’t rebuild UV something similar to the arc, curvature and original distribution options?

Hi Joaquin - I was just wondering what the UI allows - it looks like only a single span can come out of this.
RebuildUV samples isocurves in one direction and lofts them - I do not think is is more complicated that that and that’s why you only get degree 3.


I see, thanks for the attention to the request. Maybe the discretization (arc, org, curv) options can be available only when you set degree and points for a single span.

Thanks - To be honest, I would not hold out a lot of hope that something like this would make it to the top of the pile any time soon - We have, most likely, all we need in the way of math infrastructure and brains but while I’d like to be wrong, it just seems unlikely, given the stuff already on the list - however, there is no harm in articulating the wish and putting it on ‘the pile’, one never knows.


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@salvatore_setola it looks like there is no evaluation version nor a video (at least not on Youtube), the flyer doesn’t tell more than the webpage and when you click on buy a license it creates an e-mail, so the price will probably be more than the cost of Rhino itself. Maybe a trial version can be requested by e-mail.

The company is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom so it might be tailored towards specific uses and maybe less suitable for general use but without a trial version there is no way to tell.

There are surely more than 12, but I get that high quality surfacing tools are a niche (albeit not quite as small as @JimCarruthers was estimating)
The only thing I can say is that the money spent on the VSR/Autodesk plugin was the best I ever spent on a Rhino plugin, with xnurbs coming in second.

The department of t-systems developing Kajto is located in Wolfsburg (VW town) so I guess they are targeting automotive subcontractors.
Will be indeed interesting to see the price and features of this software.
And of course it will with all probability be more expensive than Rhino (last version of VSR/Autodesk was 1400€), the question is: how much more?