Offset 3D curves in the XY direction, following Z height?

I found half a dozen offset 3D curve threads but the solutions didn’t quite fit, I’m somewhat trapped in using the Offset Polyline component and it’s acting like a 2D projection.

I was expecting (hoping?) it would look the same from above, but follow the peaks and valleys of the curve. Not sure how to input that intention into the plane.

3d offset shortest (70.4 KB)

If you have a mesh or surface you can project the result

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I was thinking that, I’m familiar with getting the normal of a surface and working perpendicularly but in this case I was generating a shortest walk off of points with randomized heights. I left that off the upload b/c it’s a crashtastic mess.

I see what you are saying I think, instead of changing the point heights, I just put a wavy surface/mesh under that project onto it to get different heights.

Ultimately I’m just trying to create some visual interest for a CNC engraving operation with a V bit. This was the first pass I took, trying to randomly modify the heights of the curves after offsetting.

Use points to make a mesh, turn that into a brep and project the offset curves to it? (SLOW)

3d (77.2 KB)


That’s great Joseph! I need to smooth out those verticals to make it more organic and less faceted but that’s great.

The new component MultiPipe in Rhino7 can create nice shape but it is not 2d offset.
maybe you can extract the curves or the developers can add an option to create flat multipipe

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Why do you need to offset those curves in 3D? Can’t you just Engrave with the Vbit in 3D on that line?

I could but that is a different, bolder aesthetic, I’m working on a controlled chaos thing. It’s a test for a much larger piece, my professor asked me to come up with a subtle design that you’d have to unfocus on eyes to make out.