PanelingTools webinar topics?

I am planning to do one or more webinars devoted for advanced paneling topics. I wanted to see if people had interest in any particular topic. Here are few I’m considering:

  • Paneling strategies for trimmed surfaces and polysurfaces.
  • Use rectangular grids to create non-rectangular patterns.
  • Custom 2D and 3D patterns.
  • Parametric paneling with PanelingTools for Grasshopper.

If you will benefit from discussing one of the above topics (or other topics - please specify) then please let me know.

Also, if you have specific examples or modeling problems that may be solved with PT, then I’d love to learn about those and perhaps use in the tutorial.

All of them!
Non rectangular pattern could be very interesting, for me.

All of those subjects for me too!
One challenge I’ll have to answer soon is something like this image:

Marc, do you need to just create the 3D model, or do you plan to build a 3D prototype?

It’s for rendering purposes and I usually get pretty close to the real thing.

All of the items interesting, especially working with Grasshopper. I would like to see architectural examples meshing glazing for example.

Hi Marc,
I am sure you are much more creative than I am, but I ran a quick sample with simple module using PT where I did the stitching and tilted texture on flat surface (it does not have to be flat). I am happy to share the steps. You can also create a small variation of modules distributed randomly to break the uniform look of the morphed modules.


can you share a picture or example of what you would like to solve the paneling for?

I will not be able to cover all topics in one webinar. I am looking for a really good example to show one of the topics through. The furniture example shared by Marc is nice. I might be able to elaborate on it to cover the “custom paneling” topic.

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A few years back, I was looking into Paneling Tools in hopes it’d help lay down a non-overlapping pattern of fixed-sized objects on a model. Specifically, in jewelry terms, to create a pavee of stones on any given model. After hastily skimming through the documentation, things seemed to suggest that Paneling Tools only worked for a single surface. To be hit with such a quick non-starter was crushing.

If it’s true that Paneling Tools can be made to work across polysurfaces, this would be HUGE. And of course, to be able to learn a fundamental technique would expand into other areas beyond jewelry.

The pavee creation process would involve paneling a collection of aligned objects (each located in their own layer): the stone, the cutting object, and a set of prongs. Preferably the assembly would remain rigid in each paneled instance and would flow across the entire polysurface. At no point should the reference circles overlap each other.

At this point, I’ll even settle for paneling only the reference point and circle – but still continuously across a polysurface.

Bonus points if Paneling Tools could adjust the orientation of the grid (let’s say 45 degrees) or could do a random-looking best-fit arrangement.

Look for the 2nd Polysurface for something more challenging…

PanelingTools.3dm (2.3 MB)

Excellent Rajaa, it will be certainly most useful.

Any deeper insight into the power of Paneling Tools would be wonderful, Rajaa. In particular, strategies to create detailed perforations into a portion of a undulating polysurface, such as this:

Thank you!

This is a very good topic. I do get a lot of questions about staggered patterns and polysurfaces.
PanelingTools is flexible to work with any (or even no) base geometry. Just to illustrate the staggered pattern point, you can create multiple grids or populate to part of the grids. You really do not need to pack it. The following image shows the steps to deal with such patterns, There is also the edge condition that probably need special grid or module.

Yes, it should be possible to “rigid” orient modules. See the image below. Is that what you are looking for?
As for the star, where would you want to populate the assembly?

You also can easily achieve an “imperfect” look of the pattern when you use a number of modules that are slightly different and distribute randomly using ptPanel3DCustomVariable command. See the image below.

It’s great that rigid modules are do-able but just wanted to clarify that the primary functionality I’m seeking from PanelingTools is to find a way of extending the panel grid across multiple stitched surfaces that make up any given Polysurface. The proportions of the modules vs Polysurface I provided was perhaps impatience on my part. I’ve provided a better example of what I’m hoping PanelingTools can do – rigid-panel not only the middle surface but cross the “border” and cover the rounded surface… (I only manually laid down a partial patch as an example.)

Same for the starfish… at the very least panel ALL of the upper surface. I’ve exploded them into color-separated sub-surfaces in the following picture, but the pressing question is whether PanelingTools can truly panel the stitched collection without breaking up the paneling pattern. Shrink the rigid module to 1/4th the current size for a more form-fitting flow.

I’m interested as well in CarterTG’s topic (i.e. your first one)

Nice! You anticipated a designer’s thought process. The example looks planer?

Will module perforations flow over an existing predefined complex surface, such as the yellow region in the assembly image below (.Perf_Region_PT.3dm (328.4 KB) .3dm attached)

Furthermore, I second (third?) CarterTG’s query RE crossing joined surfaces when it is impossible or time consuming to recreate as a single surface.

I readily admit I can see the immense power of PT, but have not put the time in necessary to fully understand (though need to)…downloaded the documentation and went…oh that looks super time consuming to grasp. Perhaps such is the nature of a powerful tool. However, to add value in future, whatever can be gone to simplify the docs or create/add to a PT GUI should be a boon. (ptPanel3DCustomVariable - hum…what does that mean was my first thought) I know, easier said than done…I just need to quarantine and read the docs for a lost weekend or two, three…)

Thanks again for your effort, Rajaa!

Thank you for sharing the model. I will redo the example using it. I might even use it for the Webinar along with @CarterTG (if it is ok with you guys). I’m also planning to do a 3-day online class to step through the tools and processes.

The main difficulty with paneling is the “process” not the tools. The nature of paneling dictates that workflows become central to successfully panel complex geometry. I think the key concept to remember is that even if you have a polysurface, you do not need to use it directly in order to panel it. See the ring example below…

Here is the quick and dirty perforation on the non-planar surface. You can always do some extra cleaning work depending on whether you need to 3D print it, use for presentation etc.

As for the ring example, yes it is possible to panel across the seam simply because you do not need to use the polysurface directly, but rather project some curves and used those to create the paneling grid as shown in the following image:

The star is tricky, not because it is a polysurface, but because it is not clear how the stones need to be assembled. Is it a radial arrangement? Is it circular? You need to cover part of it manually or sketch it to be able to understand the repeated pattern and then you can start designing your grids, etc.

Thank you all for sharing your examples. They are tremendously helpful to me to best communicate and document the tools and also to keep enhancing them.

@rajaa Very cool! Quite labor intensive to model that with traditional tools. And yes, you may use the model as you wish. I drew it specifically for your PT example.

So, we are half way there. It looks as though the perforations follow the surface as requested. This is both good and bad. Fine for additive print. Bad (as is in impossible) to injection mold. That leads to the next PT question:

For this archetype, to be truly useful with molded products, the modules need to flow onto and follow the surface, however, the perforations themselves need to be in one planer direction (and they may need draft…depends, but let’s forget draft for now).

Assuming the tool core pull is the direction illustrated by the cyan lines below (direction the tool halves part) is this something PT can handle if one knows what one is doing?

@ec2638 Yes this is certainly possible. It is all about how you create and position your bounding grids.
Here is a simple example. I created a surface, offset for a 2d bounding srf, then created a grid on each surface using ptGridSurfaceDomainNumber. The module is a simple box with a hole. When you populate the module (using ptPanelCustom3D), you get the angled morphed modules.

In the 2nd image, I created one grid, then projected the bottom grid onto the top surface instead (you can also copy the grid vertically to create your 2nd bounding grid). This guaranteed that the modules maintain the vertical holes.

In summary, panels follow the bounding grids whichever way you create them.
Is that useful?