Perforated metal


Any thoughts on how to make a sheet of perforated metal without incurring an enormous file size? The sheet is 7’ X 6’ and needs to read as one continual sheet. The perforations are 3/8" D w/ 1/4" spacing between (so, a lot of holes).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.


If your purpose is for visualization & rendering, then you can use a material with an opacity map of a single hole. That can be repeated as needed (both X and Y) to look pretty nice.The geometry is a single plane; all of the holes are achieved via mapping.

If you need to model all of the detail, you’ll want to avoid round edge fillets around all of those those holes. That makes the screen mesh and display slow to a crawl. One trick I use is to apply a chamfer to small details. You’ll get a nice highlight in the renders, but this trick uses less render-mesh faces (usually) than a rounded fillet.


i was messing around modeling the new vs old macPro a while ago and used geometry for the front of the current tower instead of a texture… (haven’t finished them yet… real work reared it’s ugly head :wink: )

dunno, i’d kind of recommend against going that route unless absolutely necessary… it’s not the file size to be concerned with so much (this one is around 45MB)… it’s the time it takes for the booleans to complete…

what i did was array a bunch (8500ish) of cylinders then boolean difference from the panel… i did it in smaller stages (maybe 1000 at a time) and the process still took a few hours to finish… if you want to do it in one shot, i’d suggest starting the boolean at night and it should be ready by morning :wink:

i tried a few different things such as arrayHole and different types of intersecting but none of them seemed any faster than the others.

but yeah, i’d basically do the same thing with the panel you describe… make the 3/8" cylinders then array them… then boolean difference (though in your case, it sounds as if they’ll be on a grid as opposed to the offset layout such as on the mac… so ArrayHole might be better?)

good luck :wink:


I ended up with an array of holes that I trimmed a surface with, then extruded the surface. Total holes - not sure - 2 or 3 thousand? Nothing like Jeff’s 8,500.
I still end up at 19 mgs - wondering if there was any way to make the cylinder of the hole a block and then instance it and repeat and join to the front surface.

Some related questions -

I seem to have clipping problems - the object disappears as I zoom in and out in layout. I’m not far from the origin nor is my model large - which are some of the obvious issues in other programs.

Also, does the Mesh Quality setting (i.e. - Jagged and faster / Smooth and slower) affect the Make2D vector output? I had to output a line drawing to take into AutoCAD to combine with something else and the overall quality was pretty dismal and the holes were faceted.

As always, thanks in advance -


No but the autocad export does, I don’t know what the proper output settings are as I haven’t used autocad in a few years, I’ve read about what the best type of export settings are for your type of file. If you try a few of the flavors or ouput settings when you export to acad you’ll get what you need, also hopefully someone else will chime in here and advise you of the best settings.
How much ram do have? Rhino chokes when I try to attempt the panel, I have a mere 3 gigs.


I have 8 gigs of RAM and I can move my model around pretty well but I’m a fanatic about keeping file size down.
I will look into the AutoCad export settings; I just went with the default this time around. I don’t always have a choice with AutoCAD - some of my clients require that I submit work as AutoCAD files.
Still mystified by Make2D though. This was my first real use of it and I expected clean, tight vector lines - but I got lines crossing lines, interrupted lines, etc. Disappointed by that command.