Rhino for designing soft toys

I completely new here, apologies, I’m wondering whether anyone has used Rhino successfully for creating designs for soft toys. In that I’m referring to the type you would make a pattern to print and sew? Thanks!

Hi Kate - no need to apologize for being new! I’ll let users who have more relevant experience chime in on your question, but I do know that there are people making patterns for inflatables in Rhino and I suspect it is not vastly different from what you are after.


I’ve used rhino for making paper toys. It’s not quite the same but it does involve unwrapping a 3d object so you can make it out of a flat material.

@Steve_Howden might you be of help here?


Hi Kate,

Yes, Rhino is excellent for designing things like this.

The process is pretty simple (it’s the detail that’s hard).

Model up your toy.

Then look at the shape and make a judgement of where to put your seams. Areas with lots of double curvature need careful seaming.

Split up the model on your seams.

You can then use Smash or Squish to flatten the pieces.

That’s it really :slight_smile:



Thanks Steve, as a complete beginner with everything CAD and Rhino, shall I work my way through the tutorials first? Are Smash and Squish seperate programs or part of Rhino? Thanks again!

Hi Pockets,

Absolutely! You will find everything much more enjoyable if you do that.

Yes, Smash and Squish are part of Rhino.
If you end up doing a lot of this stuff, then it’s worth looking at third party plugins such as ExactFlat.


Thanks so much for that info, Steve… I’m eager to hear any advice anyone has on designing/drawing softies in Rhino and adding seams??..

Number 1. Keep it simple! Trying to build complex detail into something that small will drive the machinists crazy.
Number 2. Seaming is a compromise between minimizing distortion of double curved surfaces and keeping it SIMPLE

See attached teddy bear. This was a 3 metre high inflatable for a shopping center so the seams are more detailed than you could get away with in a soft toy. For example the armholes at soft toy scale would be impossible to sew without a narrow cylinder arm or post arm machine. In other words think hard about how it’s going to be put together.

As for modelling. Well that’s what the tutorials are for :wink:

Good luck, Steve