Rhino vs Solidworks vs ThinkDesign

I propose two videos, I think interesting. Tell me what you think.
But Rhino is thus lower than the other two software video?

They used Patch to make the surface in Rhino. This is perhaps not the best option, so I don’t think this is a fair test. NetworkSrf probably would make a better surface in the first movie. We’d have to see a model to test.

Margaret, you can easily reconstruct the two models and do some testing. In any case, I do not think Rhino manages to make what could be thinkdesign, even using the best modeling techniques. Not always surfaces in Rhino are clean and with perfect tangents even if they are made​​!

As margaret said, patch is the wrong tool to use. In order to get smooth zebra transitions, you need curvature continuity. Patch can adjust tangency as it may, it will never give the result they show for the others. NetworkSurface is able to adjust curvature and give proper results as far as I could test without the original geometry.

Basically, those videos compare three toolboxes by taking two screwdrivers and a hammer an then complaining about how bad the screw looks after applying the hammer and how bad that toolbox must be. They either deliberately ignored the third screwdriver or just didn’t recognize it because the handle was blue instead of red as the other two…

I’m not saying rhino is better or perfect. Just saying that the videos don’t show a valid comparison.


Totally agree. with you @HaLo

If the idea is to compare the power of just patch in the 3 softwares, I think we could have a more predictable and precise tool. It’s strange the case where you can join the result of patch with the surrounding surfaces, without using match before.
No experienced user would use patch for the first case, but do we have a tool that let us select more than 4 edges as boundary preserving curvature? The only way I know without vsr take a lot of extra work.

The user does not know what he is doing.
I haven’t used PatchSrf in the last 4 years or so…
BlendSrf would probably gave the best result in the two examples, with the added benefit that you could adjust the shape at any point, the influence of each side, the desired tangency or curvature continuity, all with a shaded preview while you interactively move the controls.
And the result is not a big trimmed surface like in the other two software, it’s a single surface without trimmed boundaries that is easily modified if needed and will play nicely when exported for fabrication.
BlendSrf is Rhino’s best surfacing tool in my opinion and can be compared with any other commercial software.

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It may not have been adept at using the right strategies modeling with Rhino, certainly did not take into account the continuity between surfaces, in fact zebras only prove continuity of position, but I believe that in each case the instruments ThinkDesign are higher, perhaps mathematics used by developers are more accurate; for example, Rhino close a hole with a good continuity of curvature of a curved surface is a nearly impossible feat, Alias ​​does best, other software such as UGS NX or Catia even better, in my opinion.
So many things we should improve in Rhino, many have remained steadfast to several years ago, small changes but nothing radical … (I would not make too much needless controversy).
In the years has perhaps lost sight of the main function of the program, as modeling of forms (and not the rendering, shadows, displacement, etc.).
We should focus more on tools , already good, 2d and 3d modeling , as offset, patch, loft, sweeps, matchsrf… etc.

You can moan about the unfair comparism as long as you want, fact is:
Using network surface will probably give better results, but it will still be a bumpy and wobbely surface.
To create smooth and fluid organic surfaces (like the automotive surfaces in the example) one has to use bezier/single-span surfaces.
Rhino (without additional plug-ins) is rather limited for the creation and manipulation of said class A surfaces.

ThinkDesign on the other hand seems to be have quite powerful tools.
Just look at the resulting class A polysurface when the blend between car body and wheelarch border is created in a single operation: impressive!
And no, Rhino’s blendsurface is nowhere close to this tool.

But admittedly (and thank god), neither is Rhino’s price close to Alias, ICEM, ThinkDesign etc.


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I watched the video better: I think that the purpose of the video is to make people understand the differences between the three software using mostly the surface patch, how it behaves better. The “Patch” Rhino has improved but is not the best; sure the patch is used by thinkdesign class-A, very high performance. This could be a starting point for improving the stromento Patch, a little lacking in Rhino, or not?
Logically, to get a better result with Rhino should use other tools …

Sure it would be nice if Rhino’s Patch could do G2, but a couple notes:

1)Since Rhino’s patch supports History now, you can add a point or blend curve or something and tweak it until you get something that looks perfectly G2-ish. And the fact is G2-ish is all you can hope for, a G2 (or even G1) patch from an arbitrary number of edges isn’t actually mathematically possible.

2)If you find yourself needing this often, you’re using a poor NURBS modeling workflow, which is clearly the case in at least one of those examples.



After a few non starters like Qatar Football Association I think I have deduced this is to mean Quite Frequently Actually.

Am I right?

It was intended as

QFA: quoted for approval

So I was agreeing with the quoted part of @JimCarruthers post

But after a quick Google search I get that it can have lots of other meanings (e.g. quit f***ing around)
So sorry for the confusion.


You need to use another workflow. It is perfectly possible to obtain a completely smooth version of your shape in Rhino.

For production, yes, for design, no.

Using patches and and all other kinds of tricks and tools to get to the shape one is after is a must. Be dirty in the moddeling so your vision controls the shape, instead of letting the workflow control it.

And when a car goes to production the surfaces will most likely be remodelled by the the engineers, so G-perfect isn’t that important. Too many cars have been design with focus on the surface continuity instead of the overall expression IMHO. Also most cardesigns goes from 3D to clay to handtuning of the clay, to scanning and back to 3D. Because you can’t beat the touch of the hand and nobody cares if the G-continuity is perfect if the hand doesn’t like the shape :smile:

Edit: And please include the model, so we can fiddle around and find the best workflow for a perfect surface!
That would be a good exercise.

Hmm using those tools means you don’t really have a grip on the shape, you’re just saying “here are some edges make it smooth,” you don’t know what you want at all.

Most of these situations can be avoided if you take some advice from the other Jim. Remember how he was always yammering on about FilletSrf being better than FilletEdge? Well he’s right, and when you start working on complex forms with that in mind instead of trying to make everything a solid to round the edges off of, the nasty 5-sized corners largely disappear, they turn into fillets on top of fillets(substitute “blend” if you want to talk about “class A,” thanks for the picture no one is talking about cars here,)and you have much better control.

Yep, sometimes you just have to hack something out no matter how, but if you don’t understand the tool well enough to know when it can be avoided, you’re not really going to realize your “vision,” and I don’t think most Rhino surfacing users have the luxury of passing off junk to the engineers to redo.

Haha well, if you can’t predict a patch then don’t use it.

I agree 100% that there are no problem in making top notch surfaces if one has the skills.

That said, finding form, and pro modelling does not need to be the same, nor does paying too much attention to detail always help finding the best shape/design. Thus we all draw. Freedom is freedom, and I only say that tools like patch can play a role in such freedom.

I didn’t get this part: “thanks for the picture no one is talking about cars here” since the topics first video is of a car bumber, and most discussions regarding “Class-A surfaces” are related to cars and other glossy, painted surfaces where reflection is key.

To sum it up, I totally agree that using the better tools are key, and at the same time I say keep on sketching until pro modelling is needed. And sometimes that is from the start.

QFA, as someone else said recently…


There is iCapp RhinoReverse patch command which is pretty darn good. Much better than Rhino’s and Solidworks patch commands. Think’s patch looks really impressive. I’ll need to see it handle an n-sided patch, before I can render a verdict.

Thank you for starting this thread.