Shrinkwrap an assembly

Years ago I asked about the possibility of producing a “Shrinkwrap” surface solid. With the advent of 3D printers this would be hugely useful. The problem we always have is that we build systems using pipes that lie on unistrut rectangular strut supports such that there is a tiny line of contact that gave Rhino and other programs fits. Has any progress been made in this area? I work in Solidworks every day and Rhino is currently my repair tool for imported files so I am not very proficient with it anymore.


Hello - can you please post an example or two with an explanation of what you’d like to do? I have a feeling FilletSrf may be your friend here but I’m just guessing.


There are two reasons we’d like to be able to do this. We want to make 3d printed models of our rather large piping assemblies. Lots of parts are hollow, but at the scale of the printer they need to be solid. The second use is that we get lots of STP format parts from vendors that have tons of interior components and inside surfaces. If you could select a model and remove everything but the outside surfaces you can see that would be fabulous.

The 3d print models have an additional issue where round parts (pipes) lay against flat surfaces producing a error because the line of contact may have zero thickness.

When I saw your name I thought "Wow we go back a long way! Version 1.2 of Rhino? when I first started.

Hi Gary - OK - so the idea is to suck all the interior components and surfaces out - I misunderstood - over-interpreting your comment about the single line of contact being the problem

So, no there is no tool for this…
In the special case of parts that have an interior and an exterior made up of tangent faces with a non-tangent edge in between (think of stamped sheet metal as a solid) … I can help, but other than that, it’s not easy.


In Tsplines there was a routine to “pull” a subd mesh onto a polysrf and it would only reach what it could “see”. Downside was if you didn’t have enough quads it would be low fidelity. Think drape but in 360. So doing that, then testing which surfaces touched the new mesh you could eliminate the balance?

Just adding my 2 cents, but I would also love a command like this.
I quite often get asked to do the same thing for some of our boat designs. To seal up all the holes and make it into a closed volume (or close enough to) can be very time consuming depending on how something was modeled.

I just did a valve with an actuator from a vendor from a STP file. It is going into SolidWorks and we use lots of them so they really slow down our large system models. The vendors model had gears, switches, shafts and all kinds of parts inside the valve and actuator. I deleted all the parts inside then removed the inside of the shell too leaving only the outside surface. Then I removed all the holes I could and patched the ones I couldn’t. I also deleted all pipe threads, bolt threads etc.

When I tried bringing the STP file into SolidWorks directly it shows it as a bad file with gaps and other problems and that causes it to load and display slowly, and sometimes when printing parts go missing. After massaging in Rhino the part loads quickly with no errors. I’d do a lot more files but it is so time consuming that I only do the really egregious ones right now.

So if Rhino has a closed surface could it select all other surfaces or solids completely within that surface? That would so a lot right off the bat.