Sub d in production? What are you creating?

Every time I do a video I get a fair amount of abuse from the troll a verse- my most recent one had a subd part and predictably I got a hater exclaiming that “Subd is never used for production”

I personally have shipped subd parts for tooling so I know that’s not true, but it got me to thinking, subd had been out for a while now…

Are you all using it for production parts?

If so, drop an image and the story of the project below, I’d love to see what you all are doing with rhino Subd.

I did the cowling (and all the plenums, for which there are many) for this SR20 using Subd’s. I totally thought I was working on a conceptual model, and the client - at 9 am on a Friday - was like “Coooooool. Let’s ship it to production by lunch.” So, we just rolled with Subd’s, and it worked out just great. Given the amount of hand work that was baked into the production process, it was honestly the right tool for the job. Would recommend!

ETA - and I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s sorta the secret sauce to getting the absolute best quality from a Subd - IF your downstream process can support it, jack up your subd mesh settings and extract the display mesh and use that for tooling instead of a NURBS conversion. Try running Zebra on both, around your star points, you’ll be amazed.

ETA2 - the thumbnail of the vid is for the Twin Velocity (that I also did) but the SR20 is this one at the beginning of the video:


Hi Kyle,

We don’t have a go-to software, process or topology type. We rather keep a high-skill, high-craft approach, and we use the tool/technique that makes the most sense for each task in each project.

We do use SubD for concept work all the time, and we have been using SubD in our team, some of us for about 20 years, and our newbies for about 5-10 years or so.

How we use SubDs? It depends.

  • Sometimes we rebuild in Rhino Class-B+ surfacing for production geometry.

  • Sometimes we take the SubD and/or Rhino Nurbs and rebuild parametric in Solidworks. Usually to allow clients perform downstream abuse, but only with simplistic topology that anyone can handle.

  • Sometimes we cut hardened steel tooling right from our SubD models, simply converted (Usually in Tsplines or Fusion 360).

Here are a couple of products where all final/production geometry were done as SubD conversions, outside surfaces fully drafted as SubD, shelled parts done after Nurbs conversion. Never rebuilt as Nurbs/breps/solids. Just converted.


  2. Fresco Design: Industrial Design, Prototyping, Visualization

Someday I should upload some of our work to the galley. Not everything we do is in Rhino, but in every project we work, Rhino plays a vital or amazing supporting role.



1 Like

SubD / Quad Remesh is an efficient solution to convert 3D scans into manageable geometry. Many of the things I work on are organic free forms, climbing holds or helmets for example… I’m not a fan of classical NURBS re-engineering and fillets. I think this also becomes less of a necessity since some mold work is done with 3D printing.

I’m also a huge fan of the Shrink Wrap command. Together with Quad Remesh and SubD it offers many new possibilities which are a huge pain if not impossible in NURBS only modeling.

Below are some examples I can show:

The mold for this longboard started with a Subd:

This hangboard is a mix of SubD, NURBS and meshes:

These training tiles are modeled with SubD:

These climbing holds for Cheeta were scanned and converted to SubD with Quad Remesh for optimization and then exported as NURBS:

This brush was designed as SubD but the Chinese eventually remodeled everything… after providing an exact injection molded sample of the SubD shape:

1 Like

SubD is very useful with upholstered furniture,


Hey Kyle,
I use SubD a lot. Subtly, but frequently. Disregard red arrow in image (showing client something), Not all of this image is SubD but parts of it are. This will be printed and cast, in progress now.
Tombstone pendants only the lettering is SubD, I love the effect of rounded, casting friendly lettering and other small details.
As in both of these designs, I like the contrast of a more “organic” SubD look along with cleaner lines of PolySrfs.

These are all awesome! Keep em coming!

This is an electric guitar, the design is not mine, I just helped for the production drawings, cnc & stuff. I don’t have the actual guitar’s photos, but it is produced. It has a nice design concept: it is actually an ancient relic in Anatolia, a woman’s figurine, a goddess maybe. Anyway, it was the perfect case for SubD actually !