Trying Building Complex Surface since weeks without success - please HELP ME!

I am a craftsman working by hand on small objects using wood, silver & gold. I developed a model where I need to build pieces in 3D with Rhino to be able to have them made in metal I can’t work with by hand.

I’ve spend about 3 weeks now trying to build the surface outside of one piece and I ended up only in failure…

First I tried to build the surface by small parts like we could see for example on an airplance. (see BH_1)
Second I tried to make it flat and distort the surface to fit the geometry and then I tried to make a 3D piece form the 2D outline and cut though it with wire cut… (see BH_2)
Third failure and why I decided to seek help before to start crying like a baby, I was working on making one single ‘curve network’ that will cover my piece at once. (see BH_3)

It is obvious I am going in the wrong direction in how to build this… I am getting very frustrated because I know that software could help me do that easily. I want too build my idea and I am stuck at the really beginning…

I would greatly appreciate some help and advice. Thank you and I apologize for my poor English.

Forgot the last one :


Start by cleaning and rebuilding your input curves, and organizing them more logically. After that you can Loft vertical profiles with “Tight” option and history enabled, and push and pull the profiles to get smoother surface with good shading. If your surface gets a little off the overall (white) profile, than match it to this profile for position. Mirror the surface, and match for tangency with the mirrored copy, and make sure to check the “Average surfaces” option.

See my example (mind only that I took great liberties with initial geometry):

BH_3___.3dm (855.8 KB)

Still, this is a preliminary surface you built. To get a less stretched surface you might need to project some curves to get new profiles, possibly rebuild them, and Loft again as before.

After you are done building this surface, and made sure it matches the mirrored itself nicely, you can trim the “back”, and use Sweep2 to fill it, and _BlendSrf to blend with the cylinder.

There are many more other ways to build it, of coarse, and I don’t mind if guys jump in with a more elegant solution.

PS. It would help if you posted the reference picture too.

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First of all you have no idea how much what you wrote is appreciated. I’ve to follow your step and try to understand how you did it because the result is already so much better.

As for the reference picture it was on one layer inside the Rhino file but I guess imported photos are just linked to your computer hard drive location but not included inside the Rhino file?

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One additional question would be shall I continue on the work I made by arranging it or do you think it would be best to start over in a cleaner, better way from what I did and that would give me better results? thank you so much

It is totally up to you. If you continue on the old one, first - you have some reference, second - you learn to clean, match and rebuild things.

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Hello- for variety’s sake, I’ve attached a different approach to laying out the surfaces. The first thing to do though is lay out clean and simple curves - make use of the CurvatureGraph.

BH_1_PG.3dm (368.0 KB)



This looks like a violin bow, is that correct. If so I may have some ideas for you.

All my best … Danny

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Hello Pascal, thanks a lot! I looked at the file and the surface is really nice and smooth and specially on the top left part which was very difficult for me. I would love to know how you did that. Thank you also for the tip about the CurvatureGraph.

I’ve a couple of questions let me apologize if they sound newbie:
1- After you lay out your curves clean do you use the command Loft, or Curve Network to make the surface?
2 - Shall I worry about naked edges when building a surface made of few smaller surfaces? Is there a command that rebuild the surface made of many to one single surface without edges in the middle?

You guys are really helping. Thank you for your time.

Hello Danny, you are correct it is a violin bow.

On the new surfaces I made I used Loft and MatchSrf and a little control point pushing ‘by hand’ in some places. The very tip is a Sweep2.

The top corner is a loft as well, from the front edge of the top surface to the top edge of the descending surface. Then, MatchSrf for Curvature to each, and Trim that little corner off of the side surface (which also could be simpler, I did not change that) with the edge of this blend. I think I then matched to this trimmed edge for Tangency (MatchSrf command)