Workflow optimizing for product design

Hi everybody,

I’m continuing with Rhino+SWorks a product development made with NX for years by a whole lot experienced designer as I am nowadays. I use Rhino for the surfacing and SW to the product engineering.

As my boss knows that this won’t be the same than with NX, I’m trying to find the “cleanest” workflow to get some flexibility when the time comes to DESIGN WHILE MODELING.

The biggest lack of the process comes when I have to modify a filleted piece or change a surface that has continuity with other faces, so the blend and fillet surfaces don’t know what they are and quickly mess up. To deal with this I have to save lots of versions of the geometry and move constantly form a layer to another.
· Does anybody knows if someday we’ll be able to edit fillets and blend surfaces with Rhino?
· Are we able yet and I don’t know how? Tell me!! (Not “autodesked” plugins please)

Before the filleting I always try to build and keep a body made of four sided (untrimmed) single span surfaces to get from there the parts I need to modify if I need to (I always do) and for the process is very useful to keep the history of any single quad so I build them through clean lines and not through other surfaces borders, but that requires a good knowledge and experience about nurbs, grades, spans and so on, I’m on it… Anyway, It’s difficult to get a good continuity without breaking the history by using “match surfaces”.
· Any advice about this workflow proposal?

It would also be VERY useful to keep the Cpoints on and to be able to move and scale them the same way we can into the (for example) “merge curves” tool, where Alt and Shift can be used to softly and proportionally regulate the Cpoints.
· Any advice about managing Cpoints faster?

Layers, layer states, Cplanes, groups, blocks, saved positions, history… There are some concepts I’m trying to go deep on to manage my files the best I can but some of them seem to be very weak and lightway as the history or the groups… I know I still have a lot to learn and I’m investing free time daily on this to become better, but I think your own opinions and experience may be very useful to point some or other concepts into my learning path.

How would/do you manage your design process to be more agile?

Thank you very very much to all who spent some time reading this and trying to help.

Hi Jordi - there is limited fillet editing (FilletEdge created fillets) in the V6/WIP and BlendCrv as well as BlendSrf know about History and are themselves editable if created with History. MatchSrf has History as well as the ability to match to any location on a surface, not just the edge.

There’s a new Snapshot tool that saves positions, layer states and views all in one shot,

Some of that may help.


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One trick I’ve been using lately (since I mostly just use tiny fillets to break edges) is to use Edge Softening to wash everything. It doesn’t work all the time, but for the purpose of cranking out a model for SLA it saves me a lot of time while I’m still in process.

And the newly-history enabled MatchSrf and BlendSrf commands are a huge help. Those were definitely worth the 10 year wait.

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Hi Pascal, a tear has fallen due to your news hahahaha

I’ve seen a short video about MatchSrf and it looks very good specially for the quad modeling before the fillets.

That snapshot tool will be deffinetly a time saver no matter what.

From now I will keep improving with v5 until v6 comes.

Thank you very much!!

Hi hanscad and thanks for your answer.

I thought > _ApplyEdgeSoftenig was just for rendering but not to really change the geometry.

How are you exactly doing that?

Let’s see how those new features work in v6 and how limited is the history… but for sure we are talking about two of the most expected improvements since a long time ago…

Yes edge softening is for rendering, but the trick is to use the render mesh to output an STL file. I’m not at my workstation, but I believe something like ExtractRenderMesh is the command?

I realize this is a quite limited trick, and only works with a very specific workflow where all fillets are the same. But for tabletop reviews while the form is still being developed, it’s quite handy not to have to run for example a .5mm fillet around a whole model. So it saves me maybe an hour on the front end, per iteration.

The new history-enabled commands are an incremental improvement, not a magic bullet, but for me they’re saving a huge amount of time and for my use doing what VSR tools did but within my regular Rhino workflow.

Individual results may vary.


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Ok! I was missing the ExtractRenderMesh step…

It’s deffinetly a very good trick for meshes like STLs and I will count on it in the future for sure.

I’ve never tried VSR so when I discovered it was dead yet for Rhino but I’ve seen some videos and it’s good to have some of this capabilities even if they are just a starting base for future improvements into native Rhino.

I think it’s so sad we can not use VSR anymore…

Thank you!!

You can download a WIP of RH6 and see how that works for you.

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Thank you very much wim!

I will take time looking at this thoroughly when I’m free to give some feedback of my own experience.

Yes, sorry I didn’t realize you weren’t using the WIP. I’ve been using exclusively it for about 6 months now, and there are lots of small changes that have sped up my workflow considerably.

I made a small macro that saves the file in V5 format, so we haven’t had any compatibility issues with mac users or people unwilling to use the V6 WIP:

! _-SaveSmall version=5 Enter

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Being honest, the Macro Editor stills a complete unknown for me.
I think I should fix this as soon as possible…

For now I will take your command to save in v4 for the SW exporting :sunglasses: