Thursday, 22 August 2013

3d PDF plugin for Rhino from Simlab

A picture tells a thousand words – a 3D model even more!

Wouldn't it be great to be able to rotate this image and fly through the yacht?
See for yourself after downloading the 3d-PDF of this design to your computer and opening it with Adobe Reader for example.

Mind you that a 3d-PDF doesn't work in a web browser. It only works after downloading and opening the 3d-PDF in Adobe Reader for example.

The Simlab 3d PDF plugin for Rhino is a perfect plugin to send a 3d model of your design to your customer.  The advantage is that you don't give your 3d model away and it is easy to use.

At RhinoCentre we tested this plugin and created a nice workflow that takes advantage of the features of the 3d-PDF.

Contact RhinoCentre for training if you like to learn our workflow.

Test the plugin for free at Simlab or buy directly for $99.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

MARIN integrates Rhino in their process for hull and propeller modeling.

This page comes from the Marin Report Newsletter of Jan. 2013.

The Dutch Maritime Research Institute (MARIN) is currently developing several plugins for Rhino for internal use. These plugins will be used for modeling ship hulls, propellers, appendages etc. These models are input for CNC milling and advanced CFD analysis.
One of these plugins will replace their current inhouse software 'GMS' for modeling ship hulls,  which has been in development for over 20 years.
RhinoCentre is happy to support Marin in this sensitive process as accurate 3d models are the starting point for any analysis at Marin. By offering software, training and consultancy RhinoCentre has hands on experience in the high tech demands of Marin. 

Offering knowledge to MARIN is something we are proud at!

Friday, 5 April 2013

RhinoCentre supports Dutch Shipbuilding

Dutch shipyards build or finished a wide variety of commercial vessels in 2012. RhinoCentre serves 50% of these shipyards with software, training, services or consultancy. This list doesn't show our involvement in the yacht industry, marine suppliers and ship designers. Not to mention our involvement in other industries like architecture, industrial design, jewelry etc.

The 'Infographic' down below shows an overview of these shipyards. The original image was published in the March 2013 issue of magazine SWZ Maritime. This adapted image is published with permission of SWZ Maritime. The total list you can find over here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

RhinoCentre at 3d printing event

RhinoCentre is partner of the 3d printing event in Eindhoven during the Dutch Design Week in the Netherlands.
Together with Rinus Roelofs and Gijs de Zwart we will show that Rhinoceros is one of the best software tools to create 3d models for 3d printing. During the exhibition we will show 3d print examples which were made with Rhino models. Also we will give a presentation during the seminar to show what Rhino 3d can mean for 3d printing.

Please visit us at Tuesday 25 October 2011 at the 3d printing event.

Register now for the exhibition (free) or the seminar (€95,-).

RhinoCentre modeled the 3d model  for this 3d print of a Diving Offshore Construction Support Vessel for Shipyard de Hoop. The 3d print was very detailed.

Rinus Roelofs is experimenting with 3d printing for several years now. His models are also printed in all sorts of exotic materials, like titanium, concrete etc.

Gijs de Zwart models mostly industrial design. Also he's active at Shapeways to manufacture and sell 3d prints. 

Monday, 26 September 2011

10 Years of Rhino in Ship and Yacht Design

For a Dutch Magazine called SWZ Maritime, I wrote this article in Dutch about 10 years of Rhino software in ship and yacht design.
Published with the permission of SWZ Maritime.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bridge Design with Grasshopper for Rhino

Royal Haskoning bridge design

The Westzanerpolderbrug in Zaanstad in the Netherlands was designed by Royal Haskoning a few years ago. When I offered a Rhino training to Royal Haskoning Architects, I developed a Grasshopper script which is roughly based on this design. With this script I showed the flexibility and power of Grasshopper in bridge design. The time to script this bridge was approximately six hours.


Try out yourself by downloading the zip file containing both the Rhino model and the Grasshopper script. The Rhinomodel includes the handrail post curve. 


Demonstration movie of the Bridge script

Monday, 25 October 2010

Ship Hull Design with T-Splines for Rhino


T-Splines modeling technology makes it possible to design ship hulls, yachts and free form superstructures in Rhino like never before. In the marine industry there's no comparable modeling tool as powerful as the T-Splines/Orca3d/ Rhino combination. Both high quality as fast results makes it possible to model fair ship hulls in little time. The tight integration with Orca3d offers even more functionality for analysis and modeling power. T-Splines can be applied in preliminary design as well as preparing ship hulls for production.
Ship hulls made with Rapid Hull Modeling can be used as input for T-Splines.

Modeling advantages:
  • model every shape you can imagine
  • very low amount of control points offer highest control;
  • due to the low amount of control points it takes less time to model high quality fair hulls;
  • existing hull shapes are easy editable with T-Splines to new types of ship hulls or apply design changes;
  • add shape control only at local regions were it is needed;
  • symmetry option automatically models the other side and takes care for continuity;
  • ability to convert existing NURBS and IGES surfaces back and forth;
  • add creases wherever you like.

T-Splines integration with Rhino:
  • T-Splines surfaces behave like NURBS surfaces when it comes to trimming decks, bulkheads etc. to a T-Splines hull shape;
  • T-Splines surfaces automatically switch to NURBS surfaces when T-Splines is not installed on a computer.
Orca3d functionality that works with T-Splines: 
  • real time sections to analyze the 3d shape;
  • automatic lines drawing generation;
  • hydrostatics and stability calculations;
  • speed and power analysis;
  • export to PIAS.

All these advantages don't come for nothing. Although the price is very affordable and the T-Splines user interface is very friendly it takes a while to understand the inns and outs of working with T-Splines. Also understanding how to come to high quality surfaces containing low amount of control points takes some time, especially for the first time.
Some sixty hours were invested in the results you see in the video. Now several shapes have crystallized it takes less time to edit these or modify them to other ship hull types.
If you think T-Splines adds productivity and quality to your workflow it is worth investing in T-Splines training for marine industry now offered by RhinoCentre.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Scan and Solve for Rhino, FEM stress analysis; FEA

Villo retractable roof deflection analysis

Scan and Solve for Rhino3d is one missing link for concept designers who integrate all aspects of reality in their new product designs. This new plug-in is in development and therefore free to use and test out. The ideas behind this plug-in are brilliant and result in an easy to use strength analysis tool. You only need a closed solid in Rhino and no mesh anymore!
In a clear and simple Scan and Solve menu you can specify the material, restraints and one or more loads. Depending on the complexity of the geometry your solution is presented quite fast.

Adding material, constraints and loads
As we don't have to bother with meshes anymore it is easy to compare design variations or perform other design or engineering strength analysis fast. Furthermore it is inside Rhino so the interface is well known and no import and export time is lost.

Danger levels according to Von Mises

With visual representation of deflection

For the Villo project I tested Scan and Solve in order to analyze the retractable roof. In addition I tested out the differences between hollow and solid geometry. This resulted in some interesting considerations.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Rhino sectioning & lines plan drawings

Sections in Rhino3d are used for:
  • Analysis purposes of fairness and shape of 3d geometry
  • 2d drafting and export to for example AutoCAD
  • Lines plan drawings
Sections and lines drawings can be made with:
  • Rhino3d techniques (contour, section etc.)  
  • Orca3d plug-in sectioning and lines drawing feature  
  • ArchCut plug-in (free) 
  • Grasshopper plug-in visual script tool (free)
  • Download the Ship Hull Rhino3d file used in the demo video

Creating sections and lines plan drawings fast and accurate is very simple with Rhino. Commands like section and contour are mostly used.
In order to create automatic updates of sections and 2d drawings the free ArchCut plug-in does a wonderful job.

Orca3d plug-in for naval architects is the most convenient solution and also offers hydrostatics, stability and power and speed prediction features.

Visual scripting with Grasshopper plug-in is a new and very powerful tool to make Rhino more clever with scripts.

Download a free ship hull script which also generates sections automatically and see a video tutorial.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Grasshopper Parametric Ship Hull Modeling

Parametric hull modeling for concept design requires a flexible and versatile approach. Therefore we are very proud to publish a new way to model ship hulls with a free open source Grasshopper script.
The script we publish over here enables you to model a bulbous bow pram type hull with a press of a button. Other ship types are also possible when you dive into the script and modify it to your needs. Extra functionality can also be added by expanding the script with your creativity. At the moment an automated volume displacement and centre of buoyancy calculation and a real time lines plan is included.

This script is the result of a collaboration of the following people from their respective companies and organisations:
  • Bas Goris, GustoMSC, started the quest for Rhino hull modeling methods
  • Phil Shapiro, Cadlantique, presented the loose loft 3d curve technique
  • Bart van Oers, TU Delft, put this Rapid Hull Modeling methodology in Rhino Script
  • Julien le Rouzic, GustoMSC, converted the Rhino Script into a Grasshopper Script
  • Gerard Petersen, RhinoCentre, added real time lines plan and displacement functionality

For us it is important that you share your experiences, changes and additions to the script. So please send them to us and we can learn from you!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Modeling Developable Hull Shapes in Rhino3d

Developable hull shapes play an important role in the marine industry. Therefore modeling these types of shapes fast and accurate in Rhino3d is very important. Furthermore is it important to unroll the surfaces accurate and easy for manufacturing purposes.
At last the free plug-in called 'Developable Surface Construction'  is explained in order to have more control of the ruling lines which define the twist of single curved surfaces.
Tutorial 1: Several modeling techniques explained.

Tutorial 2: Unrolling and flattening of surfaces explained as well as the free plug-in Developable Surface Construction.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Model Ship Hulls With Control Point Manipulation

This technique of modeling ship hulls is more of a sculpting approach.
Experienced users can design hull forms with direct control point manipulation. This method is based on generating a single surface with rows and columns of control points. Start with a flat plate and sculpt the form by dragging and pulling control points.
  • High quality single surface possible (depending on skills of user)
  • A lot of control to adjust the surface
  • Every imaginable surface is possible
  • Control points have to be positioned in a grid of rows and columns. Therefore too many control points at places where little control is needed and often less control points at places where a lot of control is needed. For example the difference between a straight midship section and a more complex bow area. T-Splines modeling offers more functionality when this aspect is important
  • Labour intensive to model the first hull
  • It is more difficult to edit the hull shape later systematically than with the Rapid Hull Modeling Method.
The Orca3d plug-in offers a more easy way to model ship hulls with easy hull wizards and extra tools to manipulate the shape of the hull.

Important Rhino Commands:
  • Move
  • Rotate
  • Scale 1d
  • Shear
Options and tools:
  • Project on
  • Object Snap on/off
  • Orthogonal on/off
  • Smart track on
  • Nudge option to move control points at predefined steps

See also this great instructional video of Brian James

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Powerful Ship Hull Design in Rhino with Rapid Hull Modeling Methodology

This is a very powerful way to design and generate ship hulls and yachts in Rhino3d by creating a few master curves which describe the stem, stern, mainframe etc.
As the input curves are the DNA of the resulting shape, you can exchanges curves for other curves to make variations of the shape. This is a very important feature to manage your hull design well. Furthermore it is always possible to fair the hull surface later with direct control point manipulation.

  • Easy to the edit shape and size later (especially with ‘record history’ in Rhino 4) 
  • Systematic variations possible by exchanging input curves
  • Fair single surface hull 
  • Fast generation of new concepts 
  • High quality bulbous bow and parallel midship section 
  • Free
  • Posibility to parametrize the design with scripts
    • Singularities are possible when two or more control points of the surface are at the same position
    • More difficult to use than Orca3d for sailboat, planing hull and ship without bulbous bow

      Monday, 23 November 2009

      Status of Rhino in the Dutch Marine Industry

      Leading companies in the Dutch Marine Industry gathered at TU-Delft University of Marine Technology on November 20 to learn from each other and discuss with McNeel staff the future of Rhino.
      As RhinoCentre organized the event together with TU-Delft it was nice to witness the enthusiasm of our guests who priorized this meeting over their daily work.
      Probably they also were that enthusiastic as they learned they can minimize lots of hours with better integration of Rhino in the work flow of designing and manufacturing yachts and merchant ships.
      Several presentations showed the current status of the use of Rhino and level of integration in the process.

      Royal Huisman presented a fully integrated design system which is primarily used for space management of exterior, interior, structure, deck equipment and technical installations in design and concept engineering phase. Furthermore a Rhino 3d production model is maintained containing the building blocks which are gradually swapped with finished Shipconstructor 3d geometry for production. A very important issue is proper process management, standardization of Rhino use and discipline of the rhino users to maintain the quality of the 3d models. Read more

      Nevesbu showed a workflow to export a Rhino model to the PIAS stability software for complex stability calculations. This project was ordered by the Dutch Navy for the refit of the 'Walrus' class submarines. Rhinoscript was an essential tool to make it successful.

      Tu-Delft Marine & Transport Technology amazed us with an inland ship design tool. This tool is based on Excel scripts who drive Rhino in order to create inland ship designs very fast.
      Image courtesy of TU-Delft

      Tobias Nagel Cad Service is a real guru who showed a work flow with the shortest pipeline between sketch design and manufacturing of a ship. As Tobias is a scripting expert, he is able to customize his use of Rhino to the needs of his partners.

       Damen Shipyards Gorinchem pick up the use and integration of Rhino 
      very fast now. They presented both integrated Rhino 3d models for design purposes as well as 3d models used for the production of composite superstructures.

      RhinoCentre is pioneering with real time 2d presentations of 3d models which can be printed out for meetings. Also the application of Grasshopper in ship and yacht design was demonstrated. Grasshopper enables architects to parameterize parts of a design to be able to make quick design variations.

      The presentations where a good starting point for discussions. Steve Baer, core programmer of McNeel and trained as naval architect asked a lot of questions to get a better understanding of the daily practice of using Rhino. Steve demonstrated some features of the 'work in progress' Rhino 5 and explained that the development is also focusing on a better integration of Rhino 5 in complex environments and large projects.

      Other companies who attended were:
       If you are interested to attend marine events in the future, please contact us.

      Images are courtesy of the respective companies 

      Thursday, 19 November 2009

      Dutch Architects meet McNeel

      On November 16th RhinoCentre and Arup Amsterdam organised an informal gathering of leading Dutch Architects and McNeel staff. The discussions were focused on the current status of computational use in Dutch architecture offices.

      Bob McNeel personally learned how Rhino is integrated in the workflow of several architecture firms, sometimes as a representation tool or in some cases as a generative tool driving the design. Steve Baer, core programmer of Rhinoceros wrote down lots of valuable and useful notes. Giulio Piacentino of McNeel Europe and trained as Architect at TU-Delft, learned about the daily practice in the Netherlands.
      A summary of the discussion’s findings:
      • BIM modelling seems to be the trend. But since no one (nor client, nor architect, nor contractor) can clearly specify what BIM is, Rhinoceros does not need to adapt to this methodology of working simply because of the lack of clear requirements of BIM modelling.
      • Most output of architectural offices is still based on 2D drawings. In order to facilitate this workflow, Rhinoceros could be better equiped for this task. It’s platform is mainly focused on digital fabrication. The market however is not that advanced yet.
      • Rhinoscript and Grasshopper have proven to be powerful tools for clever concept design and should become more integrated into Rhinoceros.
      The gathering of architects has proven to be a good platform for knowledge transfer in the field of architecture that spans beyond the regular way of working. Tips and tricks on how to use 3D models as contractual elements and how to deal with liability were interesting topics arising from the discussion on dealing with advanced 3-dimensional complex design.

      • de Architecten Cie.
      • Arup Amsterdam
      • Information Based Architecture
      • McNeel & Associates
      • Mecanoo
      • Meyer & van Schooten
      • Octatube
      • Roderik van der Weijden - Architect
      • UN-Studio
      The discussion on the current status of computational use in Dutch architecture offices was organized by Pim van Wylick for RhinoCentre with the generous support of Jeroen Coenders at Arup Amsterdam.
      Pim van Wylick is RhinoCentre’s specialist for Architecture. He also heads the Form Foundation, an architecture office specialised in complex geometries and computational research. For any questions regarding using Rhinoceros in an architectural environment or interest in a future gathering, please contact him under

      Monday, 13 July 2009

      Including scripts and plugins in Rhino

      There are several ways to expand the possibilities that Rhino has to offer. In this article we show how you can include scripts in the form of toolbars, rvb-script files and as rhino plugin files (.rhp)

      Including a script that has been posted as a .tb file:

      Copy the file first to a location where you can find it back. By default, Rhino Stores its toolbar files in this location:


      After you have saved it to the right location, drag it into an open Rhino session.

      Here is an example to practice that with:
      RandLayerColor.tb (a toolbar that includes scripts to make a new layer with a random color, and to randomize existing layers)
      Rhino Scatter.tb (a toolbar that can put random points on objects and copy objects to points)

      Including a rvb-script in Rhino for later access

      The easies way to include a script in Rhino for immediate access, is to make a button for it:
      Make a new toolbar or make a new button into an existing toolbar.
      Edit the button by SHIFT-rightclicking on the button.
      Open the rvb file in a text editor like notepad
      copy the contents of the rvb file to the area of left mouse button command
      Almost finished!
      All you need to do now is tell Rhino to run this script. This means you need to place the following text before the code you just pasted:
      !-_Runscript (

      and at the end of the script text, close it with:


      Save the changes by clicking ok, and make sure to save the toolbar (tools--> toolbar layout --> file --> save)

      Some nice scripts to practice this with:
      SharpenUp.rvb (to remove fillets from filleted polylines)
      GripRandomize.rvb (to make noise-like transformations to surfaces)

      Including a RHP-file for later access

      To include a rhp-file (rhino plugin), the best you can do is to copy the file first to C:\program files\rhinoceros 4.0\plugins\ and preferably in its own subfolder, so that you can separate the scripts you download from the native Rhino plugins.
      Now when you have the file sit in its right location, drag it into the viewport of an open Rhino session. That's all you need to do. In most cases, the script is now accessible with a new command that resembles the name of the script. For example, if the file was called RandomizeColors.rhp, most likely the person who wrote the script has assigned RandomizeColors as a command to that script.

      Thursday, 26 March 2009

      Royal Huisman's Rhino Design System

      Twizzle - image courtesy of Royal Huisman

      In 2007 Royal Huisman decided to integrate Rhino in their workflow of designing their mega sailing yachts. Royal Huisman belongs to the top five mega sail yacht builders of the world!
      The positive impact of this decision appears to be bigger than we ever dreamed of. As RhinoCentre actively cooperated in the creation of the most innovative Rhino design system, we are happy to be able to present this business case.

      As it is unique that a megayacht shipyard allows publicity regarding their design and manufacturing process, we are grateful for their cooperation and hope it is inspiring to you.

      Read the Royal Huisman Business Case


      Saturday, 14 February 2009

      Rhino goes Parametric with Grasshopper

      It has been some time since we posted, as it has been busy at RhinoCentre. More and more people are finding their way to our excellence network, be it for advice, training, constructional drawings or high end visualizations. But luckily we did find some time to dive into Grasshopper. Grasshopper enables you to create flexible parametric designs with Rhino. This means that you can easily adapt your design based on important design parameters and constraints. This article demonstrates how Grasshopper can be applied to the design of a (simple) cabinet.

      Watch the cabinet introduction video
      Watch the cabinet culling video
      Watch the cabinet shifting video

      I think that even in its current state, Grasshopper has a lot to offer and shows a lot of potential. I hope this simple example will stimulate you to give Grasshopper a try.

      Download Grasshopper for Rhino
      Download the Grasshopper cabinet example file.

      Since the development of Grasshopper has started, it has created a lot of buzz, especially in the architectural world. There haven't been many examples yet though of what Grasshopper can do in other disciplines. The following example shows a cabinet that has been made completely parametric with the use of Grasshopper. The width, depth and height and other features of the cabinet can be changed with the sliders on the remote control panel (for new users of Grasshopper: this is the panel that appears when enabling Remote Control Panel in the view menu)

      The amount of shelves can be changed as well. The cabinet has 1 or 2 doors. The decision whether it needs 1 or two doors is made automatically, based on the size of the cabinet. In this case, when the cabinet is less wide than 600 units (the file assumes you are working in mm) only one door will be generated, when the cabinet is wider, two doors are generated.
      This is done with the cull component. Based on a comparison, the cull component can decide to generate or not generate geometry. In order to do this, it accepts a true or a false. To generate this true or false, you have to make a condition. In programming languages this often looks (similar) like:

      if (condition) then
      do something
      end if

      and more particularly, to generate a boolean (true/false), it could look like this:

      if (condition) then
      end if

      in Grasshopper, however, you can achieve the same result with a function component with a single variable. This one can be found under the scalar tab, expressions
      In the cabinet example, this is done by connecting the width of the cabinet to the x of the function. The function is simple. For the cull component that needs to generate a single door, the function reads x<600
      For the cull component that needs to generate 2 doors, the function reads x>600
      In the following two images, you see the above in action:

      The construction for the shelves is a bit more difficult. In order to get the shelves perfectly spaced over the available inner height, a curve is generated and divided. Since the shelves are positioned at these division points with their lower corner, I made sure that the line that is being divided starts at 1 shelf thickness below the top of the bottom side of the cabinet.

      Now if we would place the shelves at the division points of the curve, we would end up with 2 more shelves than needed: this is because dividing a curve also generates points at the start and end of the line. There are several methods to get rid of these shelves. Here I used the shift component twice. So the list of points is first shifted downward, then shifted upward. The booleans for wrapping the list while shifting are set to false. Therefore, the outer points will be erased from the list. Exactly what we want.

      about Grasshopper
      Grasshopper is a plugin for Rhinoceros Nurbs Modeling for Windows. It is being developed by Robert McNeel and Associates. The brain behind Grasshopper is Dutch urban architect and programmer David Rutten.

      Monday, 18 August 2008

      Free Vray scene files for download

      On September 3rd and 4th, there will be a two day Vray for Rhino training session at RhinoCentre. In this beginning to intermediate course, you will be guided through Vray to get you started with this versatile rendering plugin for Rhino.
      For more information about this course, look here.
      As a warm up, I have made two files available for download, which you can render with Vray for Rhino SR1. Maps and materials are included. These two examples clearly show how you can turn relatively simple scenes into convincing photo realistic imagery.

      Grab the bathroom scene file here.
      Grab the phone scene file here.

      If you don't have a copy of Vray, you can download a demo version from the ASGVis website.

      The bathroom model shows how a photographic atmosphere can be created by combining various light types. As you can see the model is very simple as well as the materials. In this case the lighting is the most important factor in the overall image quality. The scene file looks like this in your Rhino viewport:

      And this is the resulting rendering:

      The phone model shows how one can mix different material properties in one material using masks. Furthermore it does not use any lightsources. The lighting and reflections are controlled by a set of 2 HDRI maps: a blurry one for the lighting, and a sharp one for the reflections.
      The scene file looks like this in your Rhino viewport:

      And this is the resulting rendering:

      Tuesday, 10 June 2008

      Joining Edges

      Chances are you've never bothered about joining and exploding surfaces. In this short article I show what Rhino does when joining edges automatically and possible issues when working with exploded polysurfaces.

      To see what happens when joining surfaces let's take a look at this exaggerated example. We have two surfaces that have no edges that match up, but we can force to join them with the JoinEdge command. (You can download the example file)

      When we do this, Rhino will of course ask if we are really sure about this action, since the edges are way out of tolerance in order to join them.

      Still we choose yes. Now it becomes apparent what is happening. The mesh is now closed, we can not see through the gap that was originally there. But the wireframe of the two surfaces shows something more. One of the edges has been transformed to the edge it was joined to.

      Now you might think that after exploding, the edge is put back into its original position. But this is not the case as can be seen in the following image. For clarity, the surfaces have been moved apart.

      You can probably guess now what happens if you start building new geometry based on these exploded surfaces. As you can see for yourself, you can still snap to the original edge end, but to the transformed edge end as well. Of course it is not difficult in this case to pick the right end, but in normal file, you will not notice which end you select.

      Fortunately Rhino has a command to clean up these transformed edges with the command RebuildEdges. This will rebuild edge to match the original edge within the tolerance specified in the command.