Monday 21 May 2007

Display Faces and Naked edges

Blue backfaces and magenta naked edges

Important for high quality modeling in Rhino is the direction of surfaces and naked edges. The direction of a surface should be outwards of the model to calculate volumes properly. Furthermore it is important to see which edges of the model are naked for nice renderings and to make your model watertight for molds and volume calculations.
In Rhino 4 it is easy to create new displays and I made one for face direction and naked edge analysis. In the screenshot above you see that backfaces are blue and naked edges magenta.

How can you use this advanced display?

Thursday 10 May 2007


First sketch

3d model in Rhino

This morning someone phoned me up and wanted to know more about the applicability of Rhino in the marine industry. Why should you chose for Rhino?

For me it was a few years ago a surprise to find a design tool which made it possible to design instead of handling a computer program. Rhinoceros was able to follow instantly the fantasy in my mind and showed the result directly in 3d on the screen. Wow, I had never experienced that before!

That enthusiasm was my drive to find solutions in Rhino for every need I had whether it was design, engineering or the production of my ideas. In Rhino 3.0 it used to be a challenge to make 2d drawings and it is a strange feeling to remember that I had to make a difficult offset of a freeform surface in Rhino 2.0 which is a press on the button nowadays.

Please ask yourself if you look for limitations when you consider Rhino or do you think in opportunities? One advantage of using Rhino is the opportunity to contact developers directly with your needs and be able to influence the development of Rhino directly! Another opportunity is to innovate your design and production processes and make them more efficient!

Time for Action:
One last comment is that a lot of people, myself included, often think in 'or' instead of 'and'. Maybe Rhinoceros can be complementary to your existing design or production process including the software you use. Please tell me if you think Rhino is too expensive for that.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Cradle to Cradle

Nike Considered design based on Cradle to Cradle philosophy

Most of the products we design nowadays end up in a landfill. Call this cradle to grave and it results in ecological tragedies like pollution and waste. Why not design like nature from cradle to cradle and use our waste as food for new products? This design method is described by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their inspiring book Cradle to Cradle.

They found out that that a healthy design approach can be highly profitable for your environment and your wallet. Ford Motor Company and Nike for example had good success with this approach.
I am very inspired by this methodology and I hope that I will use Rhino in the future to create 100% healthy products instead of less bad. I am interested to see examples of products designed with Rhino by the Cradle to Cradle approach.
Want to know more?

Friday 4 May 2007

Kenau Animation

This is an animation I made with Rhino/ Penguin/ Bongo blending in a photograph with Adobe Premiere Elements. When a 3d model is available it takes little effort to create multi media product presentations yourself. You can also contact me to do it for you.

See more about the Kenau motorboat over here:
- Development process:
- Product website:

Thursday 3 May 2007

Kings of Fairing

Superstructure of a yacht Abeking & Rasmussen GmbH by NCG

Stern with integrated stairway of a luxuary yacht De Vries Scheepsbouw by NCG

Yesterday I visited Numeriek Centrum Groningen (NCG) which develops and markets the successful NUPAS-CADMATIC 3D software solution for the international shipbuilding industry. In addition, the company renders services to shipyards and engineering offices in the form of hull shape fairing, complex surface modeling and shell plate development.

What has Rhinoceros to do with that? Well they use Rhino more and more to import all kinds of file formats delivered by designers and shipyards and convert them properly to import as IGES in their specialistic fairing software called NAPA. These experts in fairing do excellent jobs as you can see in the pictures.
Their workflow is as follows:

  • Import surfaces or curves in NAPA often by using Rhino
  • Create an exact 3d model with extreme quality of fairing with NAPA
  • Present details and pictures of the model with Rhino for evaluation purpose.

My impression of NAPA was that it is specialistic software with an older generation user interface and Rhino complements its lack of presentation tools. The 3d IGES model of the hull and superstructure from NAPA is the basis for engineering with NUPAS software and Rhino IGES models can also be imported in NUPAS.
As Rhino is capable to produce high quality fair surfaces itself, designers should be able to design completely with Rhino and export to NUPAS for engineering.

See for more information:

Consult NCG for challenging fairing issues or more information about NUPAS.

Tuesday 1 May 2007

Rhino to Google Earth Tutorial

Learn to import Rhino models into Google Earth with a tutorial I wrote:
This is a great tool for big Architecture projects where the environment is important.
Subjects in this tutorial:
  • Scale a Google Earth picture properly in Rhino
  • Model your building or other 3d object on top of it
  • Learn to position at the desired location and orientation in Google Earth
  • Create a tour and fly along a path in Google Earth

Have fun!