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Editor’s Pick: Extend Rhino with Free-Form CAD Surfacing

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

T-Splines has just come out with version 2.1 of its T-Splines for Rhino plug-in toolset that enables manufacturers to create free-form organic shapes. Anybody tasked with surfacing—well, OK, wise guys, not macadamizers nor intonacatori—should download the evaluation unit and give T-Splines a look because it might save you hours of time and let you be more creative. The company also makes a version for Maya.

The point with T-Splines is that it’s not NURBS, but it’s both similar to and import-export compatible with NURBS. The benefit is that T-Splines lets you work with shapes as if they were fungible, similar to what animators do, only optimized for CAD, manufacturing, and industrial design. It lets you model complex shapes with a single smooth watertight surface that, depending upon your process, is ready for analysis and manufacturing.

This means that you push and pull shapes. You add geometry and drag faces, edges, or vertices. You can also easily make holes or extrusions with a single surface rather than jiggering and trimming multiple surfaces. T-Splines uses control points only when necessary, and T-Splines points can have partial isoparams, which, without getting into a discussion of rows of connecting points, vertices, coordinate values, and so on, means that you create clean line endings without feeling like you’ve been cracking stones. (For those of you who want the technical lowdown, you’ll find a link to a discussion of what T-Splines are at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up.)

This all means that you get from concept to design to manufacturing faster, which, of course, is the Holy Grail of any business. But, more importantly, by enabling you to quickly create smooth, complex surfaces that are difficult and often impossible to make in solid or surface modeling modelers, T-Splines also enables you to be more creative. More productive and more innovative make T-Splines a powerful tool. T-Splines is also cost-effective. A single-user license is $599.

You can learn more about T-Splines for Rhino 2.1 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. You can really learn a whole lot more by hitting the links and downloading the evaluation unit, then signing up for an upcoming webinar the company is putting on in early October. T-Splines for Rhino is good stuff. It’s a good use of your time getting to know it well.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine

Read today’s Pick of the Week write-up.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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