About the e-book

Mastering surfacing in Rhino – Alejandro Zapata

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This e-book is written for anyone who wants to improve their surfacing skills and achieve curvature continuity surfaces without plug-ins and expensive CAD software. This 3D car modeling tutorial is a step by step exercise, including a detailed illustrated explanations and why we use commands in certain cases starting from a blueprint.

Unlike other modeling techniques popular among DCC softwares (Digital Content Creation) like poly-modeling in which you have lots of flexibility, in traditional NURBS modeling (Non-Uniform Rational Basis Spline) there is no much room for mistakes and you have to think forward how you going to model the surfaces to avoid corrections some times requiring to re-do parts or the whole model, in this exercise you will learn to think in advance to minimize this kind of mistakes.

The key features of this Rhinoceros 3D car modeling tutorial e-book are:

  • The input is a simple blueprint and reference photos.
  • Step by step explanation of the entire Rhinoceros 3D modeling process.
  • +1200 pages full of illustrated workflow.
  • More than 110 tools to learn.
  • Explanation of key tools including surface analysis.
  • Icons of all tools used in this book arranged in order of application.
  • Master surface modeling.
  • Final model like shown below.


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More information on 3D Rhinoceros Modeling

Rhinoceros is one of the most comprehensive and powerful 3D modeling programs on the market, widely used in computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD / CAM), rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and reverse engineering in sectors as diverse as architecture, industrial design (vehicle and boat design), product design (such as jewelry), as well as multimedia design and graphic design.

Developed by Robert McNeel & Associates in 1980, the program is a NURBS-based mathematical modeling platform focused on creating mathematically accurate representations of models and freeform surface curves in computer graphics (unlike applications based on polygon mesh). NURBS are mathematical representations of 3-D geometry that can accurately describe any shape, from a simple line, circle, arc, or 2-D curve to the most complex three-dimensional free-form organic surface or solid. Due to their flexibility and precision, NURBS models can be used in any process, from illustration and animation to manufacturing on an industrial scale, which explains their special appeal to designers in industries that require mathematically sound designs.

During the 3D design process, numerical parameters are often used to accurately locate and shape models. This makes Rhinoceros the perfect tool for mechanical designs.

Although Rhinoceros does not have specific tools for 3D printing, the built-in functions are more than enough. For a model to be printable, special attention must be paid to the meshes of the NURBS model. This can be carefully controlled from the program. In addition, some online printing services offer plug-ins that facilitate the necessary preparations for printing and loading from the 3D design program. Rhinoceros files are formatted as .3dm files, which can be exported to other formats for 3D printing.

The latest version, Rhino3D 6, can be downloaded only for Windows and Mac computers (https://www.rhino3d.com/download). An evaluation version is available, which is a full version valid for 90 days.

More on NURBS

NURBS began to be developed around 1950 by engineers who needed a mathematically accurate representation of free-form surfaces such as those used in automobile bodies, aerospace exterior surfaces, and ship hulls. It was vitally important that such surfaces could be accurately and technically reproduced at any time. Previously, representations of this type of design could only be made using physical models made by the designer or engineer himself.

The French, Pierre Bézier, an engineer at Renault, and Paul de Casteljau, who worked at Citroën, pioneered this research. Bézier and Casteljau worked almost in parallel, although neither knew the work that the other was doing. Since Bézier’s work was first published and for this reason it has traditionally been associated with splines -represented with control points describing the curve itself- and known as “Bézier splines” or “Bézier curves”, the name of Casteljau is only known for the algorithms he developed for evaluating parametric surfaces. In the 1960s NURBS clearly became the generalization of “Bézier splines”, which can be considered as Non-Uniform Rational B-splines (NURBS).