Creating a smooth surface, suitable for manufacturing, from scanned data is not a trivial process. It can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive.

T-Splines 3.3 for Rhino introduces new tools to make it much easier to get a high quality surface from scanned data. Learn more by registering for a free webinar on Tuesday, November 29, 2011.

T-Splines user Sky Greenawalt will demonstrate how he used T-Splines 3.3 to reverse engineer a Cessna nose bowl using T-Splines to within a measured tolerance.

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Matrix 7 is now released, and it includes a full version of T-Splines optimized for jewelers.

Developed by Gemvision, Matrix runs on the Rhino kernel, so you’ll be able to open files you’ve made in T-Splines for Rhino, in Matrix 7.

Rhino is a leading, general purpose software platform used by designers in many industries. Matrix harnesses Rhino into an easy-to-use interface designed specifically for jewelers, and adds specific jewelry-design tools. The professionalism and the level of quality that comes out of Gemvision is, in my view, the standard of quality in the jewelry software community.

It’s been a few years since we started hearing about Gemvision and Matrix from our users. Later, I started talking with Jeff High, the President and founder of Gemvision about how the products could be integrated. We’ve always viewed our greatest strength at T-Splines as being able to write a general purpose modeling tool, and have focused on core functionality instead of making specific tools for any one industry. We knew that our users could make unique, compelling jewelry designs with T-Splines, our product just wasn’t necessarily built to cater to jewelers.

Well, Jeff saw the vision, and Matrix 7 contains an excellent T-Splines tool set that will give jewelers the power to easily make unique, organic designs. Check out this video showing how T-Splines in Matrix 7 works.

There is one final reason that we are excited about having T-Splines in Matrix 7. Gemvision recently hired Travis Serio, one of the most talented T-Splines users we know, on their development team. Travis won the 2010 T-Splines Design Contest, and shortly thereafter was hired full-time by Gemvision. I joked with him the other day that winning the contest got him that job, and of course he had to point out that he had known the Gemvision team for years. Ok, so there’s that. But Travis is part of a lineup of training sessions Gemvision is putting on to introduce Matrix 7 and T-Splines to the Matrix community, and I’d highly recommend getting to one of those to add T-Splines skills to your digital modeling tool set.

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When we organized our 2011 organic modeling contest, a big motivation we had was to expose T-Splines designers to top 3D printing companies, and to give them a chance to see their design go from concept to physical product.

We’ve received our first batch of jewelry prints from the contest from envisionTEC and they look great! I was very impressed with the smoothness and amount of fine detail that was able to be printed on these fine, small pieces.

These are all printed in PhotoSilver, a ceramic filled photopolymer material designed by envisionTEC to produce highly detailed parts with crisp features.

We’re sending them out to the designers this week. Look for yours in the mail!

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Shape to Fabrication is perhaps the largest annual architecture event in the Rhino community. This year it will be held on Nov 18-19. Hosted by Paul Cowell at Simply Rhino in the UK, this event attracts top talent from both the Rhino user base and third-party plugin providers. This event is a showcase of new projects that have been designed and fabricated using Rhino, as well as software advances relevant to the architecture industry.

This year, Daniel Hambleton from Halcrow will be presenting a piece modeled in T-Splines for Rhino from the Brian Jungen bench series, called “The ghosts on top of my head.”

The ghosts on top of my head (2010–11) is a series of public sculptures by renowned Vancouver-based artist Brian Jungen commissioned for Canada Plaza. It is comprised of three white powder-coated steel benches, each assuming the shape of a different antler: elk, moose and caribou. The ghosts on top of my head reference Harry Bertoia’s famous modernist furniture, and are illustrative of Jungen’s characteristically meticulous craftsmanship and profound study of design.
They were modelled entirely with Rhino 4.0 and T-Splines for Rhino.

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About six months ago, Australian jeweler Chris Botha started playing with T-Splines for Rhino and posting his results in the T-Splines forum.

His gallery thread has turned into the most prolific on our forum, with 161 posts and over 12000 views, and is filled with dozens of jewelry pieces that are distinctively organic.

On Friday, October 28, 2011 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT, Chris will present at a free T-Splines webinar, “How T-Splines changed my approach to making jewelry in CAD.”

There are still spots available — register now for this free webinar. You won’t want to miss this chance to get candid insights from a T-Splines pro about how he uses T-Splines in his design process.

Jewelry by Chris Botha

Jewelry by Chris Botha

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A prescient blog post about T-Splines by Carl Cepress at the Chicago Product Design blog:

“T-Splines will change the PD process. Learn the software now, or your competitors will, making your CAD skills obsolete.”

Read entire post.

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There were many excellent entries to the T-Splines 2011 Design Contest that we have not yet been able to highlight. Some of our favorites came from Clayton Stewart from Dempseys Jewelers.

Here are Clayton’s comments about his piece, “Essence of India:”

This model, in my opinion, requires T-Splines. I started with a T-splines plane and extruded edges to make the elephant. Once the elephant shape was there, I thickened the flat surface. I then proceeded to pull faces, edges and verts around to perfect the shape. For the snake I used tspipe on a curve and then extruded a few extra faces to make the head. The blankets and topper for the elephant were made exactly like the elephant. I started with a flat T-splines plane and extruded and bent the edges to the desired shape before thickening the surface.

Clayton also modeled “Amber Tree”:

This model is almost entirely T-Splines. I modeled the tree trunks starting with a T-Splines surface and extruding edges while adding geometry and bending the surface to make a rough outline of the tree. I then thickened the surface and continued to “sculpt” the surface to get it in the shape desired. To add the vines I used TSPipe on curves drawn into position. I then tweaked the T-Splines surfaces to put them into the proper places. The texture of the tree was put on using Zbrush. It is very easy to export a T-Splines surface and import it into Zbrush. The model was rendered using V-Ray for Matrix. I created the amber material from scratch and placed all of the inclusions by hand.

Check out more of Clayton’s T-Splines work in his gallery on our forum.

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Peter Donders‘ style is unmistakable.

Half furniture, half sculpture, his creations are, frankly, ideally suited for T-Splines.

This was a piece he submitted to the recent T-Splines 2011 Design Contest. It didn’t win, partly from skepticism about whether it could actually ever be manufactured.

That question has now been answered.

The Batoidea will be on display at the Museum of Architecture in Moscow until November 30th.

Matt: How does it feel when you sit in it?Maybe when I build my dream house I’ll need to order one for the backyard.

Peter: It sits great and is only 10kg. We only made 12 pieces and 3 designers proofs, so hurry building your dream house. I think your wife and kid wouldn’t mind, and if there is no Batoidea left until that time ,you still have your dream house ;) .

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We’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress.

We actually paid $69 for WordPress for Joomla! so that we could integrate the blog better into the rest of our website (which is powered by Joomla!).

It looks like all the content migrated successfully; let us know if you’re not seeing the same thing!


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Guest blog post by Peter Salzmann, co-founder, Virtual Shape Research GmbH

Virtual Shape joined the Rhino plug-in developer community more than one year ago and realised very quickly, that one of the most present players here is T-Splines.

We are software developers dealing with free form shape modeling for quite a while at ICEM, PTC and Dassault. So we have a lot of experience with CAD in industries like Automotive and Aerospace, especially with Bezier/Nurbs geometry.

Looking at the T-Splines approach for mathematical surface representation we feel that this is really a technology breakthrough that combines nicely the advantages of subdivision modeling with “Classical Surfacing” using Nurbs.

Especially in the beginning of the design process where shapes need to be explored quickly we believe T-Splines is the unbeatable solution.

So we are extremely happy to cooperate with T-Splines now. While we at Virtual Shape are a T-Splines reseller, T-Splines also now sells our products.

Currently we have the following 3 products available:

VSR Realtime Renderer

With our VSR Realtime Renderer, which is fully embedded in Rhino, you can just change the display mode during the modeling at any time and your current Rhino viewport is switched into “Realtime Rendering” mode. It works great together with T-Splines – Matt from T-Splines created an impressive video showing modeling a car bumper while being in Rendering mode. The Realtime Renderer allows to create different visual variants for presentation like different material assignments and allows very quickly to create high resolution screenshots.

VSR Shape Analysis

Analysis functions which expand Rhinos capabilities, for example a Matching Analysis between curves and surfaces showing numerically the transitions up to G3 (we call it “Flow”). This is extremely important when delivering parts, as often the receiver expects that all surface transisitons are under a certain tolerance for position, tangency and curvature. In addition sections with curvature plots on top are available. And, very important if a user wants to create curves or surfaces on meshes, a deviation graph. All analyses are fully associative and follow the the shape of the geometry when it is modeled. Because of Rhinos great architecture this is of course also true when modeling T-Spline surfaces! The product is called VSR Shape Analysis.

VSR Shape Modeling

A Modeling plug-in called VSR Shape Modeling containing Curve and Surface creation functions on top of polygonal meshes, Blend and Matching up to G3 (“Flow”) and a lot more. All created geometry is very light compared to shapes typically created by Rhino functionality, meaning it is Bezier (or so called Single-Span Nurbs) geometry. Light geometry does not only allow easier modifications, it also reduces the compexity of all shapes created on top like flanges, fillets and blends.

These functions typically come to place, when a Styling model (for example created in T-Splines) has to be tuned and tweaked to meet several criteria of feasibility and manufacturability. The Analysis functions mentioned above are fully included in this plug-in. In addition several geometry functions have directly embedded analysis functionality to ensure a very efficient workflow.

We believe that the combination of Rhino, T-Splines and our Virtual Shape products is delivering together a significant coverage of the digital design process chain.

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