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Free form jewelry design Print E-mail

Meet aesthetic, form and production requirements for intricate jewelry designs.

The customer

Ricardo Amaral


T-Splines did an excellent job at keeping the surface as simple as possible while I was modeling my organic ring design. By using T-Splines’ powerful set of tools, the project yielded the fewest possible control points, keeping the geometry easy to read and edit. T-Splines fills the need for free form modeling tools in Rhino.
Ricardo Amaral, Modellistica

Case study

The challenge

I have been using Rhino since 1998. After first using it for 3D rendering work, since 2003 it's been a key part of my rapid prototyping business, which covers mostly jewelry. Rhino has been the best companion for years.

However, one area I have always struggled with in Rhino is with free-form jewelry designs. In the past, I have rented a seat of Maya to design these projects with subdivision surfaces, make all my tweaks to the design while still in Maya, then export a NURBS, bring it to Rhino, and work with the model as a piece of immovable geometry.

Recently, I needed to create a branch-shaped ring with hearts in place of leaves as a gift to my wife. I had modeled a similar ring in the past using my previously described workflow, but rather than renting a seat of Maya to do the redesign, I decided to try to complete the whole project inside Rhino 4 using T-Splines.

The solution: T-Splines

I had done production work in the past using T-Splines to make free-form surfaces, and liked how easy it was to edit them, but this was my first time using them in manufacturing. I was pleased with the results. I was able to build a smooth and continuous surface that I could easily edit to cope with aesthetic, design and fabrication issues. The whole modeling process took me six hours.

The process

ring The PDF case study walks you step by step through my modeling process. In short, most of the modeling work was done using the T-Splines "ControlPolygonToSrf" command (to quickly generate a surface) and the T-Splines "Insert Point" command (to add local control). Towards the end of the process, I was able to seamlessly use some new features available in Rhino 4 to finish the production. The tight integration of T-Splines with Rhino made this workflow efficient.