Friday, September 16, 2005

Rhino 3D

I just installed Rhino again on my fresh install of WinXP. I had forgotten how much I love that program. For those that do not know, it is a CAD program that uses NURBS to create complex surfaces. Simply put, it makes curvy stuff. It is very easy to learn and use, but it is not parametric, so one does need to know how to build a model in parts that can be modified later without having to rebuild the whole model. I usually do this with a combination of carefully saving all the construction input (curves) used to build any given surface and saving incremental versions of the whole file.

I had not used Rhino in more then a year (as I am now doing primarily web design instead of product design), but I was surprised how much of it I remembered. I just fell right back into it. I guess the thousands of hours spent working on it over the years had some permanent effect on my brain.

It is cheap too, it is $900 bucks now. But back when I started using it, it was $800 compared to $14K for PTC’s ProDesigner which is what I was using. ProDesigner was not only stupidly expensive, but slow, buggy, hard to use (like way hard to use) and quite limited. Over time, I completely replaced ProDesigner with Rhino for my design work which involved integrating with ProEngineer (PTC’s main app). Yes, not only did Rhino play nice with ProE (ProEngineer), over time, I found it easier to integrate then ProDesigner.

I pulled it out because I will be building a few pieces of furniture and will be modeling the design in Rhino. Yes, I do remember how to make furniture, astounding is it not? It is nice to be using one of my favorite programs of all time, three thumbs up (way up) to Rhino. Though, to be fair, Alias kicks ass, but was always just to expensive and did not have enough export options.

As for the furniture, I have a couple of new tools to help in the endevour. I won’t mention what they are until I have had time to fully test them out as a number of snooty woodworkers that I know will no doubt be looking down their noses at my new machines.

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