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How to Convert Mesh to NURBS in Rhino 5
Meshes and NURBS are two different ways of representing 3D objects in computer graphics. Meshes are made of discrete facets, like pixels in an image, while NURBS are smooth curves and surfaces based on mathematics. Sometimes, you may need to convert a mesh to a NURBS object in Rhino 5, for example, to edit the shape more easily, to export it to another application, or to use it for analysis or rendering.
In this article, we will show you how to use the MeshToNurb command in Rhino 5 to convert a mesh to a NURBS object. We will also explain some of the limitations and challenges of this operation, and give you some tips and alternatives to get better results.
What is the MeshToNurb Command?
The MeshToNurb command is a built-in function in Rhino 5 that converts a mesh object to a NURBS object. To use it, simply select a mesh object and run the command. Rhino will create a NURBS surface for each mesh facet and join them together to form a polysurface.
The MeshToNurb command is useful when you have a simple mesh that you want to convert to a smooth NURBS object. However, it is not a magic tool that can handle any mesh. There are some limitations and drawbacks that you need to be aware of before using it.
What are the Limitations of the MeshToNurb Command?
The MeshToNurb command has some limitations that can affect the quality and usability of the converted NURBS object. Here are some of them:
The MeshToNurb command does not simplify or optimize the mesh before converting it. This means that if you have a dense or complex mesh, you will end up with a very heavy NURBS object with many small surfaces. This can slow down your Rhino performance and make it harder to edit or manipulate the object.
The MeshToNurb command does not smooth or interpolate the mesh before converting it. This means that if you have a coarse or irregular mesh, you will end up with a bumpy or jagged NURBS object that does not reflect the original shape well. This can affect the appearance and accuracy of the object.
The MeshToNurb command does not handle quad meshes well. Quad meshes are meshes that have four-sided facets instead of three-sided ones. Quad facets can be non-planar, meaning that they are warped or twisted in space. The MeshToNurb command cannot create non-planar NURBS surfaces, so it will split each quad facet into two triangular ones before converting them. This can create unwanted seams or gaps in the NURBS object.
These limitations mean that the MeshToNurb command is not suitable for converting meshes that are too dense, too coarse, too irregular, or too quad-based. In these cases, you may need to use other methods or tools to get better results.
What are Some Tips and Alternatives for Converting Mesh to NURBS?
If you want to convert a mesh to a NURBS object in Rhino 5, here are some tips and alternatives that can help you achieve better results:
Before using the MeshToNurb command, try to simplify or optimize your mesh using commands like ReduceMesh, RebuildMesh, or QuadRemesh. These commands can help you reduce the number of facets, improve the quality of the mesh, and create more uniform quads.
Before using the MeshToNurb command, try to smooth or interpolate your mesh using commands like SmoothMesh or FitMesh. These commands can help you smooth out bumps or irregularities in the mesh and create more natural curves and surfaces.
Instead of using the MeshToNurb command, try to use other commands that can create NURBS objects from meshes directly. For example, you can use Patch to create a single NURBS surface that approximates a mesh object; you can use Drape to create a NURBS surface that drapes over a mesh object; or you can use ToSubD (in Rhino 7) to create a SubD object from 061ffe29dd