Subdivision to NURBS
Subdivision to NURBS surfaces
Take your concept from model to production-ready design when you convert from subdivision to NURBS. Working in both modeling paradigms increases productivity and efficiency.
NURBS in 3D modeling
Short for non-uniform rational basis spline, NURBS uses mathematical formulas to generate and represent curves and surfaces. NURBS offer great flexibility and precision – it can handle both analytic shapes (those defined by mathematical formulas) and modeled shapes.
Computer programs love NURBS; this modeling paradigm is used in CAD, CAM, CAE, and many 3D modeling and animation packages. It’s supported by many industry standards, including IGES, STEP, and ACIS. Humans love it too because it’s intuitive to learn and easy to modify.
The problem with NURBS is that it is not great for more complicated, natural designs. To solve this problem, let’s look at subdivision surface modeling.
The pros and cons of subdivision
Subdivision surface is a method of showing a smooth surface, typically outside of common CAD programs. Subdivision surface, commonly shortened to SubD, is used for conceptualizing and fast modeling.
This modeling method starts with a linear polygonal mesh. Applying a refinement scheme subdivides the mesh, creating new vertices and faces, resulting in a finer mesh than the original. Repeat the same refinement scheme to continue smoothing the surface.
Compared to NURBS, SubD is better at producing and modifying complex organic shapes with smooth surfaces, like humans, animals, automobiles, or organic architecture a la Frank Gehry. SubD is often the starting point for mass-produced products and complicated art. In fact, SubD modeling is commonly used to design digital humans and creatures for the big screen.
The issue with both? NURBS or SubD alone can solve all 3D design problems. Converting designs from SubD to NURBS alleviates this issue, and comes with a lot of benefits.
Getting from subdivision surfaces to NURBS
When you convert from SubD modeling to NURBs, you take advantage of the benefits of both modeling paradigms. By starting an organic or freeform design in sub, your design will achieve a higher, more precise level of detail.
When you convert your SubD design to NURBS, you can use PunchCAD software for its best-in-class advantages: engineering, analyzing, and manufacturing your design. A design that has been converted from SubD to NURBS offers a final design that is uncompromised, while having been fully vetted for viability.
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