Go ahead, say it. No, scream it. SUBD to NURBS! Better if it’s done two inches from the secretary’s face immediately after you’ve chugged a bottle of milk. SubD to NURBS indeed. You may wonder what these strange words are. Or, you may know all about the surface mesh to solid modeling possibilities recently launched by Luxology. Power SubD-NURBS is a plugin bringing new surfacing capabilities to your stiff CAD geometry. If you curled up in a ball and cocooned yourself in body hair after the news of Autodesk acquiring T-Splines, the Power SubD-NURBS possibilities are really going to excite you. We also have a look at a tutorial from Paul McCrorey that takes you through the whole SubD-NURBS workflow.

Power SubD-NURBS

If you know modo, you know it’s a powerful full-featured polygonal modeling to animation program. The surfacing and sculpting capabilities are phenomenal. Additionally, modo is able to create Subdivision (SubD) surfaces to refine the polygon mesh and, may I say, do so quite beautifully. The problem? CAD software is NURBS-based and doesn’t like those crazy meshes too much. Hence, Power SubD-NURBS, a new plugin for modo that converts SubD surfaces to a clean NURBS-based format.

This allows modo to be used as a flexible conceptual modeling tool at the initial stage of the design process, where modo’s ability to quickly create organic shapes is especially useful. With this Plug-in you can freeform model a variety of design alternatives in modo and then transfer them to your CAD system for further refinement and engineering.

Power SubD-NURBS is a collaboration with IntegrityWare, creators of 3D modeling libraries who also specialize in SubD to NURB conversion. The plugin is available for modo 601 and can export .igs, .3dm, .sat and .step formats. The price is $595.00 for both Mac and PC versions.

Surface created in modo, exported with Power SubD-NURBS to MoI. Image: Pascal Beeckmans

SubD to Nurbs Modeling Workflow

What entails a proper SubD to NURBS workflow? Well, Paul McCrorey of McCrorey Digital and modo/SolidWorks fame (and special guest on EvD!) has put together the essential course to take you through all you need to get up to speed with the new plugin and learn a few methods along the way for a smooth modo to SolidWorks workflow. If you use SolidWorks and are interested at all in how modo can be a part of your workflow, this is a great course to get started on. Here’s an introduction to the course from Paul himself.

The course is available through the shop at McCrorey Digital. It’s split up into three parts or can be bought all together for $60. Below are a few images created from the project. You’ll also want to check out Paul’s review of modo 601 in the May 2012 Issue of Develop3D. It’s a 3-page spread getting you up to speed on the biggest updates to the modo product and includes a 6-step modo to SolidWorks workflow preview that really nails home the simplicity of the process. Check it out.

Images: Paul McCrorey


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.