T-Splines

T-Splines is a powerful modeling plug-in for Rhino, which I’ve alluded to a couple times in workshops. Once you learn a few basics, it’s a very intuitive way to create (and iterate!) seamless freeform volumes. A few key points about T-Splines:

  • It’s a plug-in for Rhino, and completely separate from Grasshopper. It is not technically parametric–the workflow feels more like Rhino.
  • Its workflow has some similarities to Weaverbird, where you can manipulate a very simple polygonal model, and toggle a “smoothed” view of that model. This is amazing and very fun to play with.
  • It’s pretty easy to “weld” or “bridge” separate objects together into a single seamless, flowing object.
  • Unlike mesh geometry from Weaverbird, T-Splines geometry can easily be converted back and forth from NURBS surfaces.

The T-Splines website has a ton of 1-2 minute video tutorials that may be helpful, especially the first few “Getting Started” and interface videos. But really, the 30-minute tutorial below on architectural form-making is a good place to start; it’s a step-by-step build up of a Zaha-esque form that makes T-Spline’s workflow and potential very clear. Personally, if I were interested in using T-Splines I would first watch this video to get a sense of what it can do, then go back to a few basic videos on interface.

 

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