Plug-in Review: T-Splines

By October 8, 2012December 18th, 20122 Comments

The T-Splines plug-in for Rhinoceros is quite possibly one of my favorite plug-ins.

It is made by Autodesk and has a fabulous collection of how-to videos to get you up and running. My favorite part is it’s ability to rapidly produce organic forms with an insane amount of ease and control. It will truly save you hours of work by removing the need to worry about networking surfaces, continuity etc.

If you build a regular NURBS surface in that has a surface degree of “2”, you can actually convert it to a T-Splines surface and thicken it, edit it and so on  and then convert it back to a polysurface with no surface degradation. I also am in love with this new version for the update pipe command built in. If you struggle with fillets on pipes that connect together, this command is a huge help.

Check it out the trial today at

Just a reminder, there are only 3 weeks left in the submission window for this last MMC! Details can be found here.


  • Dave says:

    Love your site and videos man. Hope this will grow into a great Rhino place as there really doesn’t seem to be one?

    Anyhow, maybe you could do a video on using T-Splines professionally. Last month I got into it when wrestling with standard NURBS organic surfaces, blends, transitions, you know what I’m talking about.

    While T-Splines makes it really awesome to just play around like you did in the video, I’ve found that as soon as I have a more precise imagine in my head of what I want, I am unable to model it properly with T-Splines. I find it especially hard to achieve regularity, e.g. “all radii of the blends of my surfaces must be 5, no matter the angle at which they meet”, or, “i want to combine a perfectly circular bowl like shape with a handle to its side _without_ the bowl changing its perfectly round shape in top view. This usually created a bunch of surface topology problems for me and dozens of star points making smooth mode impossible and that couldn’t be fixed with tsLayout either.

    This video was really helpful to me to solve some of the problems:

    Yet still, I can’t create my ideas with T-Splines. I can only play around with it. Perhaps you’d be interested in sharing your experience on this issue. I saw the crazy robot you had in your precise vs arbitrary video. It’d be nice to see how you went at that as an example.

    • Pilot says:

      Hi Dave!

      Thanks so much for coming by. There are some good Rhinoceros based sites out there, they are just a little tricky to find. A couple good one ones to check out are:

      You bring up a great point about demoing practical applications. I’ve found that the first step to being able to successfully model using T-Splines is to relearn how to look at objects and break them back down to primitive shapes. The other point is to remember that the plug-in can blend itself into existing geometry.

      A great point made in the video you posted is that you really have to shift your thinking from NURBS to T-Splines. If I have time this week, I’ll try and post a video demonstrating the “bowl to handle” blend you described. If you’ve never modeled with a polygonal modeling system like 3D Max or Modo, T-Splines can be quite daunting. Stick with it!

      Thanks again for enjoying the site!

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