Subdivision Modeling in Action

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Mike Magee demonstrates how he creates freeform custom designs

By Peggy Jo Donahue

Custom designers who use CAD love its precision, which produces final models that manufacture well. However, many of these programs rely on 3-D surface modeling, which is typically based on NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines). Creating a NURBS surface is, in a way, like putting up a building using girders and later adding walls and windows: points of elevation (girders) are defined as curves, and then surfaces are lofted between the curves. The process works fine for most geometric forms, but it doesn’t always provide the flexibility needed to refine organic or freeform designs. (Imagine trying to change a girder after it’s been erected.)