From:  Michael Gibson
4123.13 In reply to 4123.12 
Hi Felix,

I finally downloaded the no save version of MOI and imported the same file and I was surprised that it looked much better then in the other 2 programs. But I'm curious to know which programs renders the most faithful representation of the true relief surface because that's the one that will be carved by the CNC? The same would be true with 3D printing I assume.

If you're loading the same .igs file into each one, then each one actually has the same true surface data to work off of, you're just seeing differences in the on screen visual representation of the surfaces. MoI just happens to have a particularly nice on screen realtime display.

3D printing is a pretty different process than CNC cutting - for 3D printing you will generally need to output an STL file which is made up of triangles, and whatever is exporting from the IGES surface to triangles will have some controls to control the density and it will probably be done at a fairly higher density than the on-screen display is showing.

I found a paper about UDT (Universal Deformation Technology) as implemented in Rhino 4 and if I understand all this correctly, it would be more then enough for the kind of stuff I want to do. Is there by any chance something equivalent in MOI?

No, MoI does not have any equivalent to those UDT tools in Rhino right now, but it is an area that I want to add in MoI in the future. Those tools in Rhino can definitely be useful, and there are several people that use Rhino in combination with MoI to have access to those particular tools in Rhino.

But it sounds like you also found out that if you want the Z-Surf result wrapped around a cylinder you can do that with an option in Z-Surf for that particular case instead of needing to use Rhino UDT.

I think what I'm asking is should I go with MOI or for Rhino especially if one thinks a bit long term.

Well, Rhino is more difficult to use - it's set up to be most comfortable for people with an AutoCAD background. If you have spent a lot of time with AutoCAD before then it's an instant great fit, but if you are not familiar with AutoCAD then some of the things in Rhino will probably feel pretty odd and kind of archaic like the command line interface.

MoI is more oriented towards someone who may not have a lot of prior experience in CAD and so it has a lower learning curve and is generally easier to use.

It can be a good strategy to start out with MoI and then also add in Rhino later if the additional tools in Rhino would be useful for you.

It's definitely worthwhile to spend some time with the trial versions of both of them to see what feels the most comfortable to you.

- Michael