From:  Michael Gibson
4123.5 In reply to 4123.1 
Hi Felix,

> Fortunately, it can read 3dm file (at least those from Rhino)
> hopefully it would be the same with Moi (I haven't downloaded
> Moi yet).

Yes, I think that 3DM files saved from MoI should work with BobCAD, also in addition to 3DM format MoI can also export to some other CAD formats: IGES, STEP, and SAT, all of which I believe are supported by BobCAD as well so there are several other ways that you could also use to get model data over.

But yes NURBS modeling alone is not ideally suited for generating embossed or relief type patterns, NURBS can generate curved forms but it's generally more focused on creating broader surfaces from curves that you draw and not on smaller more high frequency little bumps and things of that nature.

For shapes like you want to do where the base material is going to be like a plane, then a 2.5D mechanism that creates the model from a bitmap can be one of the easiest ways to generate those kinds of things, like BobArt or ArtCAM.

There is also a free tool called ZSurf that can generate a NURBS surface from a bitmap which can then be read into MoI, see this previous post for some more info on that:

Then another possibility for doing those kinds of relief details is to use a brush stroke based deformation modeling system, like ZBrush or 3D-Coat. Those work in full 3D which allows you to do some kinds of sculpted shapes that a 2.5D process won't be able to handle, but it will also be more time consuming and take longer to learn how to use than the 2.5D type processes. But you may want to check out 3D-Coat in particular which is not too expensive, if the workflow suits you ok then using that gives you quite a lot of freedom for full 3D sculpting. It can also work well to use MoI in combination with a brush sculpting program, where you use MoI to build the simple base shape (with full CAD precision) and then import it into 3D-Coat and then apply bumpy details inside of there. That combination can work well because those brush based sculpting programs tend to be more oriented towards building figures and so they don't have a lot of precision type tools for accurate things.

Hope this helps give you some ideas to try out!

- Michael