3DShoemaker for Rhino 8

Rhino 8 was recently announced, and so a new version of 3DShoemaker has been released to work in it ( In this 3DShoemaker update, I’m going to cover the Rhino 8 updates that I think could be useful for shoemakers and designers.

First, in case you’re a new reader, I’ll briefly explain what Rhino and 3DShoemaker are. Rhino (AKA Rhinoceros 3D) is a general purpose commercial CAD software that is great for precise yet free-form modeling, which makes it very popular among shoe designers. Rhino has been around since 1998 and new versions are usually released every three or so years. 3DShoemaker is a plugin that runs within Rhino. 3DShoemaker allows for the fully parametric design of shoe lasts and components and extends the usefulness of Rhino for shoe designers.

3DShoemaker for Rhino 8 overview

I think the most useful Rhino 8 addition for footwear is advanced subD functionality. SudD, a geometry type introduced in Rhino 7, is a cross between mesh and NURBS geometry, offering the best of both worlds. It’s commonly used for character design but is also really handy for shoe designers. In Rhino 8, new SubD tools have been added, such as variable creases. These are useful for technically challenging shoe lasts like ballerina and climbing shoe lasts as well as creative toe box creases. SubD is going to be a very important tool for designing fully 3D printable soles and shoe bodies too. Going forward, 3DShoemaker will continue to integrate with the SudB geometry type.

Rhino 8 Creased Shoe Last

Another new useful Rhino 8 feature is ShrinkWrap. It creates a watertight solid mesh around fragmented data, which is very handy for reverse engineering shoe lasts and possibly other components. If you have 3D scans taken from various angles (see my recent tutorial on 3D scanning a shoe last), you can orient them with the command Orient3pt and then use ShrinkWrap to create a single shoe last mesh.

Rhino 8 Shrink Wrap Shoe Last

Also in Rhino 8 are new capabilities relating to wrapping and unwrapping textures. These could prove useful for designing upper patterns.

Rhino 8 texture unwrap shoe

Beyond these new features, there is general improvement to Rhino across the board and lots of bug fixes.

While the jump to Rhino 8 isn’t as impressive as that from Rhino 6 to 7, it is still a worthy upgrade. And so all new versions of 3DShoemaker developed will be strictly for Rhino 8. Older versions of 3DShoemaker will of course continue to work in Rhino 7. Something to keep in mind when running 3DShoemaker in Rhino 8 is that 3DShoemaker is still based on .net runtime, so it may be necessary to toggle this via the command “SetDotNetRuntime” for things to run smoothly.

If you do plan to upgrade to Rhino 8, now would be a good time as their is a considerable but temporary discount.

That’s all for this 3DShoemaker update, please place any comments below or contact us if you have any questions.

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