3DM import to Solidworks

I found this plugin on Rhino’s official site and after searching here and online was not able to find any details into how it works/what its purpose is. I spend much of my time at work converting Rhino files into Solidworks Parts in order to make eDRW files for our manufacturing team. Solidworks currently allows me to import a 3DM file but I’ve had better success using .STEP files, as the different objects in the Rhino files need to be separate Solidwork parts as they have different internally used part numbers. I thought I would ask here how it functions before getting IT involved as I am unable to install it without Admin rights on my computer.

Rhino - Download - Rhino 3DM Import Add-In for SolidWorks

Thanks for your time.

Hi Josh - unfortunately I do not have SW here, so I cannot tell you much. My recollection is that for a long time anyway, SW was able to read in Rhino V4 files only, but that may have changed - hope so. In any case, I do not know if you can do better than Step for SolidWorks. Rhino files are helpful when doing something like ‘Replace face’ in SW and pointing at a Rhino file with a single surface that you can then edit anf have update in the replace face - - that was the most useful workflow that I remember, but it’s been a while.


Hi @Josh10 ,
that Plugin looks quite old (18yrs old at Rhino v3 times)
Unfortunately 3DM files are poorly supported by solid modelers.

Solidworks does import Rhino geometry (not curves) but you loose all layers hierarchy. More info here
This can be ok if Rhino file does contain few objects but can be a nightmare if you have to deal with more elements.
The only solid Modeler I found which manages correctly Rhino files converting layers to parts is SpaceClaim.

Best way I’ve found from Rhino to SW is create a block for each element then export to STEP. This way you’ll find blocks translated as parts in SW.
Alternatively you can create separate STP files for each part / layer.

An easier workflow would be to be able to convert layers (and their hierarchy) to blocks on the fly before exporting to STP.
this could a STP export option or a plugin as discussed already with @pascal


Thank you so much! Converting the elements into Blocks before exporting the STP works great and allows me to export multiple blocks and have them each open up into one Solidworks Assembly with each block as a separate part. This is exactly what I was looking for. This is going to save me so much time as many of the things I transfer from Rhino sometimes have 50+ layers. It was a time consuming, mindless task exporting multiple different STP files, then opening them up individually in Solidworks, and then saving them in the Solidworks PDM, then importing them into one Assembly. Now I can do that all in one go. Much appreciated.

1 Like

Hi Josh, I am looking for a rhino to solidworks workflow for drawings. My thought was to have my main assembly as one block with sub assemblies as parts. Export as step. I haven’t tested this. But I am looking for any advice you might have when I get to this point - and want to jump directly into drawings. Do you have any advice for what I might run into? Thanks