3DM viewer suggestions for iPad?

Hi Dan, all,

I know many of us asked for a lot of things, but that was mostly 9-8 years ago, when the first/second iPad came out. I’m not sure how many of those wishes are still relevant.

Today, 9 years later, they way we work has changed, Rhino has changed, 3D capable portable computers have changed, and the relevance, role, and use of iPhones and iPads have changed.

In the meantime iRhino 3D has been kind of abandonware. It never became useful for most, and that made it even more ignored by everyone at McNeel and us as users.

I think today’s needs and possibilities are quite different. Maybe is time to revisit the backlog?

I know that for me at least the main things I’d like on an iPad/iPhone w/ iRhino are:

  • using Snapshots (instead on manually turning layers/objects on/off)
  • viewing in AR mode (with ARkit you guys can do that quite easily)
  • using PBR shaders (starting in desktop Rhino of course)
  • opening other file types (step, stl at least)
  • saving camera views ( a client might want to load a file here and choose the view they want and send back for final rendering)
  • saving 360 turn table video out (not just a static screenshot)
  • clipping planes as simple section views
  • selecting something and seeing its size (BBox dimensions)
  • snappable dimensions

I hope this helps,



AUgmented reality intégration of almost any kind (surfaces, meshes, even just curves would do) would be the killer modern feature for me to adopt (and even pay for) a viewer app

Seems responses thus far were thin on possible alternatives to meet your needs. Perhaps examine exporting 3dm to:



Fusion 360


This one would be awesome: “Adding Sketch Ability to iRhino.”


Hi @Philip, All, I remember discussing this with Marlin and he convinced me that there wasn’t much value recreating a sketching app inside iRhino when there are so many good ones back then, even a great one now if you consider what you can do with the newer Concepts App.

We agreed that what we needed was a way to take model screenshots without a background (transparent png) so then that coud be pasted in the user’s favorite sketching app.

There’s still 2 reason where I still see value in sketching inside the app:

  1. If I’m doing a screensharing gotomeeting session (yes, this is a thing, and it’s extremely useful when you are on the go, with an LTE iPad: https://support.logmeininc.com/supportvideos/gotomeeting/videos--getting-started--gotomeeting-screen-sharing-on-the-ipad). Gotomeeting has annotation but only on its own whiteboard, not over other apps.

  2. If I can load a Rhino file with snapshots already save, I can sketch over each snapshot, hot save, and then myself (or one of my team members/modelers) can see all those sketched markups in ‘Desktop Rhino’ to execute those changes in the modeling environment. For this we need to be able to see 2D overlays with pixels over modeling viewports. All the pieces are already there with the layout engine. It’s just a bit of copy paste of code elements and you can ship this :laughing:.)

I think may people would pay for this, including many Rhino user’s customers, who are not consuming/using/buying Rhino right now. I have plenty of clients that would buy this if We send them prepared Rhino files ready to consume (with saved snapshots of what we want them to review). This is a growth opportunity IMO. Not sure how big/small, Bob is the money man here.


Thanks @gustojunk for this updated list. This does help. Times have indeed changed and reading through the backlog with a critical eye for priorities is important.

As always, I hope to have time to devote to iRhino 3D, but get pulled in other directions. I think the general assessment that it has fallen way, way behind the state-of-the-art is fair.

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I didn’t actually mean freehand sketching as in Concepts (which I also use) - wrong choice of words on my part. What I meant was being able to use Rhinos curve commands - and an enhanced sketch command - in iRhino… and of course the most essential surface commands, making iRhino a Rhino light for the iPad (a Rhino version of Shapr3d). You can wish, can’t you :sunglasses:
The enhanced sketch command would allow you to draw freehand curves with the pencil - and after finishing the curve (lifting the pencil) iRhino would automagically rebuild the curve to a smooth degree 2 or 3 bezier spline (degree 2 for an arc-shaped curve and degree 3 for a s-shaped curve).
I would be willing to pay a lot for a modelling-capable iRhino (75 % of the price for Rhino) :grinning:


Hello everybody, recently i discovered Shapr 3-d for iPad, and while still under developement, i have found it to be quite usefull and it seems to have all the features discussed in this topic. When at some point ios will support use of a mouse (the way we know it from Mac and PC) I see a bright future for this type of app.
Allready at this point I hardly use a laptop anymore when working on location.
So my guess is that for iRhino to have a future, this would-be be the way to go.

Yes, it’s quite good now after the latest update. There are still some features missing - and I’m not so sure about free hand sketching in Shapr. It’s still a bit cumbersome (even if it’s much better than before). I don’t feel it’s free enough yet…
The fillets are quite good and reliable, but only G1(no G2…G4 blends).
Personally I don’t miss working with a mouse. For me working with the pencil is ok.

The only thing that bothers me a bit is that Shapr seem to be directed more towards engineering than “free form” modelling. It’s perhaps a bit like comparing Rhino to Solidworks…


What I meant to say was that I believe that non-productive apps like iRhino Will be made obsolete by Shapr type apps in the future, because tablet computers aren’t limited to their role as viewers and browsers anymore.
Another example is Cad Pockets by ZW Cad, that shows a gradual increase in productivity as tablets become more powerfull.

Though it would be nice to have a cross-platform Rhino design eco system, Something to feel completely at home with!

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Please show iRhino some love, it would be great to have a basic 3d model viewer on phones or pads. I can’t even get GoogleDrive to play nicely with the app :frowning:

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Hi Dale I’m having issues on the app to…
I also need it to show on iPad. Sure it opens the files once I export them from my google drive but then it freezes and I can’t go back to a different model. I have to force close the app and reopen between selecting models.

Also I have to save the files under solid shade, in the events I have it saved under curves or a different shade I can’t view it. It’s a very glitchy app, at least using it on iPad.

I have to force close the app and reopen between selecting models.

I’ll see if I can reproduce this.

I agree, and this is my fault. I’ve neglected iRhino 3D for far too long. It’s my perpetual hope to give it the attention it deserves, but it keeps getting reprioritized and shuffled to the bottom of the pile :sweat:

If Rhino IOS is to survive it should evolve into something like Shapr3D with is the way to go on iPad.
Export in DWG or DXF and you have a wide choice of free viewer apps that have made Rhino IOS already obsolete.

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Can we get the developers to support Rhino7?

Hi - see this reply:


Apologies if this is considered off topic, but for viewing .3DMs on mobile as well as sending them to others not familiar with 3D software, Iris is a pretty fantastic solution that already incorporates curves/text/dimensions as requested above.

This project has also seemingly been lacking love recently (it’s been a while since any new features) and with the current trend towards web interfaces, it would be great to keep this free, easy to use project alive. Iris is cross platform and platform agnostic, and it would likely be possible to wrap into an app version for iOS users if necessary (plus maintenance would be lower with a shared code base across platforms).

we’ve been developing a Rhino3dmLoader directly in three.js. A lot of what we learned with Iris is going into this development. Check out these samples:

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Thanks so much for the comment, the PBR texture and the visual quality of the samples is astounding. I can’t wait till this has a more polished interface and becomes a core part of Rhino.

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