Blender inside Rhino?

Is blender inside Rhino possible? It would be great if bongo got folded into Rhino with blender and that it all worked inside Rhino. If rhino had tyflow and fx it would rock the world.

Rhino’s becoming so strong now I think with cycles it’s even outdoing vray for ease of use and quality results. I know Vray has tons of options I use it in max it’s great but at times after using cycles I see Rhino’s a few steps ahead in some areas. Like decals really are poorly implemented in Vray you can’t even see them until rendered and then there’s the constant pain of using their cameras, their lights, their materials. If I didn’t need explosions, fire and water all that Phoenix has I gladly ditch it.

We can export to Blender wonder if blender could be made to open as a controlled tab in rhino for animation and fxs?

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That is the other way around than what this category is about.

I’m still tinkering with Rhino in Blender, which may become eventually what you’re hinting at. Just that the first program to start is Blender, then have Rhino inside Blender.


I hope see Hops for blender, or similar tool

Hi @nathanletwory @anon39580149
Hops is beyond me wish I had time to learn it.

I know I changed the order, I don’t want to leave Rhino such a great interface. Blender in rhino would rock with all their animation tools but modeling in Rhino. I know most likely can’t be done but maybe the animation part and particle modifiers could be ported like your doing with cycles?
Or perhaps fold Blender’s animation system into Bongo to give that the power cycles is giving to rendering in Rhino.
Thanks for your reply and possible interest.

I am still trying to wrap my head around how the symbiotic relationship is going to work.

I know @gustojunk wants all sorts of live interaction, you want all sorts of uvmapping and animation, particles.

But it still is a bit foggy for me how to exactly do that.

Feel free to throw ideas in here of how you envision / dream / fantasize the workflow. Even if it in the end is impossible at least it is good to get the neurons firing, forging new paths into the future…


I was thinking to keep doing in Rhino what Rhino is good for (IMO):
Nurbs modeling, blocking forms, curve-based SubD blocking/roughing, dimensionally accurate scaling, offsetting, sectioning, grasshopper modeling/paneling/texturing.

Then bring that data to Blender and do in Blender what it does best (IMO): detail SubD modeling, retopo, UV unwrapping, create/apply materials, rigging and animation, particles, rendering, place/stage in Blender assets/scenes.

Any object coming from Rhino can have materials, instances, animation applied in Blender. I can edit teh object late rin RHIno and those model (geometry) changes get updated inside Blender (preserving materials, animation, etc.)

Is this in line with what’s possible and desirable for more people?

Re: Bongo animation. Bongo 3 seems to be doing some very nice mechanical animation setups. I’d like to bring those rigged/animated models into Blender and preserve that animation information, then be able to edit the animation in Blender, create/apply materials, and render the scenes in Blender.




Hi @gustojunk @nathanletwory

Good to hear from you hope things are going well.
I have to agree your solution sounds much more reasonable. I have the twinmotion link and although it’s nice it lacks with the pivot nonsense,scale issues, material mapping etc. But it’s pretty nice. I’m moving into unreal and that’s pretty intense. I hate to have to learn yet another program but I think Blender beckons. I’m seeing really great work coming out of there.

Is this possible now? If so I’ll have to take the dive in.

Yes that would be great I’d totally wish for this to work as you describe.

Nathan thanks for your interest and for entertaining the idea. I don’t know how much is possible but if we can get a solid link to blender I’ll give up on my request. Also I know you have your hands full porting cycles.


  • Blender modifiers based on Rhinocommon/Grasshopper logic would be great

    Similarly, rhinocommon inside “geometry nodes”

Ha! So true Aitor. I was just reading and watching demos of Blender’s Geometry Nodes. It’s sooo good, so powerful, yet so clearly missing Nurbs and clear/precise elements and tools found in GH/Rhinocommon.

They’d go great together.



So far all the points proposed sounds very sensible.

I also think that Rhino would be the asset (product) design side, and Blender essentially the visualization side of the entire equation.


The tasks are not as linear and are much more intertwined, where Blender plays a very important role in the design and modeling of products. This is why we need live-linking functions.

For example a lot (most) SubD modeling happens also in Blender where tools, selection, interface, performance, etc. are much better than Rhino’s. And that superiority most likely increase overtime. So Blender is not used just for visualization, but also for a lot of concept modeling.

In some cases all that Blender SubD modeling can be based on 3D underlays of Rhino blocky models: we can retopo and refine in Blender a few chunky booleans or grouped primitives built in Rhino. We then want to change proportions of the Rhino ‘chunky bits’ and see that change in Blender to then manually now (using geometry nodes soon) adapt out detailed/designed model created in Blender.

In some other cases we work with internal/mechanical components of a product created in Rhino, or imported to Rhino from a client’s Solidworks/NX file; or a part’s manufacturer.Step file, even a piece of hardware or fastener .step file from something we are buying on McMaster-Carr store. We arrange and organize all that solid data in Rhino, then we want to see in all in Blender to surface over it, maybe even after trying some mechanical animations in Bongo3, and adding ‘keep-out zones’ of collision/access as Rhino objects.



moreover, blender is becoming a fully featured IFC authoring platform with BlenderBIM (IFC its a very important open standard for AEC industry (Architecture/Engineering/Construction) software interoperability).

With Rhino inside blender, I could use blender as a vehicle for importing/exporting IFC data to/from Rhino, so I could deliver with Rhino data rich 3D building models, construction schedules, structural analitical models, etc…

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Hi @nathanletwory
Just a few questions and possible wishes.

Does the current rhino exporter work well? I’ve downloaded blender and I see they have a native 3dcoat applink, but I don’t see one for Rhino. Does Rhino have an applink or something similar in Rhino’s package manager?

Does exporting to blender keep Rhino’s layer structure?
This is what I wish for the most thoughtful or complete layer structure export.

I see blender has collections but how does that work for Rhino? My biggest time suck sometimes is exporting layer structures. Max is great if one uses dwg but for objs I have to rearrange my layer structures. I’m currently doing "lots of stuff high polycount scenes. This is one reason I use Rhino I have to make my scenes almost complete using worksessions then they get poly reduced, blocked and proxied etc latter.

Scene auto scene updating would be great like Gustavo describes along with a solid export with intact layers structures. Perhaps that’s doable already?

Thanks for any tips and looking forward to where this might lead.


If you are talking about [import_3dm] then yes, it works. There are some open issues, but in general it should work. I did a couple of live coding streams recently working on import_3dm. This week I hope to release another version of the plug-in with several PRs merged in for fixes and features.

Not to my knowledge, although I believe @tom_svilans did something through grasshopper.

Yes. You should try the importer.

As said I hope to do a new release which will have the fixes done in the second stream below.

For the Rhino Inside Blender project I’ll probably also start live coding streams in the near future.


Hi @nathanletwory and @3dsynergy
I sketched out a basic Grasshopper Hops example from Blender a while back, which worked fine, but a true applink would be very interesting.

Another way to go back and forth might be through Speckle. Me and Izzy hashed out a pretty decent Blender add-on for Speckle which Izzy has taken to new levels and which integrates Blender pretty nicely into the Speckle ecosystem. Might be a good thing to try out (it is also open-source).



thats true, your speckle for blender is great, much appreciated @tom_svilans

Hi @nathanletwory
That’s mostly beyond me, but I appreciate your hard work on this and for making the video, nice keyboard by the way.

I thought there was a simple way to get my models exported into blender? From watching the video I reckon you are working on a new add on that will let me export my 3dm models into the current blender? If that’s the case why not release it when it’s complete through the package manager or upload it on Food for Rhino.
Sorry coding’s not my forte so hoping for a simple alternative.

The addon already exists for Blender. import_3dm. This can’t be released on the Rhino package manager. Go to the repository via the provided link, download the latest release archive and install in Blender.

This is what Im hoping for. A hybrid design environment: grasshopper, rhino, blender, blender nodes with live documentation / BIM interoperability. Rhino documentation its only real weakness atm. All depends on whether BlenderBIM reaches full development. Seems Unreal Engine joined their development fund, so excited about this

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Thank you @nathanletwory !

I have been using the importer you created for a few years now. I do modeling and Visualization for Naval Architects. I model most everything about the boats in rhino because it’s how I learned and accuracy is required. All the texturing, animation, environment building and rendering happen in Blender. Eevee has enabled us to do animation quickly and affordably.

Recently I installed Blender 3.0 and I downloaded and installed your current exporter from

When I import a .3dm into Blender 3.0 no geometry comes in.

I then tried Blender 2.9 where I last used the importer successfully and got an error message saying the Module was not found. I checked the file path it listed and the file was there.

Any suggestions? I just had to work around this problem to make a deadline, it really made me appreciate the importer as an essential part of my workflow!