BUG: Rhino PDF poor quality vs other PDF printer

I’ve been printing with rhino pdf for some time, until I decided to do a quick test lately comparing it to bullzip pdf printer. I dont have another pdf printer so I can’t say what the quality would be with other cases, but in this case, the bullzip pdf has better final print resolution at half the resolution settings (300dpi) vs rhino pdf at double resolution (600dpi). See attached. I love rhino pdf for it’s speed, but I prefer bullzip for the quality. Ive tried increasing the dpi settings to 600 and then 1200dpi for rhino, and even changed to raster from vector, but regardless, the print quality is poor. See attached outputs to see what I mean.

PLEASE guys: make fixing rhino PDF a priority so we can finally use native efficient pdf printing with clean, crisp, non-pixelated results. Thank you.

test print - rhino pdf 1200dpi raster.pdf (332.6 KB)
test print - rhino pdf 1200dpi.pdf (304.0 KB)
test print - bullzip 600dpi.pdf (1.2 MB)
test print - rhino pdf 300dpi.pdf (302.7 KB)
test print - rhino pdf 600dpi.pdf (651.2 KB)
test print - bullzip 300dpi.pdf (590.1 KB)


Can you provide the 3dm file so I can write up a bug report and alsotry and repeat what you are seeing? Thanks

I’d like to second this. Changing the resolution seems to make no difference to the quality of the print. It seems to be related to the JPG compression happening on the raster images - is there a setting I can change to just ratchet that up a few percent?

Here it is: PROBLEM.3dm (14.1 MB)

I also investigated this issue to exhaustion today, I would like to second it as important.

After all the work done to make new and improved display modes, it seems a waste that the native PDF printer cuts some corners when rendering and saving the results. The new display modes are very refined, helpful, and good looking, it’d just be nice to have it on paper too.

It seems like the line, edge, surface, and shadow effects of a detail are rendered at a fixed resolution separate from the DPI of the print, size of the paper, and the zoom factor in layout space. Adjusting the scale factor in the print preview window provides a higher resolution render, but is then cropped by the edge of the paper. The exported PDFs then all have lower resolution graphics and muddy “linework.”
I would speculate that the rendering is taking place at the same resolution found in the print preview window, but since this is fixed to the size of the desktop window, it’s usually low resolution and quality.

In the image, the bottom preview shows render results that totally look great, but since it doesn’t layout on the paper like the top preview, it’s useless.

In trying to troubleshoot this issue, I found some other quirks that really hinder workflow, but aren’t quite so game breaking that they can’t be worked around. First, it doesn’t seem like PrintDisplay Mode can be activated in a layout detail (adjusting lineweights and styles after enabling a detail isn’t so convenient.) Second, the math for adjusting the DPI for dots/cm seems to be backwards. Typing in 100dots/cm compresses the render at about 39dots/cm, which kinda make sense if it was 100 dpi translated to dots/cm. Third, when exporting Rendered Display modes, sometimes these triangle artifacts mess up the image, as in the second attached PDF. (Maybe just an issue with my graphics driver and OpenGL?) Last and least, occasionally, hitting the Printing All Layouts bubble on the print screen will not print all the pages unless they’ve been viewed in layout space first. Like they need to be manually cached or something. (maybe this is just a problem with heavier layouts and display modes)

Again, Thanks for all the help and attention! I get these are relatively mundane compared to all the other features Rhino excels at.

181122 Elevations Schnellerstrasse300.pdf (502.3 KB)
181122 Elevations Schnellerstrasserender.pdf (616.1 KB)

Thanks; I created a bug report for this at

1 Like

Thank you.

This is reported as fixed but in fact is not.
The quality of printing picturframe is still low:

Adobe PDF:

Rhino PDF:


Please check!
Thank you!

Hi - the issue you refer to wasn’t about printing pictureframes.
That said, I’ve just tried a PDF print with a pictureframe and that seemed to print to PDF fine here. Can you post a simple file that doesn’t behave well on your end?

Hello @wim,

Here are the test files.Tthere’s some compression happening with rhino pdf because if i zoom i see jpeg artifacts. There’s no compression with adobe, the lines look clean.

01 adobe.pdf (43.8 KB)

01-rhino.pdf (87.5 KB) 200113 01.3dm (157.3 KB)

Hi Bogdan - I don’t have the Adobe PDF printer here but, using your file and printing (all to 600dpi) to RhinoPDF, Microsoft PDF, and CutePDF, I don’t see any difference when zoomed in to 400%:

200113 01-MS-L-wrmd.pdf (362.2 KB)
200113 01-Cute-L-wrmd.pdf (188.7 KB)
200113 01-rhino-L-wrmd.pdf (643.1 KB)

Moreover, I don’t see the slight fuzziness when printing to RhinoPDF that I can see when zoomed in to 400% in your result from RhinoPDF (the picture below).

I do see that your PDF file is a lot smaller than the one I posted (87.5 KB vs 643.1 KB). Are you also printing to 600 dpi?

I found the problem.
The difference is between raster and vector. if you print a pictureframe in vector you will get artifacts.

It is very useful to use vector printing because in many cases on top of a raster image there’s vector drawing of arrows text, etc.
So please make sure that a pictureframe printed in vector mode will not get compressed.
Please check the difference between raster and vector.