Can’t handle linework like AutoCAD

I saw this in the very long Push Pull thread, so I am moving it to a new thread.

@LeCorbusier please explain exactly what you are referring to when you say the above.
Explain both 1 & 2.
Please provide a procedure and a a 3DM file, if necessary to duplicate your issue here.
Happy to make sure what you are missing is on the list for future Rhino.

Mary Ann Fugier
McNeel Support

Allow me to jump in here.
It’s true, AutoCAD is faster with 2D linework. Much faster, highly optimized. That’s among the very few things where it’s better than Rhino (second thing would be dynamic blocks, and that’s about it).
Yet the moment you go 3D (by orbiting the scene), it ‘thinks’ a while, and then the viewport performance advantage is pretty much gone.
You must have experienced this yourself. Take any really big 2D plan an give it a try.

Could we please have a ‘live’ Make2D mechanism? Maybe even with layout space as target? Including DWG export from there?
(The VisualArq guys are after that, as you know. However. it is debatable if this kind of feature should be charged an extra €800 for.)

1 Like

Got it, @Eugen .
Thanks for the additional details.
2D sections and elevations that support history are already on the tracker for consideration in a future Rhino.

And there are many wishes from AutoCAD users there as well, as you can imagine,.
Rhino 8 WIP improves Section and Clipping Plane assignments already.

And in the future, other features like printing surface edges with thickness and linetypes, may allow the model to stay 3D longer and not have to go to 2D. Then updating the 3D model will update all the details and sections. That is the dream.

Rhino 8 WIP will open DWGs with dynamic blocks and match the visual look of when they were in AutoCAD. See this thread,

Give it a try and let us know if it works better for you. If you have a file that does not work, make sure and DM me a download link so I can test.

Mary Ann Fugier
McNeel Support

Longterm Acad user here. In my opinion Rhino 8 is almost at feature parity now as far as drawing 2D lines is concerned. You have linetype endcap styles now(only reason i still have to use Autocad), per object linetype and linetype scale, and i understand it will be possible to make linetypes with thickness now too.

Only a few minor features remain. AutoCAD has the WipeOut command and Rhino does not, but that can be worked around. It would still be nice to have it so it would import from DWGs. The only think i would really miss is that AutoCAD displays the lengths and areas of selected (poly)lines in the properties panel. Its really handy to not have to run the Distance and Area commands constantly.

Also hatching is better in Autocad insofar, as you dont have to preselect the linework you want to hatch, you just click inside and it finds the boundaries on its own. Makes a difference if you do it a lot.

AutoCAD also has an annotation scale system and Rhino doesnt. But i guess this isnt strictly linework-related.

What is currently broken in WIP is the LinetypeDisplay PatternBySegment option, which doesnt do anything for me right now and behaviour is always as if this option is set to No. This will have to be fixed obviously but i guess devs are aware?

Hi Mich -

That sounds like the Boundary option in the Rhino Hatch command?

I came to the conclusion that it was the PatternSegmentBreakAngle setting that was not working when I commented RH-72906 Linetype segments don’t match linetypes in V7.
I suppose it could be that it’s the PatternBySegment option that is broken. At any rate, it’s on the list.


Hi -

I can write that up as a feature request, but a few questions:

What happens when you select multiple curves? What happens when you select an open curve? What happens when you select multiple curves and some of them are open while others are closed? What happens when you sub-object select a segment of a curve? What happens when you sub-object an edge of a (poly-) surface?

When you select multiple curves with different length, it just displays “Varies”. Open planar polylines display the area as if they would after closing them. Thats how Autocad and Vectorworks do it.

I havent really thought about sub-objects, but it the most useful option to me would just to use the lengths of the selected edges or segments.

I dont quite understand how the Boundary option works. In AutoCad you dont have to select any boundary curves, you just click inside an enclosed area. It seems like you still have to select curves with the Boundary option on, unless im doing it wrong. Although i dont quite see the difference in behaviour with it on or off.

Run Hatch, set Boundary=Yes. Then start selecting your curves. Click inside the areas you want to hatch until the preview is how you like and Enter to finish.

Thanks, but whats the difference to when Boundary is set to No? I get the same result…

What i meant in my first post is that in Autocad you dont have to select anything at all, just click inside et voila.

+1 for having length, area and volume displayed in params!

In ACAD, when a closed polyline is selected, the area param shows up:

But when a closed and an open polyline are selected, no area param shows up at all. Kinda stupid. Please do it better.

I’d suggest, in Rhino, should you be inclined to add that feature, what is displayed in the properties is just what the corresponding commands return.
E.g. ‘Length’: “Cumulative length = 3442.14 meters for 3 curves”


I would strongly suggest we don’t add these features (area, length…) to Rhino UI - the way Autocad has them. In comparison with Autocad, Rhino gets “stuck” when there’s increased amount of 2D geometry (curves, hatches especially, dimension lines…). I think adding these area, volume, any other features, might make Rhino work slower.

This can be done with the current versions of Rhino. It’s just a script which is called by an Alias Length2, for example.

Making Rhino more laggy obviously isnt an option. Another idea would be to make it possible to extend the properties panel via a plugin. So people who want that could load such a plugin and display additional info. Dont know if its possible already.

Hi @mich.platter ,
Would you accept the solution Eugen proposed? That you have a command instead, and after running a command, additional info will be shown in Rhino’s command bar.

This is a valid feature request. It would be our job to get it to work without slowing the system down. I wouldn’t block the request based on the idea that it may impact performance.


Good example for multithreading, no? If there are some cores to spare, fine, calculate the area etc., but let’s not wait for it.

I could imagine something like a fly out tab, which you can open when needed and then it remains active also on new selected objects. it could display all kind of statistical data that could be helpful for a given object. (length,area,volume,face count, etc…)

Probably only useful for single object selection, or in some way, it has to prevent a slowdown/crash when selecting thousands of objects at once

I would like to add 2 more points to the OPs original post wrt to drawing architectural 2D plans in Rhino vs. AutoCAD - which i would define as drawing 2D polylines, hatches, text and annotations objects such as dimensions.

First is the text-editor, which is really basic in Rhino compared to Autocad. In particular i miss blocktext-formating option in Rhino, this is in my opinion a must have.I can live with Rhinos basic editor, but not this.

The second thing is dimensions. The convention in the building sector in the DACH region is to round of the nearest 5 millimeter, and if it rounds to a .5mm number, display a superscripted 5 in the dimension. It looks like this:
This may sound minor but is kind of a showstopper here…

What I miss more from AutoCAD is complex linetype support (shp). Rhino support only continuous or dashed linetypes. They are good for modeling but not enough for drafting.
About length and area in the properties panel, I used to use the bubble plugin from assuni for that. Unfortunately, they stopped the plugin a month.