Clipping Drawings Dimension And Annotation Association


Is there a way to associate the dimensions with clipping drawings’ snapping points?

Dimensions usually follow the solid model but when it comes to clipping drawings, only hatch patterns are associated to curves created by clipping drawings command only if the related layer has a section style.

If we can achieve this, the drawings created by clipping planes will be easily updated according to the changes applied to the model and I think it will be a great enhancement for technical drawings needed to be exported as dwg files.

Also, before the last update, it was possible to update all clipping drawings with “All” option (hitting “Enter”) in command bar but it seems that it is not working now. I just had to select the clipping plane manually to update the clipping drawing.



I’m afraid this is going to be a hard one to implement, since ClippingDrawings will generate a complete new drawing when updating. @rajaa ?

Oh, I see. Point IDs are changing, I guess. I am in a pathway to change my workflow and considering leaving AutoCAD behind and finalizing all drafting output via Rhino layouts. Clients still demand dwg format drawings. Revisions taking time and I need a little bit more automated.process for revisions.

I used to be using Solidworks and drafting had been less time consuming after they finalized with dimensions and annotations. Revisions had been made on the model were reflected automaticaly to the draft side in Solidworks. However there were some other kind of limitations related to the ordered history modeling.

I’ve been using Rhino for over 15 years now and I really would love to see the drafting side become more powerfull. Ability of handling model changes and reflecting them to paper side is a significant improvement for a single platform solution from modeling to drawing outputs.

Thanks for your kind attention and for your reply.


Exacly. As output from layout space. A long standing wish.
The VisualArq plugin v3 (upcoming) will feature this, but it’s not for free.


It is difficult to implement auto dimensioning as @Gijs mentioned. Dimensions in drawings reference certain parts of the objects in the 3d model (edge, point on an edge or a face, etc.). Objects transform, change topology, get deleted or replaced, and this make the association with drawings snap points hard to track/predict correctly.

Thank you for your explanation. In fact, I would love to create drafts with layout and snapping to actual model references. The only thing about using clipping drawings for me is to be able to exporting as vector output like AutoCAD dwg file format which is commonly demanded for drawing submissions to the client.

Lets hope and see if we can get an option to export only the layout tab as an dwg output soon. That would be much appreciated if perspective views are also converted to vectors, not raster images.



The Technical display mode in R8 supports vector output, with hidden lines, perspective or not (wireframe, too, but of course without hidden lines).
PDF only, for now. Looking forward to layout DWG export, too!

Thanks for the advice. :+1:. Yes, layout to DWG will be great.

Try ExportClippingDeawings command. You can save sections as DWG. Let me know if this helps.

Thanks @rajaa

I do use this command to export to dwg format. What I am after is the ability to finalize my whole drafting process in Rhino and export it in dwg format with all annotations, leaders, text and dimension objects as they are. I mean dimensions as dimensions, leaders as reusable leaders in dwg format.

I will attach a pdf file. I exported it from layout to pdf with a perspective view in Technical view style. Also from Display Mode settings, I unchecked “Show hidden lines” option. As we can see, some artifacts may occure in this view style, especially if I choose to create pdf in black and white. Some lines are not drawn while the others are drawn although they are obscured by surfaces.

I tried exporting to pdf and inserting back to AutoCAD via “Insert PDF” command. In that case, I can get this perspective view as a vectoral output but dimensions are turned into lines and text.

So why I wanted to do this? My clients want to see everything in dwg model space as a 2D technical drawing with all annotation elemnets as reusable objects. That’s why I chased after clipping drawings although it is not as easy as the layouts. First, all created layers are locked and I have only one chance to locate the section drawing. If I decide to move the drawing at a later time, I unlock all related layer, select hatches and lines and move to a certain point but if I manipulate the 3D model afterwards, section drawing updates but changes it location to the point where iti is located first. By the way, there is no history between dimensions and section drawings as you stated above. One more thing to mention for ClippingDrawing, if I add “Background”, it is reflected to the section, great for me. Layer system is also easy to manage but it does not work like “Make2D”, all lines are assigned to the clipping plane’s related layer. In a complex model, it is hard to distinguish which line belong to which model part. I know there is nothing to do with that so I’ll take it like that.

What is the limitation for me to use the layout?

  • There is only the curves translated from 3D objects in model space when I save the file as DWG. It is not like Make2D or Section commands’ output, only edges of the 3D objects but all visible. Not solids or surfaces too.
  • Although the “Technical” views property is set to not showing the hidden lines, after saving as DWG, 3D objects are translated to curves and layout is no longer shows visible lines only. Every viewport is wireframe.
  • I thought there would be a work arround if I open dwg in AutoCAD and activate the exported layout from Rhino, right click and run “Export layout to model” command, some views gone forever and if O rbit, a bunch of scaled and not scaled lines floating in model space and eventually, all lines are visible again.
  • If I print the layout and insert it into an AutoCAD file, all dimensions and annotations are exploded as lines and texts. Not reusable.

I think, I have to do the same things that I do for a long time. Make2D, sections (ClippingDrawings is much better in R8, great), export everything without layout and annotations, do the hard work in AutoCAD and if something changes and I need to revise,

Maybe I am missing a very important point that will cure all these problems at a glance, if so, I would be so glad to be aware of that.

I took your time, thanks in advance.


demo printout.pdf (73.0 KB)

I came across this same problem, once testing the new clipping drawings feature. As a workaround, is it possible to make the dimensions and annotations, from the 3d model, to be visible in the 2d drawing? Is this already possible somehow, and if not, could this be implemented in the future?