Collaborating on Rhino Files on a Cloud server

Hi, this is kind of a repost of a post I previously wrote about issues with linked blocks but since I didn’t get any replies there I’m trying a more solution-based approach:

What is your suggested way of using Rhino V6 Mac for this scenario:

  • two or more designers working on a (room) design
  • designers are working from different locations and files are hosted on a cloud storage service like dropbox to ensure timely and seamless collaboration
  • items in this design are saved in seperate files so the designers can work on different parts of the design autonomously and simultaneously
  • ideally there would be a library of standard items, changes in which are reflected in multiple (room) designs (not the most important, but nice to have)

We are experiencing great difficulties working together from different locations due to the way Rhino seems to be handling reference files (missing linked blocks items, textures, …).

Worksessions are not an option I have learned today since this is a feature not implemented in Rhino for Mac.

I am curious if there is a more or less elegant solution to this scenario, which I imagine is not too rare in today’s design world? How are others dealing with this?


Thanks for your post, this is a complicated topic with many variables. In general, I’d say sharing a file is possible on cloud storage but in practice it can be hard to maintain due to macOS versioning of the file. For instance, if I start a file > save it in an iCloud folder and then share it with another user. Issues of what the current version is can arise if we both have it open at the same time. The best solution I’ve found is to make sure only one user has it open at a time and saves prior to closing the file for any other user to work on it. It’s also important to keep an eye on the shared folder for .RHL files which are the temporary files Rhino creates while it is open. If multiple users try to work on the same shared file more than one .RHL file can get created which inevitably will cause the share users to lose changes when macOS versioning kicks in on the owners Rhino. The changes then appear on the other users Rhino and reopening the file can bring them back as well for the share user.

Admittedly, working on shared files is not something I do a lot. I personally would save many alternate back up versions manually though. I tried some collaboration with my colleague @pascal and using Linked blocks inserted in a shared file does work but the blocks need to be updated manually and at times saved files by the share user needed to be reopened to see changes. Materials and textures updated as well and if the source 3dm files also were saved in the iCloud folder with Save Textures enabled, the texture maps also were saved.

With that said, this is not something that has been experimented with and designed for extensively. It appears to work but I see a number of potentially confusing situations that can arise if files are open and edited in unison. For future reference, I have this item filed for our developers to look into with me when time permits. For now, if you want to work on shared files, I would suggest inserting linked blocks that also live on the share folder and coordinate with other users to avoid concurrent editing. Again, I’d also use SaveAs and save local back ups manually just in case.