Creating an orthographic drawing from a model

I’m still trying to become more proficient using Rhino. I’m trying to figure out how to create an Orthographic line drawing from a model or assembly of boards and existing hardware. I use as a base drawing for sketch concepts. In my old software it is called “Model to sheet”.

Hail Pogue! Try copying your modeled parts to a new layer, exploding or arranging them in Perspective viewport until you like what you see. Select all and run make2d. This will produce a line drawing in the Top viewport that can be edited and used as an assembly drawing or instruction sheet or whathaveyou.

You can also try this plugin to explode your model to see all components. This is for the Mac version …

the original thread to describe the Windows version and how it works is here …

IHTH «Randy

First I want to thank all for the generous suggestions as to the answer to my poorly worded description of what I’m looking for. I have always thought of orthographic as Front view, Top view and Side view.

The 1st CAD program I used was ViaCAD, which would output those views with the command “Model to sheet”. Before I even started using 3D CAD my mechanical designer would output 2D DXF files that I could use as base drawings for concept sketches.

The suggestions for how to do exploded drawing were very helpful, but not what I am looking for now.

Have you tried the Make2D command, as Dennis suggested ?

Yes Make2D …

My objects …

Make2D options …

And your lines will show up in your top viewport …


Not yet. But it sounds so specific to exploded assembly drawings. I’ll give it a try tomorrow. Sorry to have responded without giving it a try.



This is what I started with. I tried to use the same 2D settings you you
This is what the DXF I was able to import import into another 2d program
looked like:

Obviously I¹m doing something very wrong.


Hi Lonnie,

can you attach the rhino file you want the lines from and i will look to give you better info. I haven’t worked with DFX in a while. You could send that as well, add by the upload icon above.

Cheers, «Randy

Hi Lonnie, Randy

( Dont’ know if this can be of any help, but … )

I made a quick test with a somewhat similar shape with round fillets and using low tolerance ( on Rhino Win )
Both with a single solid object and with the solid exploded into surfaces.

m2d.3dm (574.4 KB)

Looks like exploding the solid makes thing slightly better …
but still not quite right.
Some curves should need to be fixed by hand anyway, I think …
Or maybe we would need an even lower tolerance …:confused:


Working with M2D on the PC does return similar errors but the combination of hidden and tangents gives you the overall curves you need.

One trick is to draw a box around the Make2D output and then use _CurveBoolean command to create the outlines… You can do this a couple of times to sort out the vast majority of areas without trimming and joining.

Hope that helps

m2da.3dm (813.6 KB)

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First of all, I want to thank everyone that has invested way more time than my little concern warranted. I think the correct thing for me to do is to just move on to trying to learn other aspects of modeling in Rhino.

The solution in the short term is to simply move components (PCB’s, Displays, etc.) to the desired position, the output the file to my wimpy assed ViaCad program, click one ICON (Model to sheet) and instantly get the results I need.

I just talked with my former business partner that has used Rhino since he retired from Nissan. He designs the way that I do and uses orthographic views for his initial had sketches. He just does a screen capture of the Rhino 4 window and uses that as his underlay. Simple, but not the way I want to do it.

Why don’t you use the Layout function? it will make a nice 4-view picture (top,right,front,perspective). There is no need to convert it to a line drawing, if you want to add annotation or dimensioning it can be done on the layout sheet proper. Here is an example:


Thanks Max