Exporting flat layout sheets

Now that I’ve figured out how to set up a layout/sheet - is there a way to export a specific layout/sheet as a dwg on its own? Ive read a couple older threads and it seems like exporting sheets and layouts to DWG has been a bit of a thorn for others in the past?

Example: my rhino file has 3 sheets set up in it. I’d like to export each of these separately. What I’m imagining is a separate 2D dwg file for each, with the same annotations, views, on/off layers, etc. Basically, a simple 2D dwg version of what my pdf export is showing.

If anyone has ever worked with Revit, I’m trying to produce the same output of sheets, where the dwg sheet comes out pretty much exactly as the pdf sheet.

Is that possible? (Is what I’m describing even clear?!)

Your question is clear, but unfortunately the answer is, not really. It depends a bit on how you have structured your details / layouts. If you have Make2d -ed your geometry, and your layouts consist of details of that make2d work, then it is easier. If your details are looking at bits of the model itself, you will have to make2d them first.

Once you have everything represented by line work, what I like to do is first save a copy, because invariable I destroy the model in this process. For each detail, double click into the detail to make it active, select everything you see, copy inPlace, testChangeSpace (this will not autocomplete, you have to type it all out, in V6 it has been promoted to ChangeSpace). This will suck all that line work into layout space. You will probably have to trim up the results. Once you have done this for all the details on the sheet, delete all the details on the sheet. If you did everything right, it should look the same, but now everything is in layout space. Quickly hop back into model space, hide everything so it doesn’t get in the way, and back to layout space. Create a new detail on your recently denuded layout which is now devoid of details. It should be top projection, and the snapped to the corners of your sheet so it is the size of the sheet. Once placed, change its scale so it is 1:1. Select everything in the layout, and testChangeSpace again, you will be asked to Select target detail view, select the new detail you just made. This will blow everything back to model space. Change back to model space, select the sheet that should now exist there, move it to where you want it, then export DWG. Rinse and repeat for the other layouts.


Hi Sam + all,

The idea makes sense, but it doesn’t seem to be working as expected. The scaling/annotations take a bit of clean up but generally look the same, however all of the dimension annotations change their numbers. It seems to happen on the second testChangeSpace, as when it gets pushed back into the model space the dimensions all changed by the scale difference (in this case, from 1:150 to 1:1).

Is there no other way to do this? Because to be honest, unfortunately this is not a realistic way to output our drawings. We would probably need to go back and export as the standard DWG, which is not ideal and doesn’t give us the output we are hoping for, but at least provides all the information we would expect.

Will this be addressed in V6? Not to harp about programs, but we would ideally hope to have a similar output process as the Revit sheets method if possible.

That is interesting with the dimensions losing scale. Where are they starting, in model or in layout space? Do you have any scaling on the length factor?

I haven’t found a better way to export single sheets. It has been a wish that has been kicking around for a bit, but they don’t get bugged about it very often, so I don’t think it is top most on their list. One thing that may or not be helpful to you is there is a difference between exporting as DWG and saving as DWG, as the save as will save with the layouts (all of them, not a flattened single), export will not. Not sure if that gets you any closer to what you need.


Thanks for the help Sam.

I tried a few different ways of getting the scale to come out correctly, because I understand the method you were describing and thought that it should theoretically work. However it continues to give a 1:1 drawing scale rather than a 1:1 model scale, making the sheet unusable.

I’ve managed to find a method that essentially gets out a file that meets minimum requirements. Essentially I’ve done a ‘save as’ to produce the DWG file, then in Autocad gone through and updated the scales properly in the sheets, then saved out each sheet individually into its own file. Its a bit tedious and certainly not a preferred method, but we did get the sheets out as needed for submission.

Thinking back, I probably would have preferred to get the geometry into Revit and do the work there, however I haven’t found a satisfactory way to produce unrolled elevations (which was the whole point in me learning how to produce sheets directly in Rhino to get the geometry right).

If anyone from Mcneel is watching… I would happily use Rhino over AC for drafting sheets for the future if only there was a way to output the individual sheets as DWG’s in a simple, efficient way a la Revit… V6 wishlist…

I found a nice little work around. Once you’ve exported your layout into a PDF (make sure you export lines as vectors) you can then open the PDF in Rhino (select load text) in which it will open the layout in model space. You can then export this file as a .dwg file.

I also had the same problem to solve recently.
The solution from @SamPage is really great, and it works for me. The key is the ChangeSpace command.
And in rhino7 it is much simpler, if your goal is to export only one layout in a dwg. Propably you could combine them in a next step, if you want to have a clear dwg with all the layouts.
First, one can export the layout itself as .dwg. I don’t know if this was the case in earlier versions.

In layout view, activate your detail, select the objects, and type ChangeSpace. Afterward, you can select everything on the layout, and Export. You have the option to export in dwg. Details will be skipped. To avoid dialog message, deselect or delete details before export. Layers, annotations will remain untouched in dwg so far.
Possible to make it scripted.