FBX - exporting blocks as instances


I’d wish for the FXB exporter to export blocks as instances.
Or did I miss something and is it already possible?


What program do you want to export your fbx to?
I looked through All of the export format options and not a single one actually has a place to tick a box that mentions
blocks or instances.
fbx seems to have that ability- listed in its specs…in 3dsmax and maya.

try.this- from a blender forum.
“The ASCII FBX exporter could handle exporting group instances”…rhino does have an option for this at least.

So, the question stay unanswered, could it be possible to add it to Rhino? I like to send data as FBX to a client, but the scene is using a lot of blocks.



@Tim, any idea here?


So, at the moment, it is on the list but it turns out it is not straightforward at all to do this, and it has not been given a high priority so far.


Is there an other file format to export a scene of meshes with blocks? My client like to create a RT model from my render model.

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Hi Micha,

A shot in the dark: Did you already try DXF/DWG?


If I must preserve my blocks or instances when exporting from Rhino, I would export to 3ds max as a skp file format. Then I would export my mesh as an FBX from 3ds max. This will preserve your blocks and also what ever material you have specified. I am not sure how your textures will come in to 3ds max as I have had some issues with UV coordinates when exporting out of Rhino 6.

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We would ideally like to cut 3D Studio Max out of the process completely.

The current workaround seems to be export to STEP and then use Unreal with Datasmith to convert to FBX, but that’s also very cumbersome.

But we also discovered that not only isn’t blocks/instances preserves, rotation and location isn’t preserved either, as all origins will be placed at zero.

EDIT: Just found out about this which I hope will serve as a workaround as well.

That is because Rhino objects do not have object references (frames, origins, centers) of their own. All geometry data is always in world space. In other words they have their origins at world origin.

Block instances are the only objects that have a real object origin and transform.

rhino3dm is not going to help with getting object frames, because the Rhino fileformat does not have one.

Oh, I was talking about blocks instances. They currently get “exploded” in the export.

But could you please take a look here as well, because I can’t get that method to work either.

Any solution in this subject at this moment?

Hi Mario -

@tim has been working on this recently and item RH-57258 [not visible to the public…] is on the Next Up list for Rhino 7.

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Hi Mario,

What I have been working on, sort of, is the import of blocks from FBX. It turns out to be hard and I’ll probably have to rewrite at least a portion of the plugin to get it going. It’s been “Next Up” for sometime now. I was all jazzed up to get on it until I found out there’s no example code in their SDK and the header files regarding “connections” aren’t really helpful. Once I finish import, I’ll start on export. I don’t think this is going to make it into V7, at least the initial release. BTW, I made the bug tracking issue public so you can see it if you care to look.


Oh, that’s a pity, that it will not be fixed soon as possible. So far I understand FBX is an important format and this universal connection should be in best quality.

Have fun with importing of blocks from FBX. :grimacing: It’s handled differently depending on the FBX version, and also, different software handle scaling of nested instances (nested blocks) differently. I don’t know more than that, only that the Blender developers acknowledged but haven’t been able to fix it for three years and counting. :slight_smile:

An open-source project that maintains block identities during export is here: https://github.com/Reification/RePort
Works for Rhino6… support for Rhino5 & Rhino7 is in progress.

If you happen to be converting to Unity then the import tools will convert the blocks to prefabs.

(I needed this functionality several months ago, found this thread, and am now sharing my approach to addressing this.)

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Just found this searching to see if Rhino / Grasshopper can export instances to Blender…

Any updates?

Is there any news about native export blocks as instances to fbx?

Hi Marcin -

RH-57258 is public, so you can check its status there. It was put on the 8.x list almost 2 years ago and, at this point, I think it’s prudent to consider this a “Future” item.

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