From 3D model to 2D drawing. Help!

I have a map of a city in 3DM format and I want to make a 2D drawing from the top view. I’ve tried using MAKE2D function in Rhino and export the file to Adobe Illustrator - but was no drawing in the document. Hope someone can help me.

You ran Make2D and got nothing, or did it actually succeed and it is just the export that failed?

If the first - the map of the city is what… a 3D file, a 2D file? If it’s something like imported from Google Earth or some other site that has city representations in 3D, you’re going to have trouble with those - as they are mesh models and Make2D does not work on meshes… There might be some workarounds, but first it’s important to know what’s in your file.


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Hello- it may be that the extents of the curves are just too large for AI to handle. If you open the file in AI and Select All, does anything get selected at all? You can try scaling the Make2d output if it is very large, in Rhino, before exporting.


The city map is only made of curves - no meshes. It’s a very detailed map so I think the size is an issue - but I hope there is a solution? I can’t find anything in the Illustrator file. Thank you in advance for your help.

Thanks for your reply. I think the size is an issue. There is nothing in the Illustrator file. Now it’s just like the 2D drawing is completely gone in Rhino - do you know how to find the drawing again?

Hello- does Undo a few times get the curves back?


This is easy to fix. (I belive)
Illustrator handles the documents in a way that W0,0 is the bottom left corner of the paper. And it has a fixed size for what it will show. That is basically the paper size + the artboard. Anything placed out side of that area will not be shown.
So the 2D drawing has to be placed and scaled and the document exported to in a size that makes all your 2D data fit in that paper space/arto board space.

Good luck.

I’ve seen though, with building size curves, that AI simply does not handle it at all and the files are empty, at least as far as I could tell.


Another Make2D issue. It’s all there somewhere. In Illustrator, the Rhino file is off the extents usually. Rhino only exports to version 8 and they are on version 16, I think.
In Illustrator, immediately after opening the rhino exported AI file, do a select all, ctrl-A, cut, ctrl-x then paste ctrl-v – the drawing lines (and there are many of them-- disconnected) will get pasted onto the illustrator page at the very center. If it’s still too large, and AI complains, select a smaller output ratio in Rhino. Meters to mm or inches to mm, or 1 inch to .25 inch, for example.

Totally unrelated to previous conversation but,

Is there some way for Rhino 5 to do 3D to 2D drawings? I am very familiar with Solidworks. Best thing about it right now is it has a feature that lets the user convert 3d models into 2d drawings in the same program. With no need to export into AutoCad. Feature is very easy to use and handy as well.

If rhino does not have it now, could it be a possible consideration for future updates?

Yes, as MSavage says: they are not empty, just out of the “workspace” it is important that the curves are placed close to Origin.
And a mm is a mm, so one has to scale them down to the right size. The curves are there, just out of reach for the user. If one does so, then it’s good to go.


Use make2d to make 2d drawings.
(icon: 2d cube with red pencil)
But Rhino 2d stuff is not linked to the original 3D model, so any changes to the 3D model requires you to make new 2D data, and annotate it again.


Thanks for the info!

Hi how are you!

I have the same problem, i need to make a 2d drawing in rhinoceros, but my model is made in mesh, so, is there any possibility to make it like this? or what can i do to have mak d drawing.

Thank you so much.


2D of meshes will be supported in Rhino 6.
But if your meshes are light (houses, boxes etc) you can convert them to nurbs, then merge the coplanar faces and use make 2d on those new nurbs.

Or if images are ok, and you don’t need nurbs curves you can use the pen display mode and viewcapture the view to file.
If you use -viewcapturetofile with the “-” in front you can set a custom resolution.

I’m having trouble making a perspective view 2d drawing of a polysurface. I’ve tried copying the object to a new file, tried all different make2d options but I only get drawings for the top, right and front views. If I select only perspective view, I don’t even get a make2d layer. Any ideas on what’s causing this?

Edit: On further inspection there was a naked edge in the polysurface. Exploding the thing worked.


I’m having trouble opening a file from Rhino in illustrator on Window- I made the object 2D but when I export the selected object I can only open it through Creative Cloud but even then it is in-editable on illustrator and way too big. How do I get it to be the right size and can I make windows recognize the ai. file?

I m not problem with making 2d, I have already make my solids 2d but I cannot reverse it and I have to reverse and change some of them in 3d. How can I reverse this command? thank you.

If you have deleted your original 3D objects you will have to recreate them the same way as you originally constructed them. There is no automated Make3D command or anything else that will reverse Make2D.

(In a limited number of cases the Crv2View command can help recreating a 3D curve from two 2D curves).