Hobbyist licence

Hello ,
Is it possible for hobbyist like me who don’t made any commercial to get a student licence ?
If yes , how do i proceed ?

1 Like

I totally agree that I wish McNeel got with the times and offered some alternative licensing options. I have many hobby user friends who would love to use Rhino and Grasshopper when I show them some of the things it can do. Obviously, none of them are going to spend 1000 Euros on it.

What I could imagine would be the option to have a timed license.

To police who is using Rhino commercially and who isn’t is very hard. Getting a student version is a good way of getting Rhino for a cheap/fair price and I would guess that many students will hang on to their licenses for a long time after finishing their studies.

But I don’t have much hope that anything will happen in that regard. McNeel doesn’t strike me as a company that is very willing to experiment…

To be perfectly honest, I’d rather have McNeel not “going with the times” in terms of licensing.


Hi Fabrice -

You could enroll as a student at an accredited school. Contact your local dealer or eMail sales@mcneel.com for more information about that.

1 Like

I am 55 now :grinning:
French student are generally younger.
And enroll as student here it’s a ton of paper to made and cost more than the student lic for rhino and bongo 2 together :wink:
In my company i train student to industrial robotics , but i am not attached to any school so i can’t pretend to be part of any university or school.
And as i say it’s for private hobby and i prefer not involve my company in any way.

1 Like

I meant in addition to what they have now. I am generally really against subscription based pricing, but to have it as an alternative and in cases where the software is really expensive it makes sense for giving some users access that only use it very occasionally.

Good example WAS ArchiCad (they have switched to subscription pricing a while ago). It is normally super expensive, like we are talking many thousands. That is fine for an employee or freelance architect, but in some cases - say a user that only needs to use it very rarely, it is simply way too expensive. So they added a timed license where you literally have some prepaid hours for a set price. You get a dongle, plug it in your computer and can use the say 100 hours at your pleasure.

Other examples of something we did recently: a programming tool we use used to be 1 license = 1000 Euros. But we only use that tool for say 1 or 2 months and then not again for a year. Again it doesn’t make sense to spend 1000 Euros so they added a way to “rent” a license for 50 euros per month. We pay 100 euros for the time we use it and that’s that.

What I don’t agree with is something like the way Adobe has gone, where you can only really pay for everything they make and it costs like close to a 100 per month. I have since then switched to Affinity software. I would keep using Adobe software if they had some kind of pay-as-you-go kind of licensing, where I pay when I actually use it.

So what would be great would be some way for users to purchase a time-limited license for a low price, say I can pay 50 Euros and use Rhino for 30 days. That way a lot more people that want to use Rhino simply for one project can do so. Of course, the normal perpetual license should stay as is.

I enrolled for distance learning postgraduate studies in my 50’s, primarily to bring the theoretical side of my working life up to date: one of the best things I ever did. We’re never to old to learn!

And I qualified for a Rhino student licence even though my field of study was not design-related - McNeel seem pretty laid back about what you study.

1 Like

Well, Rhino Compute has core-hour billing, so maybe some kind of subscription pricing will be an option someday, though many Rhino users are of the type to find that even as an option personally offensive.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for “hobbyist” license, trying to enforce the student version is enough trouble, there’s no money in it, people obviously not actually still in school skirt the spirit if not the letter of the rules exploit it, and many others in education still wind up pirating Rhino despite all the options to get it cheap or free, but it’s put up with because it’s a marketing tool. A ‘hobbyist’ version is not really a marketing tool the same way, not as much. And I don’t even see why hobbyists should get it cheaper, in EVERYTHING ELSE people buy hobbyists spend as much or more than “pros.” And what is the business sense in going after people with no money, or who more likely just think they’re entitled to free or cheap software because reasons?

Yes, I get it. The student version’s sole purpose is to get places of education to go for Rhino that otherwise would not and get some of the students who will pay the Rhino license, although like you said, I doubt many students actually get the student license themselves, but it’s the universities buying the student licenses.

To assume McNeel does anything for “marketing” though is pretty bold :wink: Looking at the website and other presences online, I would say they do about as much marketing as my bakery next door. The student licenses and the fact that Rhino/GH get taught at universities is their biggest marketing.

Yeah, I get what you are saying and on pricipal I totally agree.
The big “but” in this scenario is that time and again software companies did introduce these “additional offers” to better suit their customers and so often this has been the first step on the way to subscription only software distribution.
Now, if there is any company that i would trust to genuinely offer additional choice without a hidden plan to sneak in price hike via subscription this would certainly be McNeel.
So my comment above is to be read as a sign of affection for McNeels “old fashioned” style of licensing.

1 Like

Rhino’s marketed by resellers pounding the pavement…well at least in Europe it is, over here a couple online resellers from Day 1 set their prices preposterously low and strangled that in the crib…but that’s another story.

Rhino already has a limited-time license. The price is free and it’s called the evaluation version. Since this infrastructure is already there it would probably be (relatively) simple for McNeel to add the ability to extend the evaluation period by paying an appropriate fee. Whether they want to become involved in the additional administration is naturally up to them. Maybe they could adapt some readily available “online store” software to this function.

not sure if their is any online-cloud / VDI provider that offers packages that are billed per hour including a licence.
but this would be a great approach
does anybody know some cloud / VDI providers that include CAD software-licence ?
kind regards -tom

Even Subscriptions are not that Flexible, Most Vendors who moved to subscriptions are billing annually, so it is not within the reach of a hobbyist.

What @Fabrice was asking for is more like “Pay per use” or “Pay as you go”

Well , for me of other hobbyist i think is just have access to software for a price like is done for school , company like mine use many Solidworks licences , but i’m expert in robotics not CAD and learn Solidworks because i have access to the licence is a non sense for me.
Rhino is allot easier to use , icons just placed where my old eyes can see them :wink: and not everything in obscure menu or hidden somewhere.
But close to 1000€ will made my wife burn my place :innocent:
Then just add something that we agree to not use the soft for commercial purpose on the student licence part and it’s done.


Maybe Mcneel can make a challenge every 6 months for example and give some free licenses.

the simplest answer is "i’m sorry, no. "

and that is quite unlikely to change.

Well , it costed nothing to ask :wink:
Just bad that i have to use Solidworks , Rhino was a better choice for me :slightly_smiling_face:


1 Like

Happy modeling with whatever package you choose, we’ll be happy to welcome you back anytime-

Remember that the student license is for students and teachers. Maybe you can become an online teacher at an accredited online school or become a Rhino specialist ( don’t know how your skills are at) , teaching people to use Rhino… just an idea.
Check out this link: Rhino - Rhino for Teachers

1 Like