How does one make an array of holes a block instance?

Hi, V5
I do need a ring of holes, I am very aware that anything that is repeated in Rhino causes major slowdown.
Tis file of mine sees anything pasted from it take 15 secs to appear in a new file, ditto anything pasted in, and takes a while to save. Dare not slow it down any more.

I see someone doing a perforated plate with hundreds of holes, I feel for him !

Crosses wont do as the holes need to be see through as other items run through them.

How does one make the hole a block instance ?


Hi Steve -

The answers to your question in 2014 still stand:


I had hoped that as that was V4 days, things would have moved on by now.
So what if one needs loads of holes, are we faced with rhino slo mo and meltdown, as I was able to instead use crosses, but there are times the appearance is needing actual holes.
Someone did ask for a block holes, what came of it ?


Steve -

It’s not the invisible voids that you want to see - you’ll have to create a display mesh for the positive volume. At that point, with lots of holes, things will slow down.

Possibly due to the presence of large bitmap images in the file(s) - known bug/limitation in V5 and V6 which will not be fixed.

Possibly because the file is pretty large?

Explode the block instance into real geometry and make your holes. If you need multiples of the same item with the holes, re-make the item into a block afterwards and make copies of the block instances where needed. Blocks only help reduce file size and allow for instancing of similar objects, they do not make the display faster - in fact they might actually make it significantly slower in older versions of Rhino.

Hi @Helvetosaur . I am eager to hear how based on your experience, or your client’s: how does Rhino 7 perform in this regard? Or Rhino 6, if not 7?
Thank you.

I only know what I read here (if my memory serves me well) - that there seemed to be a number of threads here concerning significant display slowdowns with lots of blocks in earlier versions, some of which has been addressed in V7. Maybe my memory is faulty, I personally have no experience with this.

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Thank you for the reply Mitch.
I can attest to the same behavior on Rhino 5 and 6. I haven’t checked on 7.

Hi @djordje

From a different thread somewhere (possibly on the LBT forum), I noticed that you are running an ancient version of Rhino 6. If updating to the current version would help, I can’t tell. You’d have to test or provide a specific file.

Using block instances for holes only makes sense if the shape and the hole pattern is regular somehow.
BlockHoles_V5.3dm (1.2 MB)

Another way would be to “fake” the holes with transparent textures

Hi @wim ,
I am running on Rhino 6 SR30.

For some strange reason Rhino never informed me about the release of SR31 and SR32.
I can update to SR32, but in my opinion the issue with blocks slowdown has been around since Rhino 5, throughout the whole Rhino 6. I will see if I can come up with some custom example, as I can’t share the actual .3dm model.

Hi @djordje -

Just to make sure… the current stable release of Rhino 6 is 6.34.


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Hi, I still dont know if one should make holes blockInstances.
if I have to do rows of holes, 34 holes one side, mirror image of them the other side of a channel, into 0.25 nch thick walls of the channel and there are 7 different channels types to do , each with a different number of holes, so 470 maybe, will BlockInstances be required ?

How does one make a hole a block Instance ? I know an object you make it a blockInstance then can array it etc, but a hole ? its like the end of a rainbow, can’t get hold of it ?

I recall making holes in an aircraft skin showing the skin before assembly, and RhinoV4 slowed down so much it was unworkable. Had to undo all and use crosses.

Here I am truly needing holes, not crosses, it needs to look like the original with holes. I am not messing about with textures with holes drawn, take me forever, especially if new data shows they are different to as drawn., which already has been the case I have resized them then moved them several times.

Just strikes me as well beyond expectations that CAD cant handle holes !