How I want to use iRhino 3d and Feature Requests

I am a designer/draftsmen at a millwork shop and use Rhino 7 to model all of our projects in 3d. I then cut the model up using clipping planes or section tools and create 2d drawings in layout space. These layouts then get printed to PDF and presto! I have shop drawings that I can send to the crew for production and share with my client.

I would love it if the crew could use iRhino 3d on their iPads to open up a project .3dm file, the utility of this is obvious. Then I might not even need to print PDF’s ever again. What prevents my crew from being able to do this with the current iRhino 3d is that all of the layers in the native file are present, and none of the display options settings are brought over. So when I open up the file I see a wire frame or shaded model with isocurves and a shit ton of layers that mean nothing to anyone but me. Basically it looks confusing as hell and you have to go into the options settings in the app and change a bunch of things and then figure out what all the layers mean before you can start using it effectively.

A solution to my woes would be as follows…
Build into Rhino 8 a feature set that allows the draftsmen to curate which layers and display modes are available when opening the file in iRhino 3d. For the layers it could be as simple as a toggle in the layers panel (like a lightbulb) that makes the layer visible or invisible when opened in iRhino.

Build into Rhino 8’s options panel a setting that allows you to set the default display mode for iRhino and whether or not a specific display mode is available.

Allow the creation and manipulation of clipping plans in iRhino and a toggle for a camera based clipping bubble.

The addition of layouts in the new iRhino build is great, however it would have been more useful if the layouts were presented in a page scrolling format rather than exactly how they are in real Rhino. The first thing I wanted to do when I went to layout page 1 in one of my models was scroll to layout page 2…obviously couldn’t do that. If layouts were scrollable, it might even eliminate the need to print to pdf drawing sets all together.

If what I described above was available to me, not only would my crew on the shop floor be able to open up a file and immediately find utility for it, but I could also have clients download the app and it would be a killer presentation tool.

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all great ideas- thanks for this!
having it generate drawings from clipping planes and reduce the amount of things needed to be printed in a shop environment would be fantastic.

we will digest this a bit and discuss.

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Oh and add a dimension or distance tool that works in perspective view along the xy AND z directions.

When my crew has questions for me they usually are something like “…hey can you open up the Rhino file and give me a dimensions between this point and that point” OR “…hey I need to look at this object from a different angle can you print me some more views of it.”

With an updated iRhino, anyone with an iPad could get those questions answered themselves.


Thanks for the detailed feedback @brady1
We’ve heard requests for dimension and distance tools and they’re definitely on our radar.
In the meantime you can probably get some useful information about the bounding box of an object or length of a curve by selecting it and tapping the “i” button on the top right corner.

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Have you guys seen the app Drawboard Projects? Its a tool that hosts PDF files of construction documents and allows for multi-user, simultaneous mark-ups, dimensioning, etc etc. If iRhino 3d treated the “layouts” similar to how Drawboard treats PDF’s that would be insane…

My shop crew all have iPads with the Drawboard app and that’s how they work with the PDF files of drawing sets I generate in Rhino 7.

We save expanded/collapsed state for layers in the 3dm files already and aren’t paying attention to this yet in iRhino because the current layer control in iRhino is pretty darn basic. My hope was that once we pay attention to expanded/collapsed state you could have a slew of crazy layers that you don’t want others to worry about collapsed.

Do you think that would work for you?

I think this is a great idea. It will take some replumbing, but I think it should be possible. I’ve added this to our wishlist at

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That would be a good step in the right direction. I would create an iRhino specific layer state at the top of my layers panel in full Rhino and just instruct everyone with the app to ignore all the other layer states

As a concept, what do you think of a feature set in Rhino 8 that allows you to control default settings and utility in iRhino? I feel like with that ability, a pro Rhino user could curate a file for use in the app according to who will be using it?

We would need to figure out what these default settings are that need adjusting first and agree that the defaults need to stay the defaults instead of having them modified to whatever the adjustment is all of the time.

This seems related to age old requests in Rhino to pass around application level settings like display modes in the 3dm file. This is something we need to eventually figure out for desktop Rhino as well and isn’t isolated to iRhino.

Understood. I would say display modes being attached to a file is really important. Especially if you use a custom display mode.

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Yes, this feature would be very helpful!!

Hello Morteza, while I’m eagerly waiting for the dimension/distance tool to come, I was wondering how to select individual curves to measure distance on Irhino3d. I’m able to select polysurfaces/meshes, but unable to select individual curves. Wondering what I’m doing wrong here :thinking::neutral_face:

It’s definitely possible to select individual curves and get its length. Although it could be a bit tricky, there’s a known bug that makes selection not work when zoomed in or out too much. Until we fix that bug, try double tapping on the viewport to “Zoom to Extents” and then you should be able to select any object.

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Adding to this thread to second the requests to add the “Distance” command to iRhino. I own a residential design build company, and the ability to measure the length of any modeled object in the field would be HUGE! We are currently developing a Rhino based workflow to allow us to construct using the 3D model as much as possible. iRhino and the ability to assign text attributes to 3D objects have brought great advancements towards this goal, but without the ability to measure objects on the fly, we (and the industry) are still reliant on paper drawings and PDFs to guide the construction process. Looking forward to the continued development of this fantastic iOS app.

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I logged a bug for this issue, you can run the distance command but the problem is that the text result sin’t currently shown. I can fix that in the next build.

You can in the meantime use the DimAligned command to measure a distance.

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