How to speed up 3D modelling on Rhino (!)

Dear McNeel community,
I’m writing this post because I’m looking like crazy for a plug-in to improve the speed of modelling in Rhino and I can’t find one.

During the last years of my professional career I have been working as a concept modeller for several german car brands in italy, (obviously using Autodesk Alias).
Lately I have tried to adapt Rhino to my workflow in Alias and test if one is able to develop surfaces at the same speed as I do in Alias.

Little by little I’ve been finding (almost) all the powerful tools that Alias has, more or less, in Rhino, and I’m getting pretty close to the workflow I have in Alias.

However, I’m running into a wall that I can’t get over: The menu on the mouse. Alias has 3 different menus on the mouse, one for each button, with a very fast movement dynamics, which allows an amazing increase of the modelling efficiency.

I’m looking for a plug-in that allows me to have 3 menus, one for each mouse button and I’m surprised that this function has not been developed yet.

Does anyone know of such a plug-in?

I would also be happy to talk to someone responsible for McNeel about this and discuss one by one each function that could be improved to make Rhino more competent in this sector of the automotive industry.

It’s patented, or was.

They’ve gotten tons of requests over the years of every feature that needs be ripped off of Alias, or ICEM, or whatever. Rhino was originally built using the same geometry kernel as Alias. They’ve heard of it.

Note that the important thing about getting into that market isn’t really the product itself, it’s that the marketing is not oriented towards “enterprises.” That requires an army of high-priced slimeball salespeople the price of the product can’t possibly justify for McNeel or any resellers.

Please, tell me more about this, do you have any usefull data about it? We can check if it’s expired.

Thanks for your answer.

Not sure if you know how some other tools are now a days breaking into the automotive industry just by the fact that Autodesk is and old-slow dinosaur, for example:

GH entered thanks to the Renault design team, actually I know the guy how started that, and there was not an army of resellers behind, just a damn good software as such.

Poly modelling entered 7 years ago (ish) in the concept-car workflows, I did one project using Maya in Audi. In parallel teams from other brands started with Blender (BMW) which is really well establish already in the industry. Notice how much Autodesk is investing to develop its Subdivision module within Alias, (part from Maya and the old. t-spline) Neather in this case there were resellers, just good tools.

Just trying to be constructive and find a proper alternative.
Thanks for your time

Around here GH means “Grasshopper”. Is this what you mean too, or are you referring to some other software that uses the same abbreviation?

Of course anything under the sun is being used by someone somewhere in the industry…just like Rhino is now, by people at every step in the design and manufacturing chain. But if you want to actually try to start displacing Autodesk…that’s a different ball of wax.

I believe it was originally a Silicon Graphics patent, that was transferred to Autodesk when they bought SG. I seem to remember it ran out some years ago, but not sure… I’ll see if I can find it.

Edit US5689667A - Methods and system of controlling menus with radial and linear portions - Google Patents

Sorry man, this is not the point of this discussion.
Nevertheless I’m sure you know that an single Alias licence cost 11k per year. If in Audi there are more than 400 modellers, now make the maths.
Many companies would be happy if an alternative to Alias will pop-up one of this days. I’m sure you follow me.

Fantastic! Thanks Jakob.
It seam to be expired since 2015, isn’t it?


Sure, GH stands for Grasshopper

Yeah, that’s what I understood as well. I don’t know a lot about patent law, so no idea if they’ve improved/altered the original enough to be granted a new patent - there’s 126 patents from Alias alone and 3400+ from Autodesk to go through. I’m sure some patent lawyer would be happy to earn a lot of money checking it out :grimacing:

Hi there @I.Merino , not a plugin but closest built in solution which I use all the time is to setup middle click mouse button as follows:
File - Properties
And then on the left hand menu:
Rhino-Options - General
And then customize the recently used commands menu by adding all the commands you want on quicklink under the: [Show these commands at the top of the menu:]
For this to work you also have to goto the [Rhino-Options] - [Mouse] menu and change the Middle Mouse button option to: [Most recently-used commands pop-up meni]
Regards. Michael VS

lol, for 11k per year (x400) I’d change my workflow without hesitating one second and impose that to my modellers as well;)
yeah, my post doesn’t help anything, I know…
Though, I’m not sure to look for a cheap copy of an existing software is the right approach, but adapting one’s workflow.

I so miss marking menus! There’s more discussion about it here:

Look at CadMouse from 3DConnexion - it has marking menus. But I’m not sure how much flexibility you have in terms of what you can assign to it.

have you tried the CAD mouse?

Nope. Have you?

Hi, I am a former Alias user. After visiting with Kyle a few years ago, I was convinced that Alias was overpriced, so I made the switch to Rhino. Best move I ever made.
I work for a sculptor who, through commissions, builds public outdoor sculpture. I never know what is coming next. Plate steel, cast bronze, cast acrylic, glass, lighting, wood, concrete, and so on.
Rhino tackles each new set of circumstances with no problems. Alias does not. I accomplish tasks in Rhino in 1/4 of the time it takes to do the same process in Alias. Everyday I discover something new in Rhino that speeds up my work process.
And, have you ever had to deal with Autodesk licensing people?? I pray not.