Illustrator Export with Hatches

If I export to Illustrator, hatches end up on a big pile in the center of the artboard, if they were scaled in Rhino, they are not in the exported doc.

I find it quicker to do the hatching in Rhino, this way i dont have to go back if curves are open, intersecting, or there are cut outs.

Would be great if you could help me to find a solution.


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Guess its the nested blocks im using.
… one way would be to extract all the hatches within blocks, saving them to a new layer.

is there a script that does it more elegantly than copying, exploding all blocks, sel hatches, delete everying else?

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Hi Anika - you can BlockEdit, Copy the hatches to the clipboard, exit BlockEdit and then paste to get ‘free’ hatches. Does that do anything useful?


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yeah. but i have nested within nested blocks… large architectural drawings. also it brakes history with the underlying geomerty.

the best solution I found until now:
copy the specific drawing into an empty file. then _explodeblocks _allblocks _then export to illustrator.

would be so great to fix the export to ai component to handle hatches better.

Hi Anika - yep, got that, thanks.


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super cool. thanks! makes it a lot more usable for architectural work.
Best thing would be: export a layout as ai, with the layout matching the illustrator artboard.

Let me add my opinion about this. I hugely use illustrator.
A cool thing could be an option to detach (not explode) a block and all its nested blocks if any from the original block.
With illustrator, you don’t have “blocks”, you have symbols (very similar)…and, for every symbol instance it’s possible to detach it from the symbol, if the symbol was scaled, it’s unlinked “as is”. At this point , depending on the illustrator version, the symbol instance becomes a group or a layer and is no longer linked to any symbol.
I use this feature every day.
In rhino, a quick way to turn a block instance into a group, keeping all styles (hatch, line styles) is missing.
It is possible the way Pascal told us, but it’s really time consuming.

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Hi Anika - printing to pdf seems to get it right as far as the hatches in AI go.


@pascal yeah. layer structure is lost though…
id prefer something like autocads export “layout as dwg” since in professional use, you often dont want to hand over a full model, but still organized within layers for further edit.

@piem blocks to symbols! like that too! lets form a rhino-illlustrator appreciation society.

“to detach (not explode) a block and all its nested blocks if any from the original block.” i dont understand that though…

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Hello - this is easy to script, I believe - would you want the block replaced or a group copied on top?


i guess its already there. With _explodeblocks - not _explode, there is a suboption to group the output. would be great to auto name the groups after the former blocks though.

Block replaced and copied on top. (current layer) …ah sorry I don’t get it.
What do you mean , my english understanding is not so good

Hi Anika - the problem there is that you might explode multiple instances of the same block - you would not want all to be in a single group… would you?


mh maybe you would,
multiple instances=multiple groups, but with the same name/or user attribute.
nested blocks= groups within groups…

I guess that could be translated to Illustrator Symbols, right?

As for Blocks, in Illustrator your can have symbols made of other symbols, in Rhino nested blocks within blocks should also be parsed and ulinked.

Hi Anika - you don’t get to have different groups with the same name, is the problem…


ok. but on what basis rhino can predict to which degree nested blocks should become nested symbols, or not…? thats the role of the user right? / i dont use symbols that often… maybe I need to catch up on that issue.
@piem could you do me a favor and also follow up on the
for the export proper hatches issue? I just signed up.

ah ok. than maybe a string name with common denominator indicator “123-” and for instances separated suffixes “-0001” “-00002”
Or some object attribute: these can be identical right?

@anika.boeller, @piem - Here is a quick and dirty cut at this - it makes a new group with an incremented version of the block name. Nested blocks are not making nested groups, I do not know how practical that is to implement. Currently the block instance is also left in place, but it is easy enough to provide an option… (884 Bytes)

To use the Python script use RunPythonScript, or a macro:

_-RunPythonScript "Full path to py file inside double-quotes"


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quick it is… yay! works fine. im truly overwhelmed by the feedback frequency here in this forum!!!
@piem what are your thoughts with this blocks-to-symbols case.

done for tonight.
thanks again pascal!!!