Importing PDF and IGES files as blocks

So when I try to import a PDF or IGES, it isn’t letting me select anything but .3dm files. i.e. all files are greyed out and unselectable.

If I select a 3dm, I can then go back into block manager, and “Replace block definition with contents of file…” and point to the IGES or PDF.

However, on doing that- the PDF is scaled wrong. By wrong I mean, presumably there is a unit mismatch and there is no way to change it. The “Options” button is disabled, when I’m selecting the PDF.

Hi Kris,

Import is the command you want.
In the Import File dialog, you need to pick All Files or filter on PDF or IGES.

The Import command does support PDF. However, it imports only the vector geometry, not the raster.
So you may not get exactly what you were expecting.

The PictureFrame command is a good option for images, however does not support the PDF format directly. If you have a PDF you will need to convert it to a JPG, PNG or other support raster format. Adobe Acobat, full purchase version, offers this. Otherwise you can screen capture for image file using built or free Mac features.

There is a custom scaling for the PDF Import.

If you have moved past that, that you need to scale the geometry with the [Scale][1] command. There you can pick a distance and then enter the number you want the distance to be. Rhino will calculate the scale factor for you. It is up to you!

Let us know if you have any additional questions.
Mary Fugier
[1]: Rhinoceros Help

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Thanks Mary, however…

  • I want to import the PDF as block, so it updates when I over-write the PDF. I used to do this on Rhino for Windows all the time

  • I seem to be able to import a PDF as a block in Rhino for Mac, but only if I switch an existing block to point at the PDF instead. So, clearly it’s partly implemented- maybe the only difference between Windows and Mac is that the Insert dialogue doesn’t let you select the PDF type.

  • This problem also applies to IGES, which is actually much more important. i.e. I import IGES files as blocks as part of my essential workflow. On Windows I can insert an IGES as a block. On Mac I have to Insert the 3dm, and then “replace” it with the IGES via the block manager.

  • I still don’t see the custom scaling for the PDF import?

Hi Kris,
Thanks for the additional details.
The PDF and IGES not being available on the Insert and no option to link for updating is a bug in Rhino for Mac. I believe it is already logged, but I will make sure.
The switching or replacing you describe is an interesting work around.

Here is a [short screen capture video][1] showing the scaling upon Import of a PDF.
The PDF does need to be vector. When you are done with the import, later today or next week…, you will need to use Scale on the existing imported geometry.

Does that help?
Mary Fugier

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Where in the Mac version do I access the insert settings? For example if I’ve inserted a DXF and chosen “always use these settings” (for the scale), how do I go back and change my mind?