Increase performance tips! - Please add your suggestions!


Hi! I am doing a detailed model now and I thought I would share my suggestions for improving performance and I was hoping to get some new ones from you.

  1. Change to wireframe/shaded mode. Using pen or perspective is a lot slower wireframe is the fastest mode but I find it useful only in 2d and only rarely then.

  2. reducing viewports (changing to 1 instead of 3-4).

  3. Block things = smaller file size. Not sure if it makes things more fast though but it surely reduces the file sices significantly I now have quiet a lot of detail (but basic shapes) but my file size is only 7173 now. But it runs slowly with clipping plane…

  4. Clipping plane is the worst! My computer is a stationary good one but using clipping plane in a complex model with 4 viewports is a nightmare.

  5. Hide things you are not using.

  6. any other suggestions?


In V5, blocks are actually quite a bit slower to display, so if your goal is display speed, don’t use them. The other trick for incorrigibly heavy files is to mesh out your NURB objects, delete or through the original objects on another layer and turn it of, then join all the meshes that makes sense to join. So if you have 10,000 nuts, bolts, and washers, after mesh and join Rhino treats this as one object instead of tens of thousands.

Other than that, make your display mode as simple as possible, no shadows, draw as few lines drawn as possible.


Hey bud !
Tell me a little about your setup and your typical “large” file size where you BEGIN to see slowing AND where the slowing finally seems too much to bear (!) so I can offer a couple of meaningful suggestions. A couple might be RHINO “settings” I’ve found work well, a couple might be basic Windows settings I’ve found will help, and a couple may (likely) be computer items I can make a suggestion or 2 about.
Thanks -


Yeah, I’ve found that working with shadows doesn’t offer much benefit until I need to screen-capture a usable image, so yeah., I suggest turning off shadows while your’e working. They are a WONDERFUL touch when they’re needed, but not NECESSARILY while your’e working on your assembly. Also, depending on your video card, etc., you may find THEY don’t play well with blocks either. Not a real problem, but Shadows while WONDERFUL are something you might want to temporarily disable until they’re needed.

Your other suggestion about meshes is another good one -
Now, I tried the ONE BIG-over-mesh approach you recommend, found it USEFUL, but soon found I needed the ability to modify and swap individual components I had meshed, so I went ahead, created the MESH as you suggest, but join each component as a single unit, drop the component ITSELF out (Hide/Layer-off either way works), and retain the MESHED version of the individual part until I needed to make edits on the component.
Now the way I handle THAT is to export the part, then re-INSERT the real component block ASSOCIATED with the external part ( part of the INSERT BLOCK process, and then HIDE (or layer-off) that part., so that only the separate MESH of that part shows.
THEN I go about my business working on the design.
When I need to re-edit the exported component, simply open ANOTHER session of RHINO, open the individual part (remember its ASSOCIATED inside the assembly model so it will “update” when you SAVE your edits ), make your edits, save, and go back to the other session of RHINO - the “assembly” session, delete the 1-part mesh component. (You DON’T need to close the other part if you expect to make more edits, just leave that session of RHINO minimized while you work on the main assembly … )
Then back in the main assembly, un-hide the hidden part (hide/unhide or layer on/-off doesn’t matter) explode the block as a regular part, re-mesh it, and BEFORE you re-hide the part leaving just the mesh showing (to speed things up), re-export the part, and re-insert it as a closed block as “Associated” again, and TURN THAT PART “Off” (Hide/Layer-off, either one). ( Yeah, do it THIS way a few times and you’ll see why :=) ! ) .

Yeah, you can simplify the process by internally editing the inserted block (blockedit), but I’ve found the method I’ve outlined works well. The KEY is that you may be working from Component Libraries or FEEDING Component Libraries with your new parts and need to MANAGE that Library, or OTHER staff may be working in-tandem on the design, and THEY MAY be working on parts externally THAT you are using in YOUR assembly.

Ok, looks a bit complicated, I know, but try it a couple of times, and I think you’ll 1. find its actually pretty simple, 2. begins to make sense, and 3. helps noticeably with your operations speed problem, and has other benefits as well - you’ll discover them !

Ok, Post back with results, and when you get a chance, let me know a little about your system so I can offer a few more tips ! Good LUCK !

All the BEST from TEXAS !



One other small hint for display performance gain: since Wireframe mode is not always convenient to work with, in any shaded mode set lighting to “No Lighting”. Sometimes it is a significant speed improvement at the cost of 3d objects looking rather flat.


Thanks guys for the comments so far. I already mentioned what you said about view-modes and said I used shaded (it doesnt have any shadows) but I will try the other suggestions. For me, clipping mode is the biggest thing while if I do not have any viewport with that then its more or less okay. I will probably just save name-view the views I would like, then disable all the clipping planes for only when I need to print it even though it is a help when it is on editing as well.

The no-lighting thing sounds promising too.


Hi again guys. I just realized that layout is a cool feature but i opted out from using it due to I wanted to do a clipping plane over an axo which caused it to lag so bad so I thought I would say I opted going for doing a make2d for individual files and then later ill merge it as it was quite painful.

Now I have new performance issues as I started using hatches in rhino and they do not export to illustrator unless I explode them but then that creates 250 000 new curves causing lag in illustrator… Normally my files are not as complex as this so it works fine but… Anyways, ill create a new thread on exporting patterns :D.


If you have many parts with complex control points and many isocurves and if you don’t need to see the isocurves in your workflow then select all objects and in the properties panel turn off (Untick) the isocurves option:
Doing this selectively, namely on specific very complex parts in your model can also speed up the view-port drastically whilst still being able to work with isocurves on the parts being modified.
eg. You might have imported a model of a motor for visual placing but which you do not need all the isocurves since you will not be editing it. So switch them off for that object/block/group.
In this regard some imported models comprise of many separate surfaces. Joining them into a poly-surface or solid will also give a noticeable view-port speed boost in my experience. - Michael VS


Thanks for all the tips. I think that after all, I concluded that the workflow is basically fine except for having a clipping plane in axo. So I will just avoid that for now.