Iris: WebGL Export Plugin for Rhino

Hello All,

We want to announce a new WebGL Export plugin for Rhino 5.0 x64 and Rhino WIP called Iris. Iris is a file export plugin for Rhino 5.0 x64 and Rhino WIP which generates a JSON document that is parseable and viewable through WebGL in a modern web browser. This means that you can share your Rhino models with anyone that has access to a web browser. This might be useful if you want to have your clients experience the model in 3d without giving them access to the Rhino file directly. You could also use Iris to create models of products you might want to sell on your website. These will be shown to your customers in 3D so they can examine the model in space, rather than just seeing a static image.

You can get access to the downloads, install and usage instructions, and known issues on the Food4Rhino page:

Please note, there are different downloads for Rhino WIP vs Rhino 5.0 x64.

This is a screenshot of a mesh generated in Grasshopper via Weaverbird. The mesh also has vertex colors added. On the left in Rhino 5.0 x64, on the right we see it in Firefox.

This is a very early release and would be very happy to hear back from you. While there are plans to add functionality in subsequent releases, we feel it is time to get some feedback and initial reactions from the community.



Hi Luis,
I’ve installed the plugin for the WIP and so far it works great! I’ll do some more testing when I’ve got some time.

Good Luck with this plug-in!

1 Like

Hello Jess,
Well, that is encouraging news thus far. Looking forward to your feedback, especially anything related to the known limitations posted on the food4rhino page and if you encounter anything strange in the export process.

All the best,

Hi Luis-

This looks useful…

Any help for us with no middle mouse wheel?
I use a Wacom stylus, and can’t find any way to zoom the model in the web
browser. Praps some keyboard alternatives like + and -, or replicating
the Rhino Ctrl+RMB for zooming?

Hello @cairn,
Glad you consider Iris could be useful. One of the things we’d like to do is give you more navigation options, but I think what you mention, to replicate in some manner the Rhino navigation controls, is a great suggestion for some default controls.

I’ve logged this issue IP-12 and will look to resolve this in an upcoming release.


I agree that this is promising. The only downside (and know limitation) is the lightning. Right now I export to 3D PDF with the SimLab plugin and I don’t need to fuss with any lightning there.

One for the wishlist down the road (way down the road?) is support for the clipping plane - or better an implementation of a clipping plane with user manipulation in the viewer.

Hi Luis,

cool, this looks nice. Do you have a web-link with this model to test, before I install the plug-in?



Hey @Michael_Meyer,
Good idea! I do have some links from things I’ve tested during development including this model from the screenshot:

This one I was testing points / pointclouds (extracted the points from the previous model):

Here is the famous Rhino:

Here are a bunch of text entities generated in Grasshopper to test the ability to export text:

Keep in mind, some of these models were exported during development when the file format was not necessarily too optimized. Some of them take a bit of time to load (hence the preloader progress circle). There is definitely some work ahead to optimize the files further. Also, I added the sky background as a test, and kind of liked it. In the future, I’d like to support the Rhino render environment settings.



Hi Luis,

great, thanks



My second test here:

The file when first exported was 355 MB. This was mainly due to lots of details in the ants. I ran reduce mesh a couple of iterations to reduce the file to it’s current state (21MB)

I think it’s worth to consider adding an option to reduce the meshes at some point in the future.
In my scenario, it would be that upon export a estimation of final size is made and the user is given the option to reduce the mesh with a preview in the rhino viewport.

Anyway, for now: Thanks for making this available!


Wow! Great example!
How big is the Rhino File? There is definitely some work ahead on the file format optimization. I’ll keep in mind your suggestion of mesh reduction at export time.

Thanks for sharing this example!

The Rhino file was 105 MB but I’m not sure if all rendermeshes were already created.


Hello @Willem,
One thing I am curious about is the time it takes you to open up the mobius model? The time it takes will depend on connection speed (at server and at client), browser performance, hardware performance, and of course, the size of the model. Beyond being able to view the models, it will be important to see where we can improve getting the model loaded quickly.

If you have a chance, I would be curious if you could report how long it takes to load (approximately), and if opening in different browsers has any effect on load time.

Thanks again,

You’re going to need to clear your browser cache in order to get any sort of real number.

Luis, the slow loading ( about 5 and a half minutes - Windows) machine here has a wire from the network, the fast loading (mac) is on wireless. Not what I’d expect…


About ten seconds Win7/32

Not to get too obsessed with speed just yet, but I wonder if browser extensions for this kind of thing are of any use. For firefox I installed:

For chrome I Installed:

After restarting / clearing cache on both, I get 14525ms in Firefox and …hmm weird reading in chrome…

about 20 seconds, including downloading of about 20sec


Just looking at the examples linked here:
1/ The sky environment with sun is a nice ambiance but isn’t great for examining models, to see the bottom of the model, it is silhouetted in front of the sun.
2/ There seems to be a stop on the rotate view. In Willem’s example I couldn’t rotate to see the front of the model.
But I’ sure this is going to be very useful.

Hi all,
I’ve fixed a couple of bugs and posted new files:

This release fixes these two issues:

  • Breps and Extrusions would not be exported if their render meshes had not been generated. This is fixed. (was a known limitation)
  • Material texture map images were not being exported. This is fixed.