Love for McNeel

What do you do with old spline ducks? Take them to a scrap metal yard?

Or give them to the newbies in the office as a nice paperweight? Novelty doorstop? Percussive maintenance tool?

i sign under this. rhino and grasshopper are incredible tools. i have true affection for them.

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I gave them to a student of Naval Arch at USNA which is right around the corner form where we live. I did make him come get them!


Sounds perfect!


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I really liked this thread, good idea @andheum!

I just published a detailed product analysis of the entire Rhino, Grasshopper and Rhino.Inside product offering from the perspective of: Technologies, User Experience, Developer Experience, Marketing and User Community. I had request a bunch of detail from McNeel but didn’t get anything yet. It’s a long and detailed article, with opinions around strengths/weaknesses, ideas of where the products could develop and what I think are important horizon 1 priorities.

Even if you’re advanced users, you might find some things insightful, for example I do a detailed cost comparison of other AEC industry software on a per user, per year basis. Rhino is obviously the cheapest, even cheaper than a Zoom Business account for 1 host!

Enjoy! I’ve posted on my LinkedIn, Twitter and some Facebook Groups also.


Thank you so much!!!:crazy_face::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Not impressed; 20+ minutes wasted.

What an utterly useless comment Fred.
Wake up on the other foot tomorrow, will ya?

There were lots of usefull info there for new Rhino nerds and even something for old users. But I am not so sure I would start off by praising cracked software though! :smile: And some guessing could have been swapped for facts, but other than that it was a good read. Interesting info about user base too.


:face_with_raised_eyebrow: “Love for McNeel”, but steal their product!?

Still, no reason to not give constructive critique to a post.
I think you are in your full right to mean what you mean, but I also think this forum benefit so much more from replies that argue for the opinions.
If you explained why you were not impressed and why you think it was 20 minutes wasted then it’s all good, if not it is just noise IMO.


Fred, I’m not happy about ‘stealing’ their software for 2 years between 2003-2005 when I did my M.Arch. Being a student outside your home town is expensive in North America, food and housing was a priority. I’ve bought 2 licenses since and through the offices I’ve worked, convinced managers to purchase over 100 licenses! So I’ve redeemed myself.

Illegal copies are still a huge problem. I recently read that Autodesk estimates that about 4m users pay whereas 12m users don’t, from their latest Investor Overview presentation. But this is a digression…

Thanks for reading the article whether you liked or disliked. In the end we both greatly appreciate the McNeel team and the products they provide us with pride.


IMHO Darrel’s situation is a perfect example of why software companies are actively concerned about piracy, but not TOO concerned. It provides a good opportunity for young, cash-strapped individuals to become familiar with the software in the hope that they will stick with it in their later professional lives and and create enough enthusiasm for the product that they will gladly pay for it.

I believe that most software companies, including McNeel, are deeply concerned about individuals and other firms that run profitable enterprises with pirated software. It’s pretty darn hard to find any sympathy or justification for such criminal behavior.

I think McNeel has made it much more difficult since Darrel’s time to run unlicensed copies of newer versions of Rhino. In addition inflation has made the real price of Rhino in economic terms relatively less expensive than 15-20 years ago and it’s success has made it more accessible through educational institutions than it was then so there is comparatively less incentive to steal it.

One of the things that I’ve admired about Robert McNeel and his associates is the apparently highly successful way they have navigated the complicated course of remaining a viable, successful software developer for so many years. Because of this I’ve never felt that I needed to act as their intellectual property (or any other kind of) cop on the forum, although from time to time when I see evidence of obvious piracy displayed on the forum I will bring the post to their attention in a PM so as to not tip off the crooks that they’ve done something to show their hand.

well stated


Yes. And in many cases it’s the ONLY way to get to know a complex software, and this not only for the young. Even if 30, 60 or 90 day trials are available.

Rhino For All
First of all I recommend everybody to learn Rhino3D in any way possible because at the end of the day they will for sure buy it. At least if they really need it, as a hobbyist, a student, or a proffessional.

My Crime
For my own part I have never used a cracked Rhino. But what I did for a period of time was using

  • a legal copy, owned by one of my children,
  • installed on my machine
  • in my own household,
  • thinking I would try learn Rhino and find out if it would help solve a specific complex task
  • So, I was actually evaluating Rhino (for a long time)
  • However, the copy I used was a student license.

I used that copy in my private house for, I’m not sure, perhaps half a year, or maybe up to a year.

My abuse of the license terms was’t intentional though (I had not read the license terms carefully enough) and although I wasn’t sure, I evaluated/learned Rhino with the express intent to buy it - if I would eventually descide that Rhino was the way to go.

I also had to learn more about the task I was planning to solve with a CAD tool, and so both the task and the tool has its learning curve, and so that evaluation period was guaranteed to take a long time, longer than any trial period would last anyway.

Caught redhanded
I think @John_Brock noticed from one of my earliest posts that maybe that guy isn’t really a student, but John was kind enough to not go harsh on me, he just made a “general note about license terms” whithout going into more detail. That little note in the margin didn’t go unnoticed, but at the time I still wasn’t sure if Rhino would be a capable enough tool for the task, but from then onward at least I knew that using someone elses student license wasn’t in accordance with the license terms, not even if the license was owned within the same household.

Trial Hours vs Calender Days?
Anyway, a few month later I knew Rhino was the tool I’d use in future even regardless of if it would help solve the initial task. Conclusion: In my opionon trial periods measured in calender days is not always relevant if you are full time busy also with other things. Perhaps a “Trial Using Hours” would be a better alternative?

In any case, learning and comparing a CAD software isn’t a 90 day thing even if you play with it full time unless you already have prior CAD experience. And you simply can’t buy a bunch of CAD software only to try and compare, and learn - if you are also a CAD-noob, without a budget.

Commercial Use
I have never used a software commercially without a proper license, and I also never had the intent to do so. But how I got to learn different software has, in most cases, been by roaming different gray zoones. No surprise there.

I’m not advocating removing license terms because then noone would understand that at least eventually you must pay for the software, but, everybody knows that all parties benefits from letting people learn enough to buy, in “any practical way”, and especially important with complex software with steep learning curves etc.

On Topic
BTW, I really like the software, McNeel staff and their service and attitudes (including ups and downs) and this forum.

// Rolf

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I know confession is good for the soul, but IMHO you are confessing to something that was not a “crime”.

You said that your child, a student in your own home had a licensed copy of Rhino which you used. There is nothing in Rhino’s license agreement about who is allowed to be sitting at the keyboard of a computer with Rhino on it, even today. Back in the pre-Zoo days the license was quite clear that Rhino could be installed on two (maybe more - I don’t remember) computers. It was also clear that it could not be used by two people at the same time. So you weren’t abusing the license if you were not using Rhino on your computer at the same time your offspring was using his/her copy on his/her computer. I’m sure you were very careful to coordinate your use.


I wasn’t. But I’m quite sure we were not using it at the same time anyway. :slight_smile:

Student licenses are “personal”, which I understand as not being related to which computer it’s installed on.

// Rolf

Hi all,
This is an apology post for having previously used an unlicensed copy of Rhino.
I didn’t realise the community which that action affected, and for this I am sorry.
I have purchased a student version of the software and absolutely love it to bits.
In line with what has been previously mentioned, I now see that the Rhino/GH ecosystem will be integral to my livelihood once I get through archi school torture.
In the future, I hope to be able to openly discuss with this community issues and questions which I have encountered when using this software, and that I may be able to contribute in some ways.
As a side note, our whole school (MSD) has chosen Rhino as their package for us students, but does not yet have a licensing agreement with Rhino (if such a one exists).
Currently, most of my friends (~85%) use successive evaluation copies of Rhino for their work, while some have student licenses.

We do have a strong student price. While it is totally cool to use the evaluation for a term, the student version is perminant and can be used for commercial work for internships or once they graduate.


There are several solutions - one common one is for the school to have one or more 30 seat lab licenses which can be put into a ‘team’ and shared with students via the cloud zoo. There is also a “campus” license possibility for very large quantities of students/staff. Have someone at your school contact McNeel sales or your local reseller for more info.

But I highly recommend buying a personal edu license if you can, if you are going to use Rhino extensively, it is one of the best investments you can make.