Making money with Rhino


Who’s making money with Rhino

probably a lot of people making money with Rhino are using it as a tool instead of a means within itself…

I use rhino just about every single day in my work (usually on the days i’m not working as well :slight_smile: ) …it’s a very versatile tool to know and at times, projects are highly dependent on what rhino is capable of providing and/or calculating.

but then again, i also use a drill pretty much every day… would you say i’m making money with my drill? (i mean, i am but not in the same way i think your question is posed)


Jeff’s answer is spot on… While there are a few people out there that are making money as independent people just modeling stuff in Rhino, the overwhelming majority are using it as a tool among others to do their daily job - whether they be architects, designers, jewelers, craftspersons, or whatever…

Guess the other set of people making money with Rhino would be the persons who create and support it… i.e. McNeel and its reseller network.


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I’m a designer/maker of furniture and related products, to me Rhino is just another tool in the toolbox, I really don’t use it at an advanced level, probably because I don’t use it enough, it’s versatility appeals to me too, although I do know an old uni colleague who just 3d models in Rhino, and then produces renders using Keyshot, that is all he does, 3d models and renders, and he earns pretty good money, his clients include interior designers, architects, and product design and development work, he’s happy in front of the computer all day, I’m not, I like to make the real thing too :smile:

I’m a jeweller, I use it to create my own work and to offer other jewellers a CAD solution. I use it most days.

That’s what I have in mind. I’ve been making things in the real world all my life. I still enjoy it but I’ve more passion at this point for pure design. Would there be some way to get advice from this friend of yours?

thing is, someone who is just modeling and rendering all day isn’t really a designer so i don’t know if that will accommodate your current passion.
(ok, well, maybe they are designers but generally speaking, they are doing the cad work and renderings for the designer who hired them… their boss is the actual designer.)

just meaning to say that if your ‘passion at this point is for pure design’, then you’re probably better off seeking ways to be a designer of some sorts… who uses rhino as one of many tools in their work.

if all you want to do is sit at a computer and make digital models (ie- cad monkey :wink: ) then you should probably be able to find some work relatively easily… (though realize, you’re going to be up against people with degrees in design who’ve been taught rhino in the college they graduated from last month… or, their resume is possibly going to look better to the person doing the hiring)

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Thanks Jeff,

Degrees in design are like degrees in Drama, art, music and so forth. They impress and bestow credibility, but success doesn’t come from such, it comes from actual output.

I know its tough out there. That’s why I’m working daily to build skills and portfolio. I’ve one model I’m pleased with. The second is coming along but it’s really pushing my limits. ( That’s of course a good thing.)

I imagine the CAD monkey aspect will pay the bills and keep me in practice for my own design pursuits. That’s my plan in general.

I noticed a good fit for me posted 7/1 in the rhino jobs, but I’m not yet up to that level.


For all it’s idiosyncrasies Rhino is useful as one of a few tools that work well for technical illustration, even extending into patent illustration. One caution I would have with that is there are usually time frame expectations associated with that sort of work that may not make it an area that you would want to head into right away, in both areas you need to be able to interpret customer need into something that is exceptionally clear visually and you can’t be fighting an application. It is fulfilling work though.

Yes sir, I’m very aware of the need to be fast and efficient with my tools if I want success with clients. I need to reach a level of competentcy with Rhino that is so far frustratingly slow.

However, I don’t give up. I just cuss and take a nap. :grinning:

Technical illustration sounds very interesting to me. That’s the sort of thing that generates other ideas.

Have you looked into the Fusion 360 application from Autodesk? Any opinion about ii?

I’m lucky I suppose in that I started with pencil on vellum, progressed to ink on Mylar, then Auto-cad

, and when I read in a CAD magazine of a free Rhino V1 beta trial, I gave it a try. Finally the world of 3D CAD that was easy to use and employed roughly the same sort of command line structure as Auto-cad allowed me to fall right in to a new world of accuracy and rendered presentation that allowed my clientele the ability to truly understand that which was being presented to them. So, the work was already there, Rhino simply and remarkably easily enhanced that work and allowed for incredibly improved products from my office. I design sailing yachts for which Rhino and numerous plug ins such as ORCA make for a whole new world of CAD design. Included is my latest effort, a 56’ center cockpit sloop. Rhino won’t create your clientele, it will beg them to use you should you take advantage of its power and ease of use.



I stay away from cloud based products like Fusion 360 because companies hosting these platforms do not bear any responsibility for keeping your data secure, in fact many specifically indemnify themselves of liability when it comes to this critical aspect of the product development process.

I use a variety of products and plugins to get to a final deliverable but I like to start in an application that I can get far along in a short amount of time and for me that’s MoI. I really like the ability to directly copy and paste back and forth between MoI and Rhino. Even if the project has very good 2D artwork I insist on recreating the item in 3D, the amount to time you save by doing this is incredible.

from what he says he has just slowly but surely made contacts in the design industry in and around London, built up his skills and portfolio of work and it has developed from there, it’s not my area of expertise but I’m guessing you will not get the ‘pure design’ you are seeking, as Jeff mentioned you will be ‘cad monkeying’ others designs mostly, what you might be looking for is something along the lines of a product development position

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Product design is exactly where I’d like to end up. However, that’s a very competitive place to get to. I’ll happily be a CAD monkey (although the term is a bit derogatory) for money.

Good point.

yes cad monkey isn’t a nice shiny professional name, but thats the terminology that you hear in industry for someone who just models other peoples designs, maybe cad visualiser would be more suited :slight_smile:

yeah, it’s mildly derogatory i suppose but it’s not an uncommon term… nor an uncommon position.
there are, i imagine, quite a few very skilled and passionate cad monkeys out there… people i’d certainly respect for their work and what not… so while i may say it as a means to poke fun, i’m definitely(hopefully :wink: ) not so full of myself to use the term as a means to talk down to others with.

as far as i can gather, Jony Ive (head apple designer) is strictly pencil&paper and verbal in his design communications… he’ll communicate these ideas to his cad operators who will then go on to make precise and/or millable models/prototypes of the designs.*USA&pN=0&openJobId=44228009

apply there… i mean, why not… worth a shot.

Talk about a rariefied , hard to get to place.

I should live so long!

I am aware of the possibility of Apple, but I have a good deal of portfolio to create first. The latest aspect of my next model is kicking me in the head. But what doesn’t kill us…:grinning:

ha… i don’t know… i think it’s worth applying there regardless of confidence and whatnot… if anything, it will give you the experience of actually trying to find cad work…

some other places to look might be businesses using CNC in their shops… (say, waterjet or router or plasma for example)… often times, clients come to these places with primitive/basic ideas of what they need and these ideas generally need developed/refined by you as well as translated into something the machines can work with.

I make money from Rhino doing design work for the little guy’s. I work from home, my clients visit me to talk over their design needs, as I am a third the price of the other guys, they tend to give a free reign to develop ideas as cost is no longer such a big issue. Yeah I sell myself short, but on the other hand I do something I love and make money at it. Foremost I am an engineer designer and I get some pretty nice challenges. Products I designed have sold in quantity all over Europe, so just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t punch above your weight. A few years back I got into 3D printing, and that is the main stay of our prototyping work. It wouldn’t have been possible without the years of Rhino experience. Plus the fact I can use my current version of Rhino till I decide to upgrade, no on going costs involved.