New to Rhino, looking for some geometric command tips

Hello all,

I’m new to Rhino. I am fairly confident in my ability to use the various tools, but I would love some help with the command line. I’m using Rhino to make geometric art, and coming from Photoshop/Illustrator this feature is completely new and exciting for me. After reading some tutorials, I was wondering if some of you might be able to point me in a direction of some resources that will help me learn the command lines I will be using the most. A list of commands to play with that would be good for the type of work I want to do would be super helpful. Direct tips are also much appreciated!

Here are some examples of the types of things I want to do. I understand some of these may or may not be possible in the way I describe them- if that is the case is there another way to go about it?

Draw X amount of circles evenly spaced around the circumference of an existing circle, all with equal radius.

Draw lines emanating from the center of an existing shape every X degrees.

Draw a shape emanating from the center of an existing shape every X degrees.

Draw an equilateral triangle tangent to a circle every X degrees.

Draw a triangle with 90, 50, and 40 degree corners.

These are handful of the scenarios I can think of at the moment. Again, any/all help, advice, or links to pertinent resources is much appreciated!

You probably want to investigate the PolarArray command here for all of the above. Draw one object in the desired position (or move it into position after) then array it around the circle’s center.

There are angle constraints for drawing lines, you might want to look at the Help under Angle>Constraint for how it works. Also investigate Ortho settings as well as the Polar coordinates Help topic.

HTH, --Mitch

Thanks Mitch! Polararray works great! Array along curve is really cool too! This has already opened so many doors for me. I’m digging into the tools deep now. If you have any favorites I’d love to hear them. Thanks again!

Probably the most important thing to work out first is the construction plane, make sure you have Project selected which can be found along with the End, Midpoint, Quad and Tangent commands. Ensure you’re always drawing on the same plane.

Divide will be helpful, you can divide any curve, into a number of points - similar to array along curve

Extend is very helpful, you can extend by Line or by Arc, this will help you project lines to trim and array

Blendcrv is very useful especially if you’re creating reticulated patterns that are not simple straight lines and you don’t necessarily want to build a curve using Arcs and Tangent circles.

Rebuild is a useful command to rebuild curves to make them continuous, to remove kinks and reduce or increase the number of control points.

PointOn - select a curve and turn the points on to see how clean it is, to manipulate it - Esc to turn them off or PointsOff

I hope you post some of your experiments : )

Hi Andrew,

I think most of your direct questions are already answered, yet I want to add some information for future use and exploration.
Besides the various options Rhino offers through manual commandline interaction (eg polar array and things alike), Rhino has extensive options to automate and script these tools. What this can offer for you in relation to your enthusiasm about making geometric art is nearly limitless.
But lets take a step back and just have a look at the list below of possible ways to “automate” and extend Rhino:

Macro’s: these are like actions in Illustrator and Photoshop:
It offers a way to repeat tasks and easily change the variables (for example the number of objects in a polar array)

It is a plugin for Rhino that can be considered a visual way of scripting, with realtime feedback.
Have a look at these videos to get an idea of what it can do:
Do not expect to understand much, but also don’t fear the apparent complexity, learning new stuff needs investment of time and perseverance to get enough momentum to get things rolling.

Also there is 2 flavors of basic scripting in Rhino:

When interested I recommend investing in Python(above link) as it is more extendable than the other earlier scripting language: Rhinoscript (based on Microsoft’s VBScript language):

For further more ‘complex’ development tools have a look here:

Final note:
This community is very active and I have found it to be a great resource for learning very much there is to know about Rhino and all it’s possibilities. People are willing to help both with simple beginners questions as with complex issues. Another great ‘feature’ is that the people from McNeel read and write here as well. So not only can you expect answers from the people responsible for creating the software, but this is also a very good place to discuss issues you find that could be fixed or optimized as you can discuss it with fellow users and the developers. Discussions are always with great respect for everyone’s opinion and point of view, regardless of how ‘(in)experienced’ someone is.


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