No 3D pdf export in Rhino?


That’s not a big issue, as there is a powerful plugin for that. It is probably worth the price for somebody needing advanced options.

But having a basic 3D pdf export would be very nice, as it’s a simple way to send a 3D file to customers who don’t have CAD apps.

Meshlab (free), ArtCAM Express (125€) allow this export.

Any chance to see this feature in a future update?


Best regards,


Hi Didier,

I wish there was a good, free 3D PDF solution too. In the mean time, I use this to send models to non-CAD customers for approval:



Thanks David,

Interesting info. But I’m afraid that explaining to customers that they need a webGL compatible browser will be a pain in the neck. That’s already difficult to explain they have to use Adobe Reader instead of their alternative (and of course better, faster, smarter, …) pdf reader.

As I can import Rhino files in my technical CAD and export them as 3d pdf, I have a solution, but it requires extra steps.

Best regards,


I use the plugin from SimLab and so far no problems.

I have the Simlab plug-in too, but I’m not impressed with it. Seems to me that my default viewport should be the style of the created pdf. However, it seems to always create a pdf from the rendered viewport. If you haven’t bothered adding materials because you are primarily working in a shaded viewport, you end up with a gray model. I know it’s easy enough to convert the shaded colours to a material, but that seems like a step I shouldn’t need to do. If I have a shaded display active when I create the pdf, that is what should be used, in my opinion. Anyway, just venting. This is the wrong forum to look for solutions to that problem.

I see that Datakit has a 3D PDF creator for Rhino. We’ve had good luck with Datakit, so that might be worth investigating as an alternative.



You are correct SimLab plugin used the current appearance in the rendered view.
The material can be set per object, or by layer based on the user choice.

We thought that this is the easiest way to describe it to the user, so the user can expect the appearance of the generated 3D PDF.

Please let me know if I understand your suggestion correctly, if the active view is in shaded view, the plugin should use the shaded view colors and not the rendered view colors, is this correct?
I will pass this information for the developers.




That was the plug-in I was referring to in my original post.

I just think that a basic 3d pdf export should be a standard feature of a CAD system nowadays.

Best regards,


Yes, you understand what I’m getting at. Also, maybe mention to the developers to take a look at annotations (dimensions and leaders). They don’t convert well to the 3D PDF.



The Simlab plugin does a very good job for a small price. Also the licensing is very easy.
Any 3d PDF is hard to navigate flying through. Therefore it is important to create named views with the _NamedView command. These create also several views in the 3d PDF which are useful for any Noob to examine the 3d model well.
At last it is important to mention very clear to any user of your 3d PDF that it doesn’t work in an internet browser. It works in for example the Adobe Reader.

Over here you can find a 3d PDFexample