On intuitivity of UI

Thanks! I am using Rhino for about 20 years now, as you, and was amazed lately coming back to Rhino, of how little has been done to automate the filleting. It’s still a mess of surfaces one has to juggle with, with untrim and so forth It is only a limited number of variants from the situations, and for the clear ones, it should long gone work as an almost one click solution. I know how many oldtimers here made a career of using Rhino, and the user interface ist still the most intuitive one in the industry, but the fillets… And some other issues, which program hasen’t…


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If you don’t mind, what do you find intuitive about it, also in comparison to SolidWorks, Fusion, Inventor, Catia or Creo? I’m having much trouble migrating users, who prefer other interfaces, so some opinion on the intuitiveness would be much welcome.


Well, why do you use it?
The most users I know started with Rhino, because it is so damn easy to have a fast look at what you are doing. If I have to use complicated short-cuts, or worse, mouse-clicks at an icon to change my view, that’s for me a show-stopper to begin with. If I make a curve, then a second one to create a surface, I want to be able to go around it with my view as fast or faster then going around a clay table. The programs you mentioned aren’t to compare with Rhino in other aspects, simply because Rhino hasn’ them. Rhino hasn’t FEA, or is able to more or less run a production line. It has something of all of that, but rudimentary. And that is not neccessarily bad for a sketchbook. For example, I love the fast surface analyses like curvature or zebra… And. When it lost its Parasolid Kernel, it became less comfortable in some areas. But that’s another story. I think, most of the guys over the years couldn’t, but use some other software with it, depending of what one does. But, really, compared to the prices of other soft in this sector, or|and the impudent annual price schemes that are becoming hip these days, for commercial users, Rhino is something everyone should have on his desk. Well, I’d have about some dozen ideas what to improve, but even that is another story. BTW, ok, I do not know, how long is the comm lag with the developers these days, but Rhino was the first of all, I believe, not only 3D programs on this planet, being developed with intense feedback from users all over the world. Beta testers. There was an idea. Three days later, it was implemented. Well, enough of that dribble.

There are other considerations. For example, but this might not be an argument for your clients, a cloud? That’s an imperative nono for me. If some tyranic baby Orang-Utan decides to cloud my cloud? I am out of business, from oversees? That would be Fusion, eg.
Another thing: The middle mouse for the commands, already used. Hei, that’s so easy for me, as often I have to do commands repeatedly. Then: The immediate repeat of the last command with the right-mouse-click or simply enter. That’s genious, and afaik an invention of McNeel.

Well, that’s not particular to Rhino’s navigation paradigm.

That’s also available in SolidWorks, Catia or Alias, with far more control. And there, surface analysis tools are persistent, while you work.

So, being a Rhino user myself, I still don’t quite understand what is more “intuitive” about it. I, having to be software agnostic, suspect that what you mean is rather an issue of “first love” ; )

Hm!:wink: That might be true, and since longer it is known, that any new generation listens to the most impossible stuff and calls it music!
Anyway. Of course you can work with curvature on in Rhino!
You know, it must be flattering for McNeel constantly to be compared to programs, which are manyfold more expensive!:wink:

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Surface tools are persistent while you work in Rhino also, at least in V5 and V6 for Windows.

Agree that the tools in Rhino could use improvement.

I don’t know if flattering or courtship drop to the bottom line on a company’s cash flow statement, but I would still like to find out what is more intuitive in comparison to, for example SolidWorks. I was under the impression you could deliver some good examples from the real world.

Split of the intuitivity discussion from the fillet tool brainstorm/hackaton.


Prudent move ; )

What’s that supposed to mean?

Not quite a convincing argument when migrating users.

Not a unique feature.

Well, an employed industrial designer also has the right to earn decent money; she/he has bills to pay and industrial design is no charitable function or NGO. And to put forth a thinly veiled generalisation that company superiors are somehow per se deceptive is morally highly questionable in my view.

I rather leave creativity to the ingenious human mind instead of relegating that part to software.

So, in a nutshell, there is no special intuitiveness to be demonstrated here, but simply personal software preference for very peculiar personal reasons.

Ok, thanks for the chat anyway, much appreciated.

With the exception of fillets, Rhino users work faster than users of SolidWorks, Fusion, Inventor, Catia, and Creo.

That sounds interesting.

Could you provide me with a few links to studies related to the speed advantage? That will make user migration much easier, on the basis of facts instead of fiction. Let’s say, you have finished a product and a component supplier increases the motor length by 7 mm, how fast do all the affected surfaces update to take account of that change?


This video compares Rhino, Solidworks, and OnShape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTZpGM2P9u4

You can find more info on the Internet.

Intuitivity is about subjective experience. I think the word should be banished from design on all levels. It all comes down to what people are used, and that is strongly influenced by environment, culture and internal wiring.

I come from a Blender 3D background. Rhino (or any other 3D software for that matter) was not intuitive at all. Same when I started using the Mac (because I got one to work on Raytraced integration) - not much felt intuitive.

What one should look at instead is how one is able to master a UI, and subsequently use it effectively. There where the UI actually gets in the way developers need to improve. But in my experience learning a new way of thinking doesn’t necessarily mean the tool is flawed. It is different, but that is it.


Thanks for that perspective Nat, it’s what I suspected all along: subjectivity and good old practice to become used to things. Good to hear that from the source.

Best seems then to create a simplified toolset and then add stuff as it is needed, on a per-project basis.

One step at a time.

That’s quite a good video, thanks. One can see the benefits of a solid modeler’s feature tree instantly, it really is the time saver it is, considering the constant changes one has to implement as information comes in or suppliers alter components. At the end of the day, this means one really has to run NURBS surface and solid modellers concurrently to benefit from all possibilities on a per-product/per-client basis.

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I agree with the conclusion but this was intriguing. The source of what?

I am a source of constant bad jokes - ask my wife.

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Yeah it’s great as long as you’re not trying to make a change that “breaks” the tree, and it took ten times longer to set up that tree than just building the darn thing in Rhino to set up in the first place. I mean if you’re designing an engine you’re still probably going to want to go that route, but Rhino exists for the other cases.

“Intuitive” is a fairly useless design term, it means only that something is like what you know already.