Overcoming lack of wireframe in Sketchfab with Rhino Exports


I am trying to find a clever way to export data from Rhino into the Sketchfab web based viewer.

Problem: There are two views to set 3d data in the web based Sketchfab viewer. Either Shaded or Mesh wireframe.

The data will look like this as shaded and inherently difficult to read -

Or like this

I tend to work in densely meshed geometry files, so having a viewer set to Wireframe can look like a confusing, jumbled mess. I am trying to find a workaround.

Solution Needed: A simple wireframe that takes the outer most extents of a surface and defines it with a contrasting line.

There are a few programs, Rhino included, that can develop intuitive 2D linework as a viewport/rendered setting. This happens specifically with Rhino’s Pen View and others.

Is there a way to export this 2D linework in the 3D space? I do not want Make2d or ViewCapture - these are all two dimensional. Basically I need to be able to export the generated viewport setting into physical 3d line representation. This is possible with Sketchup and its native geometry. Anything generated in its software comes packaged with a delicate line work that wraps the native geometry object. This linework does not need to be “useful” for production purposes. I do not need to be able to snap to it, or build from it. It just needs to exist. Rhino’s viewport options makes me think it exists, but I cannot find a way to export it.

I have developed a process using ExtractWireframe and piping those lines as a temporary work around for this linework. This is time consuming and isn’t very clean looking.

Could there be a Grasshopper solution? I am learning Grasshopper but am no means an expert. Is it worth pursuing?

This could also be solved if Rhino decides to make a a web based viewer using their existing viewer options. :slight_smile: Take my money Rhino!

Thanks for your help Rhino Community,


Hi Casey -

There are a few web-based viewers that can read Rhino files:

Apart from that, we’ve published iRhino for iOS devices:


@wim - thanks for your response.

I have not yet seen the Rhino Viewer option. This looks very interesting. The layer organization is great as well.

Online 3D Viewer was not sophisticated enough for our needs, so we are unable to use that service. This had to do with password protected 3d files when uploading the Rhino documents.

Good to know the Rhino is supported in iOS.

Any insight on the wireframe exports? Is this something that might be on Rhino’s radar?

Hi Casey -

My first thought is that this sounds like a feature request that should be aimed at the Sketchfab people.
What happens when you natively model something like that - with a dome and rounds - in SketchUp and export(?) that? Does that only show the edges?


I have asked Sketchfab about the wireframe and although it has been noted as a feature request, it is not something that they plan in integrating at this time. Hence trying to find a work around with exports.

Here is one of the test files from native SketchUp that is shown in the Sketchfab viewer. Soft edges (around the cylinder) do not have lines, but all hard edges are visible. If my native geometry is out of Rhino, routing it through Sketchup does not apply the same wireframe feature. It adds or misses edges based on the tessellation of the surface geometry.

Hi Casey -

In which format do you export from SketchUp? Could you perhaps upload that exported file here?
If you model the same thing in Rhino, what does that end up looking in Sketchfab?