Please fix vector/raster printing

Hi, (@stevebaer I guess )

Again today I run into the problem that layout printing in vector is still seriously broken.
Details in my custom display mode will not print with vector mode or print different than displayed.
(see attached examples) (83.2 KB)

Please try and fix this in V5; it is a serious problem for producing PDF files.

EDIT to clarify:
I expect details to show up when printing regardless of the printing mode.
Currently, any details in the attached displaymode do show in the page preview, but are not printed (coorect)

With a mesh:

Just found that a Nurbs box does not preview at all:



I have taken to producing Images and then in GIMP making PDFs

@stevebaer, any comment?

Not yet; I’m in the middle of other projects at the moment and haven’t had time to look at this issue.

Is this really a layout and detail printing problem, or the fact that you’re trying to still print “Technical” display modes using Vector Output?

If that’s not the problem you’re having, then you can completely disregard the remainder of my reply…otherwise, keep reading…

You cannot print technical modes using vector output…Why? Because they’re not vectors. I know they look like lines and vectors on the screen, but that doesn’t mean they are.

What you see in a technical display mode is the result of pure trickery. I know you want vectors, I know you’ve asked for vector output for technical display modes…but it’s not going to happen…certainly not in V5…so trying to print technical modes in vector format is not going to all of sudden start working from one day to the next. The only way to print what you’re seeing on the screen for technical modes is to use Raster Output…because that’s all it is, a bunch of different colored pixels arranged on a 2D canvas.

That being said, I am looking into trying to make sure that some sort of scale can be applied to the “lines” (quoted because they’re not really lines), so that if/when you print large scale printouts, the results look similar in scale and ratio to what you see on the screen…but I have no idea when that will happen, or if it will happen in V5.

Again, if this is not the issue you’re having and you are having problems printing something in a layout view that does print normally or as expected in non-layout views, then Steve is going to have to get involved.

I guess the question is then… Can you print what you want and expect using a view other than a layout?


My problem is related to pdf s specifically. This has been around for a while now. Years even. When i print to pdf from rhino it gets “tiled” but the end result does not line up. I will post examples when i’m back in the office on monday.

Thanks, Danny.
Please start a new thread with your issue.
It sounds different than Willem’s issue.
I look forward to see what you have.
Mary Fugier
McNeel Technical Support

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your reply, but this has nothing to do with expecting technical display modes to print as vector.
The problem is that I’m not able to print details in a shaded/technical mode when printing is vector mode,
they do not show up as bitmaps or show up wrong (eg wireframe mode)

Still I did read the rest of your reply and thank you for the insight :smiley:


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Which is unfortunate and a big drawback for me with Rhino. When I first started using Rhino I would print out as wireframe and then laboriously delete all lines seen ‘through’ the surface to end up with a vector version of the outer volume. Tedious, time consuming and, finally, unrealistic for a reasonable workflow. Now I bypass Rhino altogether and port over to SketchUp / Layout to print but that has drawbacks also. Other programs can print perspective views as vector - SketchUp can, formZ can - so it’s not technically unfeasible. But for some reason Rhino can’t. Any comment on whether or not V6 might address this issue?

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Hi Alex,

Just to be sure, you are aware of teh Make2D command right?


Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I’m aware of Make2D which I use often. But it produces an enormous number of disconnected lines and lines that should not be visible as they’re not on the surface (at complex corners Make2D will show lines on the other side of the viewing angle, creating a confusing image). If I do not need precision I will use Make2D but for anything requiring a lot of perspective views at a high degree of resolution, I’m forced to go over to SketchUp / Layout.

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IMO, Rhino has a long way to go regarding document-printing workflow. For architecture work, sketchUp is a better solution. After been using both of them for more than 6 years, I can say I’m more productive using sketchUp. These are the things I miss every time while trying to document from Rhino.

1.Scenes: SketchUp’s scenes remember settings like camera location, layers, hidden objects, section planes, shadow settings & axes location. I have asked a few time for Named Views to support these options.

2.Sub-object visibility manipulation. In SketchUp, I can select an edge and hide it in order to get the desired effect in the final print. This feature is very handy for things like connected walls. In Rhino you need to join the objects in order to get rid off that extra edge. This process is very time consuming and makes the design process less fluid.

3.Components and nested components. Everyday I ask myself why blocks in Rhino are so limited, and the improvements in V5 are still far from being close to what should be. Editing nested blocks in Rhino is a pain.

4.Realtime vector output. SketchUp does this without any hassle, you configured your view via scenes in SketchUp, them place that Scene in Layout and that’s it!. In Rhino you have to run Make2D, then clean the result and if changes to the design are done you need to run again Make2D and repeat the process again.

I would like to know if any of these features will be implemented in V6, because they’re essential for a 3d to 2d smooth workflow.



+1 for the previous post

I want to ‘mash up’ Rhino and SketchUp into one program. There are essential features in both that the other lacks. I started working in Rhino recently and assumed I was leaving SketchUp behind but that has proved not to be the case. I can see a time up ahead in which I do all my 2D drafting work in Rhino instead of AutoCAD LT. But for 3D modeling, which is paired in my field to graphic output, I need to work in both Rhino and SketchUp to be effective. To get back to the original post - to be able to print perspective in vector would be, for my field, a major leap forward for Rhino.

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It’s funny but I do just the same as you. I love Rhino for 2d drafting, I prefer it over Autocad ; ) But for basic 3d, which is 99% of architecture, SketchUp is my favourite.

I think it should be easier to Rhino to implement those features than to sketchUp to implement true curves and nurbs, but who knows

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We are definitely OT now so apologies to those reading this thread.
Here is an answer by someone on the Sketchucation forum to my complaint about the lack of curves in SketchUp (I complain over there about SketchUp and compare it’s faults to Rhino and I complain over here about Rhino and compare it’s faults to SketchUp). The reply is on p4 of the thread (it’s a looong thread) by slmbaumgartner and it’s pretty convincing as to why we shouldn’t expect SketchUp to ever get real curves.

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Hi Willem, have you found a solution to your problem. I have the exact same issue with my printing, which has only rocked up in the last few days.
Was this a printer software issue, or a Rhino setting?
Look forward to feedback, thank you, Rob.

I Have the same problem.
When printing in Vector mode with a rendered viewport as part of the layout the pdf print often fails. It simply stalls while creating a pdf and I have to abort. I am using both Adobe pdf and Bullzip. Both stall in this process.

This is a huge problem in deadline situations.
Please fix this bug ASAP.

hi mortenengel,

I know the problems you are describing, try to print vector pdfs using pdf24.
It has been very reliable even for big plans (A0+) with 100k lines&fine hatches.

the issue with adobe pdf stalling is very irritating but has been around for a long time, I gave up on it. However vector quality with PDF24 seems to be on par with adobe’s so far and it is a free tool.


Hi Daniel,

I tried PDF24 and it does not solve the problem.
I am pretty sure it’s a Rhino bug. Could be specific to the file i have…

Any word whether vector output of custom display modes is under consideration for a future version?

To reaffirm what others have said this would be extremely useful for workflow. I use Rhino’s layout feature to produce all my 2D drawings now – it’d be great to use 3D detail views without raster output.

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