Problem with Rhino export as .obj and .fbx

Problem with Rhino export as .obj and .fbx
We are currently planning a large aquarium installation. I have created a Rhino file with a lot of imported parts like water controllers etc. which was very big at first. To make my Rhino file smaller I imported the parts as a block including materials. This worked well and the file was much smaller.
Now I come to my questions:
We want to export the file both as obj. with materials, but the file has suddenly again 8GB. Do you have a tip how I get the file smaller?
Also, we still want to export the file as a .fbx file to import it into an AR app, again the same problem, way too big.

Maybe you have an idea how to make this work.
Many many thanks already :slight_smile:
Best regards from Mannheim

Hello - a couple of things

  • obj is not a very efficient format, being a text format. fbx is not text though - do these turn out the same size on disk?

  • if you insert objects as linked blocks, the parent file may be smaller but there is no overall ‘saving’ unless there are multiple copies of the same blocks in the parent file - the data is still what it is, whether it is stored directly in the current file or referenced from an external one. Exporting will need all of it, regardless of where it is stored, to be shoved into the same file.

Depending on what you are building, it may be possible to save some space by joining multiple meshes into one.

Why are you exporting to obj? Is the target app a rendering program?


Hi Pascal,
thank you very much for your quick reply.

No fbx is smaller than the export as obj.

Okay, that’s good to know that the size of the Rhino file has nothing to do with the export.
I want to import the file into “Sweet Home 3D”. A warehouse has already been planned there and the aquarium system I want to export should be placed there. It should also serve as a basis to know exactly how many individual components are needed and need to be ordered.

In “Sweet Home 3D” the data formats OBJ, DAE, KMZ or 3DS can be imported, whereas 3ds did not work. Which data format would you advise me to use?

The export as fbx has nothing to do with the import in “Sweet Home 3D”. The .fbx file is to be imported into an AR app to better visualize live dimensions. Do you have any idea which other file format could be considered for this?

Best regards

Hi Jennifer - I don’t think I am the right person to tell you what would work best in the target application - my inclination would be to try DAE, (another text based thing) or OBJ. But - you may also be able to play with meshing settings on any of these formats - if you convert your Rhino objects to meshes (assuming they are not already meshes) selectively, and then export the meshes, you can do a couple of things:

  1. Adjust the detailed meshing parameters to be more efficient per object or per groups of objects according to how they will be used - some objects may be OK with low resolution meshes, others not. Shoot for the lowest acceptable resolution.

see: Rhino Mesh Settings [McNeel Wiki]

  1. If you create the meshes yourself in Rhino, you may be able to join multiple meshes that share a material (for example) into one mesh, thus reducing per-object overhead. I don’t know how severe that is for the export formats but it Rhino there can be quite a lot of per-object information.

I hope that helps some.


Hi Pacsal,
Thank you very much, you have helped me a lot.
I have solved the problem now. I have inserted the components as blocks in my file. So I simply reduced the number of polygons in the basic file of the individual components and updated the blocks using the block manager. Then the export as .obj and .fbx worked without the files being too big.
Thanks a lot for your help!

Best regards, Jenni

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