Questions about file transfer from AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop to Rhino 5.0

Dear Rhino users,

Our company is currently evaluating Rhino 5.0 due to its fantastic surface modeling capabilities. The problem is, we use AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop for tons of previous drawings. The components and assemblies were stored as blocks (proxy entities) in our previous drawing files. We have to explode the blocks to make them editable for Rhino. However, the attributes for the blocks will be lost. Also we have to save the edited file into dxf files again for Mechanical Desktop. Not sure whether information input by Rhino will be lost again. My question is:

1). Is there anyway to explode the blocks without losing the information?
2). Which format is the best so that Rhino can save for Mechanical Desktop?

I am just wondering if any of you have some previous experience with transferring the files. Please, any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much,

Hi Cheng- I’d think STEP is the most useful exchange format. I’m not sure how to best get around the block part - you can BlockEdit, instead of Explode, that might work OK in some cases.


Thanks a lot pascal! I will try that. Before I was trying IGES but the surface created by Rhino became curves in Mechanical Desktop. I will also try BlockEdit.


MDT reads iges, I think the command is IgesIn. Also, Rhino doesn’t read MDT surfaces, they have to converted to Iges to be opened in Rhino. It’s a few years since I changed to Rhino and I can’t remember if STEP was an option. MDT Solids can be opened successfully.

Hi Brain, thanks a lot for your suggestions. I will try with IGES files for MDT solids.

In all of those cases, the MDT block attributes and data will be lost in the data conversion.
The only thing that can read and use that data is MDT itself.

Hi John, that is true. Unfortunately MDT never made this available to other programs and they stopped the technical support…Thanks for your reminder.

Sadly, that is the “Autodesk way”.