Quick & dirty GH definition for getting Rhino geom into Revit?

Hello all.

Grateful for the wealth of knowledge here and excited to learn. However I’m feeling overwhelmed by tools never used before and not well understood. Though it will make more sense with time and trial, my boss needs some instant gratification just to see something, anything show up in Revit yet.

I have a simple rhino surface model that we want to pull into Revit to dimension and show views/sections using the RIR workflow. I’ve never used Grasshopper and was hoping there is a link somewhere for the simplest, most basic bare minimum “everything on one layer/category” GH definition to accomplish this. Could someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction? Thank you kindly.


There is a lot and getting focused on your particular requirements is critical (getting the job done with minimal GH/Rhino/Revit learning)

Lets start with the basics.

What version of Rhino are you using, along with the Revit Version?

What workflows are you looking accomplish? the more specific the better. Thanks

Hi Japhy.

Rhino 7 at the moment, and Revit 2024.

We’re a metal cladding company that does custom paneling for large commercial buildings. Our typical workflow has been to laser scan the site and model the panel system over the point cloud in Rhino. Once modeled, we’ve been exporting 2D geometry to AutoCad for shop drawings but it’s a 1-way street; Any changes require repeating the whole 2D export and/or manually editing. It’s been a typical old-school workflow with all the associated problems.

For now the Revit portion is just for dimensioning the Rhino model and showing basic views. That’s it. I’m sure over time as we learn more of its capabilities our workflow will improve, but we’re starting at square one like kindergartners. Just need to get rhino surfaces into Revit to put dimensions on paper. Nothing more for now.

Thank you for your help, Japhy. Truly appreciated.


This is a popular implementation of Rhino, there are a number of your competitors that have been active here at one point or another. Unfortunately its a bit competitive as well as particular to their standards, so only tiny glimpses of workflows are typically available.

The ultimate goal is to be like Front on a smaller scale. They were more than happy to share the workflow and the tools involved, so a lot of kudos to them.

To get going in these processes you are going to have to get a good handle on managing your data & creating an internal standards of sorts (which you presumably already have to some extent)

The essentials in this being David Rutten’s short masterclass series on datatrees.

As well as a short intro series to Elefront 4.3 in Rhino 7 i put together.

Can you share a small example of your current Rhino geometry and ultimate output (ie composite panel unfolds)

Absolutely, Japhy. Funny you mention that… I’ve been introducing Rhino (and 3D scanning) to panel companies around the country for the past 20 years or so. Worked for many, some of whom you may be referring to. Rhino’s been a fantastic tool for panel work and solving crazy geometry on the fly. The bottleneck has always been translating this model & scan data back to a set of 2D shop drawings, especially when there’s changes. We’re hoping the RIR workflow will help facilitate rapid documentation.

I’ll share some geometry when time permits today. We keep the models to simple panel face surfaces where possible, and do an unjoin edge/unroll srf for the more complicated origami-esque panels.


Another aspect of this is the intent of the Revit documents. Are these for the Shop, Submittal drawings, Field Instructions, BIM Coordination… or all of the above? With good data management all is possible, but we should look at these independently at first.

A low level example that might be helpful is tagging and scheduling Direct Shapes.

I am going through your tutorial video now of the Direct Shape schedule (amazing by the way!) I’m aware of the awesome capabilities this opens up. Hopefully I can just get something to show up in Revit today and build on that knowledge from there. Baby steps. I’ve attached the test model I’m using, just simple surfaces (no point cloud). Hoping for now to write a GH def that just finds all surfaces & polysurfaces, ignores material and all other attributes and simply converts to direct shape to show up in Revit for dimensioning. Over time as we learn what the various GH components do we can add functionality.

Test Model for RIR.3dm (8.1 MB)

And thank you again for your help. There’s a lot to learn.

Programmatically doing dimensioning is not a strong workflow in RiR at the moment. To do it better would require presets and configuration before hand. Revit requires very specific view dependent sub-elements and more.

Starting out i would stay away from doing dimensioning via RiR.

Doing the single surfaces is the way to go, along with understanding the UV direction (which looks like you do)

A big part is going to be adding the user texts for sorting, naming, clip types etc. This way you can find identify the panels groups and one offs.

Perhaps I misunderstood something… if the model shows up in Revit can it not be dimensioned on a sheet like other Revit models? I can use “import” and dimension it but then Revit lacks the ability to update if the linked Rhino model changes. That was the biggest reason for jumping into RIR. But if I am misunderstanding a fundamental part it may be best to know now before spending too much time on an exercise in futility.

To be clear, dimensions would all be placed manually on Revit sheet… not expecting GH or RIR to automate any of that. The Rhino geometry we are hoping to link with RIR would simply serve as something to snap to for manual dimensioning. The hope being that if a wall stretched in the Rhino model, the Revit view and dims would update as well.

Forgive my newbie ignorance here. It’s hard to kick the tires on something new without a tire to kick yet.

Perfect, dimensioning is possible in RiR but needs to be well thought out. A quick manual dim is going to work just fine.