Rhino 6 - Is It For Me?


I’m a Kiwi from New Zealand - long time reader of this forum and other articles about Rhino. I have used the trial version of Rhino 5 and 6 for the 90 day period some time ago (thank you McNeel for the generous trial time). I could only get about 1 hour per day and the weekends to use it, but at the time I learned a lot. Pity my memory isn’t what it used to be.

I am a long time CAD user (2D only), but have thought for a long time I’d like to learn to 3D model. I am a hobbyist and will never use Rhino professionally or commercially (pity there isn’t a hobbyist version). I am a Scale Modeller (mostly Sci-Fi) and I have dreamed of being better by adding 3D printing and perhaps DIY CNC to the equation, which will help in the creation process somewhat - hence the 3D modelling requirement.

However, as a pensioner now, I’m not sure this is going to happen in the long term. While time is now more readily available, resources are not - but one can still have dreams I guess!

I have used TurboCad11 Pro for 15 years (never even looking at the 3D side of it), and last year I upgraded to Turbocad 2018 Pro Platinum with the intent of learning to 3D model with it. While TC did the job, I wasn’t truly excited about using it that way - even though I’m fully conversant with the GUI. Rhino has always felt much better for 3D work, so at this point I’m ready to bite the bullet to get it. I’m not an expert at any of this stuff (nor computers either), so it is a major learning curve.

Guess I really need some hand-holding to make sure its right for my needs - especially as it’s a big chunk out of my modelling budget (the $NZ isn’t so good at the moment)

I want to 3d model SciFi subjects, mechs - things like that (and 3D Printing and DIY CNC). I have looked at and read a lot about other programs but I’m not sure anything else really cranks my chain. I would have liked something that could also do photographic stuff as well (like Cinema4D) but ultimately it’s too expensive. I also don’t and won’t support subscription software. This reduces the toolset quite a bit.

Blender is on my list now that 2.8 is coming out soon and I’m definitely going to get into it at some point once there are more 2.8 tutorials around. While ZBrush looks cool, I am mostly comfortable with CAD type drawing (I did technical drawing in College on paper) and Zbrush appears more an organic type program. Modo is a possibility and has a better renderer than Rhino (so people say), but I still have to play with a trial and the extra cost at this point makes me hesitant.

I have read a lot of 3d modelling mags and so far, I have only seen one artist that uses Rhino. It is usually 3ds Max, Maya, or ZBrush. None of these fit the bill. A great number of these artists use Keyshot, hence my comment below.

Further in the future, I plan to look at a rendering tool, but that is a tough one currently. They all seem to use the same marketing firm, because thay all say the same thing…this software (put name here)…is the fastest, easiest coolest, bestest software on the market. They can’t all be that. I want something that is easy to use and get excellent results with minimal learning. Currently I like the look of Keyshot (but it is damn expensive!!).

Apologies for the long post, but I wanted to give sufficient detail of my background and my interests to give you a better overview of what I want to do with my real world modeling and digital modeling.

Is Rhino for me?? Thanks :slight_smile:

I think MOI 3D is better for your needs - http://moi3d.com/
For rendering - check the free version of SimLab Composer

I’ve just gone through a similar process as in my youth I spent many hours modelling and rendering with Imagine on an Amiga and had decided I wanted to get back into 3d modelling as a hobby. I have tried some of the free options however the Rhino interface and ease of use convinced me to buy Rhino. It is a huge amount of money having to buy a commercial licence for a hobby but as long as my wife doesn’t find out I should be fine. Going to start working through tutorials over the coming weeks. The built in renderer is much better than I was expecting.

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Rhino’s great!
Please try out my new scaling script if you are doing reduced-scale work.

You didn’t mention your present computer. Because Rhino 6 uses much more of the current OpenGL features you need to make sure your computer is up to it or factor in the cost of a video card upgrade or a new computer.

@ cadmaster - Knew about MOI and have looked at it. One thing I didn’t mention is that with Rhino I can get a job (not so sure MOI offers the same ability) and this is important to me. Rhino is more of an industry standard thing than MOI I think. I hadn’t heard of the simlab renderer. Looks interesting and I’ll follow it up. One thing I noted from the lite version is only HD output. I make all my images and compositions in 4K for a little future proofing. Need to look at a paid version perhaps.

@ Paul Clark - I hear you. Paying in $NZ adds at least 40% to the cost of it. But…I brought a lot of quality tools over the years (even if they were expensive and I’ve never regretted it). However, I’ve also brought some crap stuff as well and regretted it every time it’s used! Somehow (for whatever reason) I feel good in the Rhino interface. There are things about the software I don’t like - but that’s the same with ALL software. You’re right - a commercial license is tough…but something I guess we’ll just have to accept if we want these tools. Pity :sob:
I’ve already gone through a lot of tutorials, but that was last year and I’ve forgotten a lot that I learned. I found a guy named “Kyle Houchens” who does really good vids and uses a small toolset to do great things. Worth following.

@ Graham - I’ll have a look at the scaling-script. Thanks.

@ AIW - Built a new computer end of 2017 specifically for 3D modelling, video editing and photo manipulation. It’s a beast - i7, SSD, 32GbRAM, GTX6gb 1060 etc. It’s because of this I still haven’t got Rhino (recovering from the cost :roll_eyes:). I told my wife I was going to buy it this year. So here I am!

I read a lot of posts about all these types of things. It’s amazing how one person will make one statement about a software product, only to have the very next person completely contradict that by stating something different. Really difficult for a newbie to make an informed decision about things.

One thing I should ask…do I need to care about Nurbs VS Polygon Modelling (is this the same as sub-D??) for what I want to achieve?

Thanks for the coments

mentioning all the artists, SketchUp is also super-popular and free for light users, you might also want to give it a try. Mainly if you’re into blocky geometry.

Rendering? Most of our company uses Keyshot and their renders leave me speechless (“Oh come on, this render is shitty, it took me only 5 minutes!”) However Rhino 6 and Blender both use Blender’s Cycles renderer which is free and can produce perfectly photorealistic images.

Cheers and have fun with 3D!


@ Jonish - should have mentioned SketchUp actually…my mistake. I’ve used it quite a lot - did some house alterations with it. I’d actually forgotten about that. At this point, I prefer Rhino to work with.

I hadn’t heard of Keyshot until recently (reading all those 3D modelling mags). It sounds really good for newbies and pros alike, but lots of people have their own choice of render. I just want something easy and fast that gives great results. I like the idea of a standalone program so I can set it rendering and still be working in 3D on something else.

I just watched some vids on Blender using Hard Ops and Boxcutter. Wow. There is some serious stuff to learn :star_struck: :nerd_face:

:beers::+1::rofl::rofl: priceless, yes Rhino costs a fair few £££’s, but what you get for your pennies is far more than pretty much any other professional grade software out there :smile:

@RhinoWannaB sounds to me like you’ll get many years of use and satisfaction from designing and making using CAD software, whether you use a commercial license like Rhino3d, or use SketchUp or Blender, happy designer/making :slight_smile::beers:

This feels to me to be very true.

Thanks for the best wishes for my future of making. Having the right tools is definitely a good start. Cheers. :beers:

Anyone using 3d Coat?? It looks like an interesting package and watching some hard surface modelling vids seems it can do some great stuff. Am i right in thinking that it seems to work like zbrush - more a sculpting type program?? They do things with something called voxels (not sure what these are even though I’ve looked).

I have read some posts that some people are using both Rhino and 3d Coat, but I have to ask why? Is one better at some things than the other?? Thanks.

I have been using Rhino for many years, and when 6 came out I was hesitant to upgrade as not only the cost of the upgrade was I bit steep for me, but all so the need to get a better computer to run the program on made me pause.

Finely after some serious deliberation I upgraded to 6, got the best computer I could afford and plashed out on a huge high spec monitor.

Wow, what a wonderfull program, crisp and clear on the monitor. Well worth every penny.

Get Rhino 6, it will do you well into the future.

By the way, where in NZ are you?

I am in Waiuku, North Island.

Actually, the developers or Rhino 6 vastly improved the viewport performance and memory management of the program over Rhino 5. So, basically you can use a lower spec PC to work with Rhino 6 in comparison with Rhino 5. Rhino 6’s graphics performance is at least twice as fast than Rhino 5, and in some cases even faster than that.
On top of that, Rhino 7 was further improved and is more snappy than Rhino 6, which could be notices while selecting and manipulating objects, changing windows between different programs etc.

You cannot afford good renderer, but Rhino 7 build-in renderer may be good enough. KeyShot HD plugin = about $1000. V-Ray plugin = about $800. I would rather spend money on decent computer and monitor. Good 27inch, 4k (3840x2160) monitor costs about $600.