Rhino 6 wish list: dynamic nestable 3D block for better Architectural modeling

I know this has been mentioned multiple times but I feel the need to reiterate this because most of the discussion focused on 2D drafting and how it can make things more like AutoCAD, but I really think a dynamic 3D block with a parameter system can let Rhino work more like Revit.

  1. Example scenario, a 70 floor building with different floor to floor height, all the panels have the same design, meaning the same horizontal mullion thickness but different height, which means if a typical panel is a block, I cannot just linear1D it to fit all different floor height in the Z axis because the horizontal mullion will get unnecessarily thicker;
  2. But if when I create the block, I have the ability to let the horizontal mullion reference point to be scaled but its geometry frozen, a dynamic like this will drastically reduce the amount of unique blocks I’m making and reduce modeling time and chance of error;
  3. And on top of that, if the floor height can be declared as a parameter and modifier-able outside the block, it will make studying different panel distribution options much faster.
  4. And right block modify in place can only access the first level of block information, and cannot go into the nested blocks, if it can, like Sketchup, one can nest a mullion block inside all different panel designs and change that mullion design in place where you have all the surrounding geometry as reference.

This is meant to initiate a discussion, I understand that VisualARQ and grasshopper plugin “Elefront” is already achieving some of this information, but I think if there are plans to make block management better in Rhino 6, please consider making blocks more dynamic!


Hi Jun - thanks - the discussion will be welcome, we’d of course like to pin down the useful functionality for future reference, but this feature will not be in V6.


Jun -

The new VisualArq 2 can do all these things. Putting aside the discussion where these features belong, our question is if the way those blocks are created in VA is a step in the correct direction or not? It is available right now.

VA 2 was released last week, so far my explorations in it have been really interesting.

It would be fun to experiment with and example model if you have one.

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@Jun_Wang There are a few pages on the visualarq website that discuss ‘Grasshopper Styles’ which sound a lot like what you are describing:

  1. Grasshopper Styles Help
  2. Grasshopper Styles Examples
  3. Grasshopper Styles Videos

The team is aware of the need for more extensive documentation and are working on it.

It would be interesting to know if what you see in the videos and examples fit some of the things you are looking for with Dynamic Blocks.

I totally agree with you @Jun_Wang !
Blocks should be manipulated just as any other polysurface, with the gumball.
Also there should be a better Scale1D method that allows scaling blocks by a certain distance or to reach a certain total distance.
Apart from facade panels and mullions there are many other extruded profiles in the world.
Rhino already has this lightweight extrusion element which might be enhanced to function just like dimensions function now in rhino6 with history always on, always keeping track of the start and the end.

Visualarq objects inside blocks or linked files are not shown correctly in plan and section views.

Because of this limitation I can’t use it. Most of the elements in a building are blocks.

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@Bogdan_Chipara This has been fixed in VisualARQ 2!

Good news! @fsalla, I have to find time to try it again.

Funny that Laia “envisions” a building already designed in 1909 by Gaudi. Such an unprofessional commercial.

thank you scott! I will definitely check out VisualARQ and let you know!

@Bogdan_Chipara The Sagrada Familia Schools are Laia’s inspiration to envision a new building design, that you can see at the end of the video.

Are you sure about that? Looks almost the same. I think Gaudi would be upset.