Rhino 7 export to .ai - illustrator - gives wrong scaling

Hi all,
I’m experiencing a very annoying problem when exporting 2D geometry from Rhino 7 to .ai (adobe illustrator format), scaled 1:1. After many attempts there seem not to be any possibility to export the 2D design with the correct scale (1 unit = 1 mm in this case): I did all the possible attempts, but the scale is always wrong.

The curious thing is the workaround I found to export in .ai with the correct scale:

  1. Export the 2D geometry from Rhino 7 in .dxf format, with the correct scaling 1:1 (1mm = 1 rhino unit)
  2. Open the exported .dxf in Rhino 7 again and export it in .ai with the usual setting (1mm = 1 rhino unit)
  3. The resulting .ai file is correctly scaled in 1:1.
    If needed i can post a video of the buggy export and the workaround.

I find this to be a quite strange behaviour.
Hope to find some interest about this.

. Gianpietro

PS: I know .ai is not this “essential” format, but I must use it for a couple of laser cutting machines to a service where I often go to cut stuff.

Dear Gianpietro
use the same workflow, you described as “workarround”, i even do it more “broken down”
_convert lines only, max segment length 0.05,
Export dxf R12 natural,
import illustrator and send to laser. If the laser allows Jerk / smoothing / blending polylines this works very well.
i would recommend this approach as it is kind of proof / basic stuff (only polylines)

before you stuck to tha .ai format, check if you manage to get proper circles with your settings - and as final output on the material - check with a caliber …
this is, what convinced me to above workflow.
also export via .svg might be an option.

If it is just about line art you want to get in proper scaling, i recommend a _bounding Box in Rhino, arround your drawing … draw the next bigger rectangle that is factor of 10 or 100 … e.g 200x300mm as a size reference… this allows you fast scaling in illustrator.

or export a rectangle that has the size of the printers work-Area or of the plates you use…

Then illustrator transform palette is straight forward to correct the size. (keep the proportional look, enter the 200 … )

i always ( also for the dxf) include a 100x100 rectangle to check size ( but you need additional boundingbox, as this makes scaling much easy.)

by the way, which printer are you using ? i am currently writing a hpgl export for Trotec lasers.

hope that helps - kind regards - tom

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Hi Tom,

with my “workaround” I’m fine: no problem with circles. I had problems, instead, when I began to hit this bug: when exporting in dxf and importing in Adobe Illustrator the dxf, circles became some kind of “squarish” curves.

I’ll give a try to your way: I am facing these issues for using a Trotec laser, as well as you!

Apart for the workarounds (mine or yours), anyway, I would like that McNeel somehow consider this as a bug to solve. I’m just asking myself if I should wait for someone hitting this post or if would be better try to call someone specific. What do you think?


. Gian

Dear @gian i do not use adobe anymore - don ’ t like their paying / licence model at all, if you think, or quite sure it s a bug, you should post
→ a sample .3dm file
→ your rhino version and operating system
→ a screenshot of your export setting / rhino dialog
→ a screenshot of the adobe illustrator import dialog
→ the resulting (wrong) .ai file
and then post everything with an [AT]pascal … he’ s one of the very active people from mc neel here in the forum, and one of his job’s is to collect bugs - as far as i interpret …

kind regards, -tom

1 Like

Hi Tom,

I don’t use any Adobe software since 1998 (not joking!) for almost your same reason: I hate their pricing policy since the beginning, even more I dislike their current yearly basis licencing policy.

In this particular case, Illustrator export is needed just for the Trotec laser operator request: infact, I’m not the one operating the laser.

I’m definitely sure it’s a bug, as I don’t see any other reason why, setting up all the right parameters in the export window in Rhino, I obtain a wrongly scaled geometry in the resulting .ai file.

I don’t have Illustrator and any other Adobe sw since about 23 years (for the reason above) but the laser operator confirms to me the incorrect scaled geometry, that I see when I re-open the .ai in Rhino (once exported the .ai geometry from Rhino, I re-open it in Rhino again to check if it’s correct: and it’s not). And so it’s sure that the exported geometry it’s incorrect in the same way when opening it in Illustrator.

I know that @Pascal is one of the active (and kind) people here: I’ll try your suggestion and make a new post in this thread with all the data needed, as soon as I find some time.

Thank you Tom!!

. Gianpietro

Hi Gianpietro - yes, please post an example if you have one you can share - even a simple square or something. As far as I can see this works here.


Hi Pascal,

appearently it happens only under particular conditions, as when I tried today I was not able to reproduce the “bug” (if a bug was): the ai file exported with correct scale, this time. As, meanwhile, I didn’t install any update, I ask to myself if there was some kind of problem related to that specific session. The file I used for this tryout and exported correctly was exactly the same that gave me many problems.

Now you will think I’ve been drinking too much Grappa, but I can grant that the things were not going so smoothly when I wrote my post.

Anyway, sorry for the useless alarm: I will keep this thread up to date, when the problem would show again.

Bye and see you in other threads :slight_smile:

. Gianpietro

Is there any chance the issue is related to page size?

Illustrator has a page size limit of approx 227" square.

Hi Pascal,

I have to work with AI quite often and just discovered this same issue today, if you create a box in rhino for this example 20x20 (MM) export to dxf to AI then save out an eps file and reopen it in rhino 7 you won’t get 20X20, same file imported in R5 will be exactly 20X20.

I also took a screen shot of the settings dialog, difference being before it says “AI import settings” even if eps and R7 has “eps import settings” not sure if that means something was updated or changed between versions.