Rhino blocks in Architectural Projects

Hi everybody,

I’m currently getting used to using Rhino blocks and am starting to develop a usable system for use on large architectural projects.

Here’s my problem: I have models of say, furniture and doors etc, which are referenced into a Floor file eg. L1. These multiple floors (L1~L5) are then in turn referenced into a master model which is the Tower. The Tower file is to be sent to a third party, clean, with a curated set of information eg. floors with just doors

As you can see, currently everything is referenced and not embedded. Which means, when you come to view the Tower master model you cannot see the the door blocks unless you check “read linked block from this file”, problem then is that every other file referenced into the Floor file (L1) pops up such as the furniture as well as any other unwanted information that has been referenced in to the floor file, which is not what I wanted.

This means I need to explode the Floor files while I’m in the Tower file which explodes every item in the Floor file and I need to continue to clean up by deleting all unwanted items and layers in the Tower.

So, has anyone else come up with a better way of what I’m driving at? How do people treat blocks containing individual parametric items (eg. doors) as opposed to entire Floors? I’m positive that this is a common situation for Architects. Possibly a smart way of mixing embedding, referencing and worksessions?

Hi rarara- I guess it will not do to simply turn off the unwanted layers in the top level file?


Hi Pascal. But then when we send the top-level file to consultants none of the referenced blocks are sent?

The natural response I’m assuming is to embed the blocks. However, we have a few hundred blocks (in reality the project is larger than I first stated), so going into block manager and embedding each one is not an option, especially when something updates, and you have to go through the process of relinking and then re-embedding to send updated information to consultants.

I’m assuming this is a common situation faced by other architects. I was really looking to see if some others could share their workflow.

you can check out this post for ability to embed all linked blocks at once (which I think is your best bet to share your project with consultants)

Thanks for that Jarek. I was looking at your particular option this week and I think you’re right.

The issue here is that the highest level file (tower) cannot see the lowest level file (doors, furniture) as they too are referenced into the Floor file. The problem is even our lowest level elements are constantly changing (clarification: they’re not actually doors and furniture they’re in fact hugely complex 3D ceiling elements)

Is it simply wishful thinking for me to think I can set up a system where everything is updated automatically in the Tower file without me having to go through the 80 or so other files embedding blocks at each stage?


Are you saying that the scripts fail to embed the lowest-level blocks? I don’t have a project with similar structure at hand now but if that’s the case I am sure the scripts can be tweaked to work well.

In general though, I think the setup you are describing should work well and on a daily basis in-house all the blocks should be able to be re-loaded and updated constantly, as needed. Now when it comes to sharing your model outside in a given point in time, it has to be somehow manual process if you need to be specific what elements of the model to include. I can imagine you would save a copy of your top file (Tower), run Embed All Blocks script, and then delete all the blocks that you don’t want to show up. This would require certain naming standards, so all your windows/ceilings/doors etc. would be easily selectable. This step should be also relatively easy to script.



I typically use the “embed and linked” option for blocks that I want to update down stream instead of link. So here is how I set up a model.

Floor Models- all blocks that I need to see downstream are inserted “embed and linked”. all other block ie. reference background blocks are linked

Main Model-Each floor is either linked or embed and linked into main model, with read linked blocks unchecked.

Ah Yes, I’ve been scared to use the Embed and Link option for fear of not knowing what it does. But by the sound of it it looks like it could work.

I’d still be very interested in how other firms/individuals deal with large project work flows and referencing (does anyone use worksessions at all!?). I’ll put up later how this all works out for me.

Thanks dj and Jarek!