Rhino for 2D design

Nope, same result.


@siemen - Links should work for you now!

They work!


Just a side note:
Regarding the overpriced Adobe and Corel solutions you should give Affinity a try.
They almost match the range of functions of the CC Suite. They can also read Illustrator and Photoshop files and are very cheap compared to the competition.
We are on the brink of migrating our whole office from Adobe to Affinity.

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One big show-stopper for me is that Affinity designer cannot import or export .dxf or dwg. It’s been mentioned numerous times on their forums over the past years but they just seem to ignore it.

See also this:

I agree with most posters in the thread. I made a quick sketch of what my dream scenario would be like. This could be both a panel that could be dragged out and included in the tabs inside of the properties panel.

The Icons underneath the colors mean: Display by Layer, Print Color by layer, Sync Display with Print Color, Sync Print with Display. I based this mostly on Illustrator, which is why the Arrowhead function is included, I do wish that we could have a choice of printable arrowhead, so that we could create lines with arrows besides the leader.

EDIT: Forgot to include a Match button.

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Yep. That’s really a problem. But somebody mentioned in one of the other Affinity related posts, that there might be a SVG export option within one of the latest Rhino Betas. I’ll have to check that.

Besides, I totally agree that there should be better 2D drawing options in Rhino like the ones proposed, so you don’t have to leave Rhino for that purpose.

Hi Bob, Vanessa & Co.

Allow be to participate with a suggestion or alternative to transparent hatches: In Illustrator (since 1992) it has been possible to create “Blend Shapes” which perhaps best can be compared to the “Tween Curves” in Rhino 4/5/6 when Explicit History/Record History is enabled:
It morphs two shapes (closed or open, filled or not), and respect the fill color and transparency + the width of the strokes (as can be seen in the image example below left and right. Each color or graphics style can be “sampled” with an eyedropper and applied to other objects or kept in a palette for later use or use across different project. Also full support for Pantone, RAL and NCS colorsystems would be really “need to have” when using Rhino as a serious alternative to Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer.


Thanks for a great product, which I use everyday.
Tim Elkær


Hi @rheinason - thanks, concrete ideas are easier to understand. I’ve added this info to the item

@Erazmataz - Great, I’ve added this the YT item as well. As a suggestion you can obtain something similar using Paneling Tools and using the Panel 2D Custom Variable. You have command line options that allow you to “mix” different shapes (PatternMethod= Mean or List) using different “blending” algorithms (DistributionMethods= PointAttractors or Random or Bitmap).

Some great suggestions here. Rhino has steadily taken over from almost all the other packages I use in my workflow but one major weakness is in drawing quality - things like previewing line thickness, hatches, and line types are still very problematic for me. Would love to see this improve.


yep, I agree…things like trim hatches, control of line types, hatch transparency, color swatches etc. would be really great imporvement…+1, but what I do like, is the print preview! So you are able to script your own macro to see the appearance of your drawing (line thickness, print colors etc.) in one click.

That is the thing I have been missing a lot. I agree it would be great to have better drafting / illustration tools, even as an extension similiar to Bongo or Flamingo.

My 3 top features would be:

  • flexible hatches (asociated, trimmable, transparent etc.)
  • easy control over linetypes as shown above but with control over lineweights (in measurable units, mm for example) with adequate display and control wether they end with sharp or round corners.
  • more control over drawing order. Maybe ability to make it dependent over the layer order? Would be great to be able to control draw order both 2d and 3d objects so the hatch would for example hide under the front object but stand in front of those at the background. Right now its hard to control.

I have heard that Vectorworks is going this way, which is embeding illustration features to NURBS software. I have never used it but have heard of my colegues and some architecture offices choosing it instead of Rhino for concepual work just because of that. I suppose filling this gap would be very convincing for people to choose Rhino.


I was considering Vectorworks precisely for that reason as well…but it’s much pricier and nowhere near the “user friendliness” of Rhino…much less self-explanatory and a bit awkward to use…they’re taking too much account of their legacy workflow much of their older customer user base is accustomed to…So I’ve gone with Rhino…
I think people at McNeel are not nearly aware of the market potential of Rhino, as this discussion clearly shows.
It’s also a wrong question to ask about particular improvements.What is really needed, is a more systemic approach to a complete vector “creative suite”, with possible connection to some bitmap program. Perhaps they should start a new development team for that.
Now, if that is available on Linux, I’ll get rid of Windows right away…

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Hi siemen,

You might try to use SVG to import 2d paths from Rhino to Affinity.
That seems to work pretty well for me (I have no experience with files containing typograhie in this scenario through).
If this doesn’t do the trick I would use a converter (e.g. reaconverter, quite cheap and works well) to convert your dxf to illustrator file format and then open it in Affinity designer.

Hope that helps, Norbert


you can currently use the arrowhead command to add an arrowhead to any curve.

+1 for transparent hatches, and easier linetypes!

Also, a WYSIWYG viewport toggle! ArchiCAD has this.


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Have you tried inkscape for drawing and krita for painting? Thanks

The ability to create a BOM