Rhino for Architectural drawings - Rhino V6?

There has been a lot of talk about improving Rhino functionality for architectural drawings from a 3d model.
A ‘light’ BIM model that let’s you make plans, sections, elevations etc. from the 3d model.

What are the plans for Rhino v6 regarding this?


Have you considered using the VisualARQ plug-in ?

It has parametric tools like walls and doors that appear as they should in a plan view of an architectural drafting.
You just need to set the levels and toggle the floor plan view mode.

Pretty straight forward and similar to other larger BIM tools like Revit and VectorWorks
It also exports in .IFC format that can be opened by other applications

Do we really need to bog down a great 3D modeler with features it wasn’t designed for? This is the Autodesk model. I refer you to the mess that AutoCAD has become, going in the other direction from a great drafting program to a stodgy 3D modeler. Let’s keep Rhino 3D Rhino 3D. (Now descending from soapbox).


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I have tried it, and the concept is good. It is just not production ready. I think it needs a lot more resources allocated to get it up to speed. Let’s hope this happens. But I also think Rhino itself should evolve to have better documentation tools. It is a design tool and all designers who make physical stuff have to output their models in a way where it can be documented for production. here drawings are still unavoidable.

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@dmoyes Well the software has to develop all the time to stay relevant and competitive. So “what is was designed for” will constantly evolve and new features will inevitably be developed . Of course it should not be done the Autocad way, but the Rhino way…

Agreed. But why burden all users with the weight of features they may not want or need? Is the plug-in model not a reasonable alternative? McNeel seems to have succesfully separated out rendering and animation functions so why not drafting?

Well, I simply question the characterization “weight”… Do you notice the presence of the layout functions if you never use them? Do you notice the presence of the default Rhino render if you never use it?

Note that Rhino does come with a render engine installed by default, as well as some basic layout and printing tools. Why? Because many people expect to have those capabilities in the base version they buy without having to pay extra, and that those tools are supported directly by McNeel and not a third party.



And having played with the Cycles render engine that is being worked on for V6 I expect that many users will find it’s entirely adequate for the vast majority of their needs and will forgo spending $$ and wrestling with extra software.

Hard to argue with that.

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I too have used Cycles via Blender and am excited that it may come standard with Rhino. If material node capability is included, the render quality will be top notch.

In regards to the original post, as a Naval Architect, I too am looking for software that can easily show plans, sections, and elevations from the model so I would be interested in having this capability in Rhino.

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Two things pop to mind; the disk space I could use for other things and the
upgrades, bug fixes, security patches that inevitably crop up as complexity

Well, I don’t really know what to say to that, expectations of what software should accomplish are constantly increasing, that brings a certain level of complexity with it. But hey, Rhino V1 was simple, lean, mean, and took up almost no disk space at all! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I probably still have a disk somewhere… :cd:


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Having integrated BIM in default rhino is really a good thing to attract architecture market. Why dont mcneel buy the plug in from visualarc and let them work together with the core dveloper, to streamline the workflow?

Im prettty sure it would attract more ppl of they know rhino can do BIM.


Sigh. I realize I’m fighting a losing battle. Thanks for humoring me. This
kind of exchange would never happen with Autodesk!

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Without oversimplifying the discussion, the question I ask myself is, “What core elements are needed in a 3D software package for visualizing design?” There are so many niche design professions – regardless of whether operating as an individual, small design studio, or large corporation – that the notion of using just one program in the design iteration process is pretty much unheard of. Coming from an architecture background, I have seen a very slight shift in what kind of documentation is needed for a building to be constructed. With BIM & digital 2D/3D components playing a larger fabrication role in the AEC industry, and some subcontractors having a greater investment in the creation of digital content respective to their trade, the need for a traditional set of construction/contract documents may continue to decline. Some firms may only produce traditional drawing packages (printed on paper) for the sake of satisfying zoning and building permit requirements for the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

With that said, drawings are still sometimes a fundamental component to help understand parts of a design, so program features in Rhino like “layouts” are important to me and view this as a core functionality. Same with visualization – even a basic rendering engine is needed as part of a core modeling software package.

The plug-in concept makes sense when you are developing niche products that are unique & beneficial for specific disciplines that aid in the design process or increase efficiency. So for example, having an architectural plug-in like VisualARQ makes no sense to include as part of the core Rhino software. A jewelry designer doesn’t need a user interface filled with components for stairs/railings, doors, walls, floors, roofs, etc.

Some aspects of design are universal. Some are not.


Not that I don’t appreciate the question but–as an architect that uses both rhino and BIM in my work–I would hope McNeel never try to shoehorn a BIM solution into rhino. I would much rather have a lean, efficient, small software that can be extensible if need be. I’d much rather the rhino devs focus on the tons of small improvements and bug fixing that rhino already has to deal with rather than expand the scope of their work. As long as I can cleanly and easily export a model into another software, I’m a happy camper!


My own experience importing .3DM files into BIM softwares packages like VectoWorks, Revit and AECOSim have not been a smooth camping trip.

Understand your point of view about keeping things simple and use Rhino for conceptual design and/ or sophisticated geometries.

However, unless you are modeling only parts of your buildings in Rhino and integrating everything with your BIM software, you will end up with two models that will need to be kept updated in this workflow would you not ?

The idea is that the first iteration of integration will have good to great results without having to dive into a vast world of settings to tweak, shaders to manipulate etc.

That said, I hope to add eventually a way to create custom Cycles shaders, probably through the great Grasshopper interface. Sometime in the future… :smile:

I’d love to see great architectural renderings once it is in - actually I’d love to see those already from the Rhino WIP build :wink:

The same is true for most software :slight_smile: For fun you could browse this and see how fat programs can get.


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I can remember installing 3DsMax with a CD and at the same time Blender could fit in a floppy…

We use Rhino for drawings on a daily basis. Do we make full construction sets? No. But do we make plans and section of architectural scale forms and details? Yes. I love layouts. I love make 2d, I love the ease of drawing in plan, I think the 2d drawing tools in Rhino are great and make 2d keeps getting better.

Having seen the results of a project designed in Revit vs designed in Rhino, it is clear to me the sacrifices of BIM are far too great to merit the convenience. Sure you can coordinate the shit of a design but who cares if the design is greatly constrained by the tool.

My team has designed a great deal of elaborate TI work, we hand off our models at schematic and the AOR puts them in Revit and the whole thing is pretty painless.

Gratuitous example: https://www.frameweb.com/news/around-the-world-in-airbnb-999-brannan


Architectural user segment is already present. It’s just most of us keep it shut and use workarounds with things that don’t work/not present. I personally don’t even need full blown BIM package with parametrics and constraints. Just simple and basic stuff architects would use everyday. Like a dam visual auto-hatch on a clipped solid or an RCP detail view…