Rhino for engineering waste of time someone says

I have come across a thread where someone tells a chap who is using Rhino that hes wasting his time, and should be using Inventor or solidworks for his Lancaster frames etc.

as they can tell machines what to do whilst Rhino is visualisation.

I’m afraid the problem you have is that you are using packages desgined for ‘3D visualisation’ rather than ones for producing 2D manufacturing drawings or being able to download direct to CNC machines etc.
You’re wasting your time trying to do this in Max or Rhino I’m afraid.
The only way you going to achieve what you want to do in terms of exportable information, is to model from the start using CAD software designed for the task.
CATIA ideally, or Solidworks. Autodesk Inventor is another option.


Seeing that I am drawing up mechanical items and had asked of my needs when first exploring what CAD to use, and was told here Rhino would do for me. My latest is going to be milled from solid steel and cut from sheet steel along with 3D printed parts. sent as files to the shop doing so. What file types will be needed I now wonder.

any input welcome on what he was told.


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Hi Steve, have worked in the Marine and Mechanical industry for many years.
Sheet work : laser/plasma/waterjet cutters normally ask for .dxf files as are only working in 2d.
Machined work : normally ask for .stp files as they will have their own inhouse CAM software for which machine they are running.
Both of these file types (.dxf & .stp) you can export from Rhino.
Ask your client their preferred file type.


Clearly said by someone who doesn’t know Rhino well, I would ignore what you linked and keep listening to the great many helpful users on this forum instead.


Yeah, guy does not know what he is talking about, Rhino is perfectly capable of producing acturate 3D models and 2D drawings at any scale and tolerance for production.

I’ve used it to engineer tiny ~2mm machined items to 10m high steel structures. No downstream machine or fabrication shops asked me for ‘solidworks’ files of the parts.




He will change his mind after you send him a link to the forum thread where people post examples of product designs, transportation, machine, marine, architecture, injection moulding, and basically everything from many other industries.


its a phenomenon which is found anywhere in us humans. we always want to format and convince others to have the same believes use the same car, use the same software, send others to this and that place for the best meal in town ever no doubts.

if you have found Rhino a valuable tool capable of doing everything you need, then its the right tool for you. nobody can stop you from exploring other options of course. but just keep in mind that Rhino will cost a fraction of some of these apps being less flexible in some aspects. they offer a few things Rhino might not have right on board without looking around the corner at least once, but you better find out exactly what these cornershop properties are before you go shopping once more to justify the insulting high prices.


This guy is full of s***. You might want to post a response on that forum and reference this Discourse thread.

I ran a business for 10 years focused on CNC machining high-precision model and prototype parts - all coming from Rhino. There are dozens of other people on this forum who are doing all kinds of precision manufacturing directly from Rhino models.

Anybody who says this kind of thing about Rhino has no idea what they are talking about and probably has never used it.


I have never had a problem using Rhino for modelling a Lancaster Bomber :slight_smile:
Modelled from 3D Scan data.


We’ve been using Rhino to produce our fixtures for 22 years. These days we produce between 80,000 to 90,000 unique details per year, and every one of them was processed through Rhino. Some go to RhinoCAM for toolpaths, while others go to WorkNC or PowerMill. Using Rhino to produce the files for CNC has never been a problem. In fact, it’s our competitive advantage, and in our company, it’s the Rhino models, not Solidworks or anything else, that is considered the final data that we cut to.



Hi. I would kindly like to ask if you also produce 2D parts in SheetMetal which need to later be bend into final shape? If so, I would like to ask HOW you deal with the stretching of the SheetMetal when the design has shifting material thicknesses and must fit with other items produced elsewhere to a fixed tolerance? I don’t see how this can be done in Rhino, even though I’m a fan,

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You don’t, you send 3D of what you want to the shop and they rebuild it in SolidWorks or SolidEdge sheetmetal features. Of course the same thing will happen if you made it in Solidworks because sheetmetal production is a black art. It’s a very specialized thing that is irrelevant to this discussion.


There is nothing blackmagic with SheetMetal but a designer need to understand that a physical material and a physical bendingmachine would need a “rule” or compensation added in CAD in order to produce a reel and correct physical object. Not being able to do anything close to that today, you could argue that Rhino 8 is not an Engineering Tool, which is the topic in this thread.

“Sheetmetal features” are a specialized, optional feature of other MCAD systems.

You might as well be complaining that Rhino isn’t “engineering software” because it doesn’t have CAM built-in.


I’m not complaining, and I’m not an engineer. I’m just stating a fact relating to the OP

The OP mentioned nothing about sheet metal. They simply quoted someone who made a blanket BS statement that Rhino was not good for anything requiring transmitting precise CAD data for manufacturing.


They mentioned modeling the parts for a Lancaster bomber, which has an awful lot of sheet metal parts.

I’m with you on the rest, but the idea that sheet metal is off topic for this thread just seemed a little amusing for me given the genesis.

(check out all the sheet metal in the pics, and that isn’t even getting into the complicated bent surfaces like the wings)
Lancaster bomber project still four years away from completion | CBC News

Yeah, except for the late 30’s early 40’s when it was designed and built, they didn’t have any digital computers, CAD or CNC methods to bend sheet metal…


“Sheet metal features” are only for basic CNC bending/punching/rolling operations, utterly irrelevant to any of the sexy parts of an old plane. The most advanced thing they’re for are computer cases.

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Which is kind of the point: as was argued in that other thread, especially if you’re working with other people on a project like that then staying mostly in 2D may make sense if you want to basically reproduce the detailed drawings to build parts from.

I’m not going to get involved in the “Someone was WRONG… on the internet” aspect of the original post. Yeah, the criticism of Rhino included a bit of hyperbole but so do some of the pro-Rhino comments here.

which you basically just did and included which side you are polarising towards?

what kind of kiddy battle is going on.

more wishful thinking to get the polarising going.

guys, @Steve1 which has been here for a long time trying to progress in his way of working with Rhino, so he uttered some confusion and the brawl is going on again. knock it off guys.

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