Rhino to 3dsmax


I’m totally new in Rhino.
I need to export a project to 3ds max so I’m looking for the BEST WAY to export the rhino model to 3ds max AND I need to keep names / layers / group object.

Could you please tell me step by step how to do this ?

I had some success with obj, dwg but not totally… I would like to use IGES but I can’t find a solution to keep the hierachy

Any advices is welcome !
Thanks in advance

Hi Ricousto,

I’d try FBX format and see if that get the correct info across.

Let is know if you need more help

Hello Willem,
I’ve got a lot of trouble with fbx, step, sat, iges, obj, dwg, 3ds etc…
In short, the “winner” is IGES (very clean and nice surfaces in 3ds max) but I have 2/3 times more object than in Rhino with the same name for all objects (“stitch_result_stitch all”)
The 2nd is OBJ but the meshes from surface are not as good as IGES. Anyway, I have all the objects with name as in Rhino !
For the other formats, I have no succes until now

I would like to know if Iges can keep the hierarchy (name’s ojects / layers / groups) from Rhino to 3dsmaxmax…
I didn’t find any option in this sense

@ricousto first thing to know - don’t expect to get ‘clean’ meshes from rhino in terms of subd modeling - if you want something in the middle check moi3d obj exporter - you’ll never get clean quad meshes out of rhino (maybe someday they will be “cleaner” although i don’t see a reason why they should be cleaner since they are representing objects better with fewer polygons than usual dense turbosmoothed meshes it is only a matter of your skills and proper using rhino mesher ) - that said iirc best possible way was to work with properly set dwg/dxf file set to solids in options.

Also to work further with objects as meshes in polymodelers you have two ways: first retopo all for subd work second master how to build objects in rhino properly for further subd work and use custom render meshes constantly checking you won’t get normals artefacts etc.


I’m surprising to read this because I’ve got a great result with IGES.
The only question I have is “is it possible to keep names objects, layers, groups when you export model in IGES ?”
If there is a option or anything else than can offer that, I will be really satisfying with that workflow ! :slight_smile:

@ricousto did you tried dwg/dxf import ? Check layers data on max import window i believe there was such thing - i don’t remember now but there was some way to force max to mesh on max side provided data and it was rather denser than cleaner - maybe it is the case with iges/stp files.

You could try also link dwg/dxf and check if layer data is imported but also have in mind that max structures are different and iirc layers will be rather bound to separate groups.

On the other hand you can always fine tune render meshes extract all of them and then push them further.

Yes, I tried dwg, The layers are imported in max but meshes are so crappy… perhaps I have to push further

When we worked with 3DSMax we used NPower’s Rhino 2 Max plugin. It used to bring over the most information. I don’t recall if it brings also groups, but everything else should be there. It also holds the Nurbs information and allows you to re-tesselate meshes for higher quality after import. http://www.npowersoftware.com/translators/PT_RhinoToMAX_Overview_.htm

Another translator that’s excellent is PolyTrans/NuGraf from Okino. Lots of comprehensive options and excellent support. https://www.okino.com/nrs/

Both of those teams have great expertise in meshing Nurbs for professional visualization needs. For these 2 companies import/export and meshing is their focus (Okino being a lot more focused IMO). You are not going to find a similar lever of execution in Rhino and its standard exchange formats.

That’s what I will do if I have to work with a lot of Rhino’s files. For now, it’s just a test.
Anyway, between npowers and PolyTrans ? what would be the best choice ?

I could not tell you. It’s been 10 years since we haven’t used either 3DSMax and their plugins. I’m sure both have trials. We have bought Okino more recently and its trial is limited by ommiting polygons, which in our purposes worked well to see if the tool would work.

Thanks Gustavo

I will see

Maybe the best choice would be to avoid 3ds max !

Hahaha! Whatever works for you man. We switched to Modo around 2006, it’s been ok but after a decade and not enough progress we might have to switch again. Not a lot of options these days besides Max and Maya.

I’m so tired of Autodesk… you know… I like max but now, it’s a “good old soft” ! too old
What do you think about Blender ? I’m really impressed about the dev’

I was never a big fan of open source stuff as a main tool, but I think that’s been a misconception. I keep hearing good things about it, but I haven’t looked into it myself. Yet.

@ricousto blender changed a lot lately and in my opinion is very good piece of software - max has better simulations but there a lot of things where max isn’t even near blender. On the second hand have in mind that max have better renderers & plugins support - what doesn’t mean that blender doesn’t have them - actually blender have lots of impressive add-ons like hardops or graswald released lately.

If you can give it a try - my worst experience with blender was to learn how to ‘live’ inside and how to use ui but whats very powerful in blender is that you can arrange and tweak ui as you want to your taste. You can check also this guy he is shareing a lot of know how https://www.youtube.com/user/GlebAlexandrov/videos

Plugin support is a must for us. We need Octane and Vray.

I think all this talk is not that important anyway, considering that McNeel will have full SubD support and real-time photorhino in their September release.

As my mother would have said, “Horsefeathers!”
Not a snowball’s chance…

Yea here too it’s great software but I don’t have years to learn it. Really a bummer that the people who developed it made it so obtuse to use. Who can remember that many hot keys.

Depending on your model/mesh dwg can be the way to go. Flat walls etc.
Currently I use obj format and it’s working really well. I get all layers and good meshes of my nurbs models.

Iges Nurbs work but need much more attention once imported into max and I think they use much more memory in max. You might need to designate trims surfaces etc in the modifier stack quite a hassle really.

Npower I think is dead, Okino has always been pretty good, tech support is great I would ask them for a demo to see what it can do for you. As I recall they are not inexpensive but that was years ago when I last used them.