Rhino to Inventor

Hi all. I am looking into importing a Rhino file into Inventor. It works okay, but I would like the Rhino solids to become Inventor parts, and carry over their Name and Layer (in fact Color, but color is bylayer). The objects in Rhino are of Type Closed solid polysurfaces.
I am using Rhino 6.0, and Inventor 2020. In principle importing the file works okay, but I wonder how to get separate parts (ipt files) and get the assembly to consist of all parts. Any help is much appreciated.

Helllo - are you using step as the file format? If objects are blocked in Rhino then there is a chance that the naming an hierarchy will be maintained via step. It does work in SolidWorks.

Blocks.3dm (73.1 KB) Blocks.stp (23.1 KB)


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Hi Pascal,
No, I was importing Rhino directly in Inventor. I just tried through Step but it does not really seem to help. I am using Groups and Group names. But I can also use (single) ungrouped objects as Closed solid polysurface, which then have a Rhino Name to them (then there would be multiple parts with the same Name (which in principle is acceptable as a start). I can of course modify the Rhino input somehow if that helps… But wonder what data is converted to Inventor… Thanks for any help.

I’m afraid that we have no control over how other applications read 3dm files. You should probably try to find out from Autodesk.

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Okay, I will do that then, and let you know if I have additional questions. Thanks for now.

Hi Paul - did you try opening the step file I posted? It is worth a try - it should hold onto the block structure and names.


I’ve had some success when blocking the parts in Rhino and exporting as .step. I don’t have access to Inventor right now so I can’t help you much further. I’m not sure if I was doing the import into an assembly or a part file. I do remember having to play around in Inventor to get it to recognize the different parts but ultimately it was able to separate all the blocks as separate parts.

I’d recommend taking an existing Inventor assembly, exporting it as a step file and seeing how its structured by opening it in Rhino and looking at the block structure.

Pascal’s advice on using blocks in STP files is correct. Just try it the other way around, export an assembly as a STP file from Inventor and open in Rhino. The assembly will come is as blocks and blocks within blocks. I have a script somewhere that explodes imports from solid modelers and creates layers from the block names.

I’ve used a few different solid modelers and they are all the same. Don’t think any of them worked well with 3dm. You might find DWG works well with Inventor, Fusion will read surface, curve and mesh info from DWG and pretty sure it uses the same translators as Inventor.


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Thanks all, @ Pascal: I tried importing the Blocks.stp but do not see the block names in Inventor that way. But I am not an Inventor expert so I need some extra time to find out about the other replies, and on what the best result is with respect to Part’s / Assembly structure. I will get back to you next week. All thanks for your help up till now !!

@wester-na @pascal
My experience is that the block-structure is perfectly transferred to inventor via step.
Are you still having this issue, @wester-na ?