Rhinoceros replacing AutoCAD


is there anyone who has replaced AutoCAD with Rhino for 2d-drawing? For furniture production or Architecture maybe? I am aware that Rhino started as NURBS 3d-Modeler, but since even complex 2d-drawings and documentation only require basic 2d commands, hatches, dimensions, layer managers and layoutos… I was wondering… Because I think many companies might think of kicking away AutoCAD, because of its subscription and high cost.

In our company for example we still stick to AutoCAD (for 2d only; we use Rhino for 3d), but only for the advanced blocks command, the dynamic blocks and the better layout and dimension functions.

But that is not a reason for not thinking about switching to Rhino only. Anyone can tell their opinions/experiences?

1 Like

I have a small studio in Brazil and we use Rhino for all architectural needs like documentation and 3D (we do visualizations and VR walk-through in Unreal Engine with the models exported from Rhino).

Autocad is a great tool and it was one of the very 1st software I learned, starting in R12, but the transition to Rhino 2D was very simple and stress free. It took us about 1 week to learn and produce Layouts for A1/A2/A3 formats, with the usual logo, client, project, version, etc. info all done using TextFields, so they auto complete by file name. We have been using these layout settings since 2013, without changing a thing.

And then you have Grasshopper, good pricing, excellent forum and the most important of all the SUPPORT from the developers. I’ve worked with all sort of applications in my life and since 2008 the support from Rhino/GH has always amaze me. I still have Autocad and Microstation tickets open that I have never heard back and serious bugs…


In our office we’ve just made the decision to go from 1 rhino licence to 3. We do fitted furniture and interiors, the ability to work in 3d and then turn that geometry into 2d working drawings is very appealing, throw in being able to use your models for 3d visuals and renders it becomes very appealing. Then there is the cost implication, you buy a Rhino licence, you own it, no running subscription fees. We will keep Auotocad LT licenses for now. DWG files are easy to import or just open in Rhino, with scales and layers all respected.

Which features of AutoCAD / LT do you guys miss in Rhino?

1 Like

it’s early days, but at the moment I don’t see much that will be missed. Maybe in a year or 2 the Acad LT licenses will be dropped, it’s case of lets roll with slowly switching the main CAD package to Rhino and see how we go :slight_smile:

We have worked with AutoCAD for most of the recent years and the only thing which dose prevent and scare us to switch totally to Rhino is the lack of Dynamic Blocks. We have spend a lot of time in to make a library of them. Any news on that front from McNeel? Will this work in future on Rhino as well?


I agree: dynamic blocks would be great.

Do you make 3D dynamic blocks in autocad?
Have you tried replacing the same functionality using grasshopper?
I know it’s not the same as the fluidity of dynamic input on a dynamic block…

1 Like

No, our dynamic blocks are only 2d. But anyway I find Grasshopper logical and easy to use for letzs say morphes and so on, but I personally would not be able to “simulate” a dynamic cabinet section or door.

i want to replace Revit with Rhino, where detail callouts know what sheet they are on and where they came from in 3D, as well as sections, plans and elevations. Only on the first iteration but things are going well :slight_smile:


Clipping for blocks/xrefs!


On Rhino mac the Layout function is still very limited. Also transparency in hatches would be great.


We need somewhere to share our progress:
I’ve been working on a rendering workflow for front end; but keen to start on a library of useful detailing & documentation stuff.
You wouldn’t need much stuff in a library to replace the Revit default library.

1 Like

I’d recommend you look into BricsCAD BIM and BricsCAD Shape. They are already providing a lot of the functionality you requested and they use the DWG format so it’ll play well with Rhino.

BricsCAD BIM: https://www.bricsys.com/en-us/bim/

BricsCAD Shape: https://www.bricsys.com/en-us/shape/

The only downside is BricsCAD currently doesn’t support the creation of dynamic blocks but you can use them in BricsCAD if they’re already created.


I absolutely think rhino can replace AutoCAD! I’ve produced entire sets of construction documents using rhino. Dynamic blocks, some more advanced tools in layout and annotations would help, but overall this is absolutely something that people should do. Lasso selection in AutoCAD is also cool, but not at all necessary. Also overall as a company, McNeel is just better than Autodesk. They are leaner, more open and less profit driven. Quicker development cycles would also be helpful in general, but McNeel takes time to produce a quality product, so it is understandable.

  1. dynamic blocks
  2. spelling check
  3. trimmed hatch

of course more function of Rhino, Autocad haven’t!

1 Like

@Andrew_Schiffer you can do that in Mac Rhino 5.4


In my opinion in Rhino one should be able to trim hatches and to be able to work with hatch transparency.

A real problem for us is the missing of Dynamic blocks, we would like to use the ones we have already in AutoCAD.

How about your experiences with the Layout functions in Rhino? Is it in your opinion already at the level of AutoCAD?


I’ve also replaced Autocad by Rhino, and I’m quite happy. It’s true that there will be always things that you will miss when switching from one software to another, but you will also discover many new things that will make your work more enjoyable, like pressing Tab key for locking direction, Autocad does’t have this and I can not work without this simple feature :wink:

Well, I have never had the necessity of trimming hatches, but do you know that if you activate History while creating hatches, if you modify your original curves, your hatch will be automatically updated, you don’t have this feature in Autocad either.

Another handy trick for hatches is _DupBorder, which will let you extract hatch’s outlines so you can edit and create new ones.

To summarise, I’m pretty confident that you can use Rhino as a replacement of Autocad, it has all the basics features and way more of a drafting software, but it might take you a bit of time and effort to be as proficient as in Autocad if you have highly customised Blocks and templates. To me, the best thing with Rhino is that you can do everything you need, call it 2D or 3D, renders… under the same enviroment.


Rhino layout is more power of autocad layout

I work on V5 and have been using the 2D function on rhino for many years for product manufacture drawings. There are times when I have to touch up things a little but I understand this can happen on any software. I also understand that some of these problems have been solved in V6 which I will buy at some point.