Section Tools -- Changes?

As I transition from Sketchup to Rhino, I am missing the simplicity of certain things. One is my section workflow. I’m now trying to get a handle on the Section Tools plugin. The videos are for v5, and I’m using v6, and I’m finding differences as I try to edit a section.

In the video, the Solid mode offers “hatch” and hatch parameters: pattern, rotation, scale.

In v6 there is no “HatchPattern” choice.

After choosing “hatch”, mine looks solid.

I assumed the pattern was too dense. So tried multiple scale options in increments getting no change. All section still look solid.


Sections tools it’s something I’d never get used to, too complicated or better said, convoluted for me.
If you come from SketchUp, I think you will find clippingplanes more straightforward. As in SketchUp’s section tool, the limitation is that you can only get solid hatches, so if you need pattern hatches you will have to find another way, like using _make2d.

Hello - the default hatch is always solid - in this case you can set the hatch per object by unlocking the layers and selecting the hatch… @rajaa - is there a better way?


This kinda works, but it seems in Rhino 5 this can be done within creating the section. Further. MatchProperties does not seem to work. I changed one solid section hatch to what I wanted. Then tried MatchProperties to make them the same. Nothing changed.

How do I export/extract the edges produced by clipping plane?

You can use Pascal’s script “ClippingPlaneCurves”
Gets the edge curves of objects clipped by a Rhino clipping plane as curves. Adds the following alias- ClippingPlaneCurves

Oh this is great! Anyway I could add the command to the Right-click context menu? Is it possible to add command there?

Rhino Options>Context Menu>Object Menu >Add, (dialog box) name it and enter ClippingPlaneCurves >OK


There was a bug introduced in V6 and is now fixed. Will release new SectionTools this week that fixes it. In summary, V6 only loads Solid Hatch Pattern by default, so if a pattern has not been loaded before (using Hatch command), SectionTools will not find it. The fix loads default patterns even if Hatch was not ran.

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@CalypsoArt I just released the new SectionTools with the fix, please give it a try and let me know if it works as expected. Direct download link…

I’m interested to learn what is the difficulty you see with SectionTools. Perhaps I can put together a workflow tutorial that can be useful to get people started. But I’ll need help identify what is the hard parts, and I hope you can give me some pointers.

Rajaa, thanks for all your efforts. And I’d welcome another tutorial.
I’m not sure for others, but coming from Sketchup, I did find Section Tools required more clicks than I was used to. I understand Rhino does more, and therefore requires more. But my SU section workflow was pretty simple:

  1. Place Section
  2. R-Click context menu on section plane and select “AddSectionCutFace.”(Plugin)
  3. Export view as .dwg (for AutoCad where I do my 2D work.)
    I recognize if/when I start Rhino for 2D, the advantages of Sections Tools will be more evident. CuttingPlanes and Pascal’s CllippingPlaneCurves are giving me my SU section method. I do all hatching, etc in AC.

For what you are descrtibing, this would be the workflow in SectionTools:
1- stCreate (if need only curves, set SolidMode=None)
2- stExportLayout (Set Folder=[Browse location], Extension=dwg, Type=CreateInPlace)

Let me know if this is useful.

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I am still playing with it and have created a section and exported to AC. However, it has failed several times. I believe that is because I opened the created SEC_00.dwg file in AC which locked that opened file’s name. Section Tools was unable to overwrite SEC_00.dwg because of that lock and failed.

I couldn’t find a way to give another section export (using the same section) a different name. I often export different sectioned objects using the same section but with different names. With ST, the name is assigned by the layer.

Below is the sequence, however, ST processes and I do not have access to the “Save File Name” to change it.

Select sections ( List )
Select sections. Press Enter when done ( List )
Press Enter to export sections ( Folder=C:\Users\Calyp\Desktop Extension=dwg Type=CreateInPlace )
_Press Enter to export sections ( Folder=C:\Users\Calyp\Desktop Extension=dwg Type=CreateInPlace ): -Export
Save file name ( Version=6 SaveSmall=No GeometryOnly=No SaveTextures=Yes SaveNotes=No SavePlugInData=Yes Browse ): “C:\Users\Calyp\Desktop\SEC_00.dwg”
Error creating file.
Failed to save as C:\Users\Calyp\Desktop\SEC_00.dwg.
The file writing plug-in failed.

Other question, Would hatches from Rhino/ST export in dwg to AC?

This works great!

Does the workflow works for you, or you still have issues.
In general, you can create any number of sections, through any number of objects, and name them whatever you wish, then export their layout all at once.
If you organize the layouts in Rhino (use stLayout), and stExportLayout - From2DLayout, then the locations on XY plane are honored in the export.

If you use SectionTools hatches, then those should export as well.

Let me know how else SectionTools could be improved to help your workflow.

Hi @rajaa, thanks for replying back to me. To be fair, It’s been a long time since last time I used SectionTools, I’m on a Mac now so I don’t have access to it any longer.

My biggest problem was that SectionTools wouldn’t show any projected geometry, just the section cut. As an architect, I usually needs both, sectioned and projected geometry, both have the same importance. Another limitation I found was, that there is just one hatch for all elements, but what I need is to be able to specify different hatches for different objects or layers, some kind of object’s attribute that defines the kind of hatch I need for each element. I know that I could use multiple sections at the same place, each section for a different kind of element and that way, I could have different hatches but that’s what I meant by “convoluted”.

My current workflow is using clipping planes and running _make2D with those clipping planes. It’s not perfect, there isn’t a live connection between the model and the 2D but at least I can control the output I get, and modify it however I need.

Thanks Rajaa, I think I’m getting it down. I did an export with hatches and they came into AC fine, and accepted editing there. I don’t know about in Rhino layouts if that is what jespizua was using, but in AC it was easy to change hatches type, scale, etc. with MatchProp.

On a completely different subject, the only Sketchup item I’m missing now is my Profile Builder 3 plugin which is popular in Sketchup for Architecture.

I’m not concerned with the use for assemblies, just the quick path follow, and panels for choosing and profiles. I have several manufactures entire moulding/parts catalogs that I converted to .dwg profiles. I’m hoping some plugin writer might make something similar for Rhino? The panel makes picking the existing profiles and path very rapid.

stLayout command should create the dynamic projection for you (update when the section updates).
As for the per-layer and per-object Hatch property, this is a long standing wish in Rhino. Nothing SectionTools can do to overcome without Rhino supporting it. I’ll keep advocating for this one in V7.