Setup model origin base point


When working on large files, for large architecture projects, landscape and urban planning, Rhinoceros’s flexibility makes it on the best tools out there.
One important thing to do when working on large projects is to work on geometries that are places close to the world origin.

Unfortunately, when exporting geometries close to the origin, the project loses it X,Y,Z geographic location.

Is there anyway to export a geometry that is close to the world origin by giving it a X,Y,Z basepoint.
Basically it means that the world origin would have a X,Y,Z parameter that specificies the location of exported and imported geometry (just like project base point in revit).

The goal here is that the exported geometry would be loaded at a correct georeferenced X,Y,Z position when opened in viewers or other softwares.

Thanks a lot,

Hello- ExportWithOrigin may be the thing you are looking for.

See also ModelBasePoint.



When exporting with origin, does the export set up the world origin the modelbasepoint values ?

Hi Raouf -

It’s possible that I misunderstand the question but using ExportWithOrigin allows you to either use the world origin or define a new point that will be used as the world origin when you open that file.

I guess my question was not clear.

What i’m looking for is a way to setup a specific X,Y,Z, coordinate in place of the rhino world origin.
Juste like revit’s project base point feature.

Raoufdjema, Rhino doesn’t have that feature. Typically this is handled much like some autocad setups, where you would have transform geometry that would help align to set points in other projects and software with different reference points. If you can provide more details on the specific scenario I can help sort out a solution.

Hello Japhy, thanks,

The idea here is to setup an export so that the geometries would be placed according to a specific X,Y,Z location.

I am using visual arq (@fsalla ) to generate IFC files and one problem we are accountaring is having to move geometries very far away from the origin in order export them in the correct X,Y,Z location.

I would like to setup a script or a macro that exports geometry according to a giving X,Y,Z value.

Don’t know if that s possible.
Thanks in advance !

Keep in mind that Rhino’s interface was designed with industrial designers in mind, not Architects or Land Surveyors that have to use State Plane Coordinate systems. These disciplines do not work in high tolerance manufacturing
environments so Rhino runs out of precision with the limits of 16 digit floating point computer numbers.

We have made a lot of changes that almost make it work, but it’s far from perfect.

The best option is to make your own translation datum point object that is at a known coordinate. Then remember to manually make the appropriate translation when you swap data back and forth.
It’s a PITA but it mostly works.


Yes we are perfectly aware that the software has not originally been designed for architects.
But it still is one of the best tools in the market when working in a multi-disciplinary environment.
I m saying this out of many years of exprience in high profile architecture and urban design companies.

I guess i’ll try to write a script that translates geometry according to basepoint before exporting. I’ll see how it works.

Watch out for loss of accuracy when you send these models back and forth particularly with State Plane Coordinate systems.

Back in my early AutoCAD days in land surveying, we picked a point below and left but near the project, and added it to the drawing. Our standard practice was just to assume that all points on the model would have these values added to them.

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Here is a basic example using Grasshopper and the Legacy Elefront plugin. Like John said, extreme distances can cause issues.

Note that you can set the Layer Reference to be only Worksession objects.

Use worksessions to attach A to B and save your worksession.

Site A.3dm (36.8 KB)
Site B.3dm (35.7 KB)
Transform SiteA to (10.1 KB)

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Tried this and worked fine !
Found also a plugin that has a built in export according to cplane option.
The plug in is called mks beam.

Will update this thread with future progress.
Thanks for your answers.

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