Starters question: Best way to draw simple building?

Hello everyone,

Being an absolute starter in Rhino, I am halfway through training level 1. In addition to the indicated exercises in the book, I also learn a lot from ‘just doing’ on my own. But to start with this, I need a little push in the right direction.

To play around with ideas I have for a simple garden building, I would like to draw that in 3D in Rhino and then also make sections or clipping planes of it later on (I think I can look up a large part of how that works). For now I would like to know what would be the best way to draw a simple building. I have already read that all parts preferably have their own layer and that, preferably, all materials should also be on a separate layer, if I want to render it later on. But first things first:

How do I get started best? For example the walls? Do I start with lines that I bring to the wall thickness with ofset and then bring them to solid with extrude? Or do I make a solid cube that I then hollow out? (probably not). Or is there a simple command to draw walls and floors and ceilings?

I realize that maybe I am thinking completely in the wrong direction, so I hope someone can give me some help. Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,


Hi Xandra, some of what you are asking is in how detailed you want your outcome to be. With Rhino you can use curves and extrude them to make surfaces . You can then thicken them .Linear Array is a nice tool if you need to place more than one object in a scene. Mostly you need to experiment with different methods of making walls doors windows, etc.
The best thing is what you are doing . That is going through the manuals to learn . Another thing is if you have some pictures to show people what you are trying to achieve. Upload them to the forum to get more feedback. —-Mark

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If you want the most control possible over the shape of the building, I would recommend using “Polyline” to draw the inside or outside perimeter of the walls, then use “Offset curve” with the “Corner=Sharp” option to make the opposite thickness of the walls. Keep in mind that “Record history” must be turned on for this to work as intended!
Then select both, the inner and outer wall profiles and use “Extrude straight” with the “Solid=Yes” option. That will create solid walls that are fully editable via manipulating the control points of the original polyline (you can show the control points with the F10 key or the “PointsOn” command.

I suggest to activate the following helpers from the bottom panel: Grid snap, Ortho, Plane, Osnap, Gumball, Record history. Optionally, you may also try SmartTrack. The latter helps with drawing lines between preliminary hovered points in the work space.

Once you are happy with the wall layout, remove the history from the original polyline by selecting it while its control points are hidden and press the “Purge history” icon or write “historypurge” in the command line and press Enter. Then, you can draw boxes and place them where the door(s) and windows should be, then use “Boolean difference” to subtract the boxes and leave openings there.

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