Taking Simple Measurements

Hello, I am testing out Rhino because it has some features that my current CAD tools do not have, but I am puzzled at how to take simple measurements. What is the easiest way to measure the distance between two surfaces or bodies? The length tool measures the distance within a body; but the distance tool seems to measure only between points, not the distance between surfaces or bodies. I need to measure distances when I import bodies using STEP files from my old CAD tools and then want to move them relative to the new bodies in a Rhino file. Thank you.

ClosestPt and Distance.

Hi Conrad - see if the attached script helps - save, then darg and drop the rvb file onto Rhino to add


as an alias that runs the script.

Pick the first object, the second one, then a point on the second one more or less near the closest point.

FindClearance.rvb (2.0 KB)

Hi Pascal,
Thank you, this was helpful, I managed to get to get it to work, but I don’t know that I dragged it to the correct place, what folder does it go to?

The distance command often works well as long as I go to a view pane that has surface edges in the plane of the view. For most objects, I can pick one point on each (closest corner) and distance gives me a good measurement. But for objects that have overlapping lines, e.g., looking down on a line view of a stairway, I never know if the line I am picking is the top line or a lower line because they are coincident in that planar view. Sometimes it works fine, and others it’s not until I look at the answer that I can tell it’s off by an order of magnitude (I can usually see that in another planar view after the fact).

Thank you for the help,

Hi Conrad - the script can be saved anyplace that is convenient, just drag it from there onto Rhino to have it load on startup from then on and run with the Clearance alias. (sorry, I typed wrong, above, the actual alias is Clearance and not FindClearance, I’ll correct my post.

To use Distance on overlapping curves, I guess using an oblique or the perspective view will help. To eliminate vertical distance, and measure only in plane, use the Project setting on the OSnaps.