Technical Drawings including Dimensions

Hi there,
dealing with dimensions in Rhino is always troublesome for me.

Working on machining parts, I need to provide the manufacturer a technical drawing for them to turn or mill it. I give them a 3D-Model file, too. That drawing includes dimensions as well as tolerances and they are in 2D of course. The machining guys are used to print stuff out.

For what I can say, Rhino doesn’t support me very well on this. Here’s the best workflow I could find out so far: for a drawing I select the entire model or the relevant part of it and then hit ‘Make 2D Drawing’ from Dimensions Menu, which gives me a pretty good projection of my model with multiple views. That’s the cool part but, work only starts here. Because this function only creates a set of new layers and puts a bunch of new curves into that layers, these new objects are completely independent from the original model. As soon as I change a tiny bit of the model, the 2D drawing becomes outdated and incorrect.

The same is true for my dimensions (which also are simply free-floating objects): every edge or radius or diameter relevant for the milling process needs a proper dimension. I put them in another separate layer. But again, after a necessary model modification, some of the 2D dimensions are also outdated and wrong and, depending on the gravity of the changes, the whole drawing-and-dimensions game goes back to square one.

Is there a better approach on that?

The best I could imagine today would be this: The Model and its flat companion, the drawing, would be somehow linked. Once the model gets modified, so does the drawing. And likewise the dimension(s) attached to the drawing. This includes at some point that, if the model expands, that the views need to be rearranged a bit. The code for that is apparently there: ‘Make 2D Drawing’ does just that. But sadly only on request and only unrelated, unlinked afaik. And when lengths or widths change, not only dimension’s lengths and hairlines and values would change, but also their positions relatively to the object they correspond to.

I btw. spotted this thread which, even though in the Windows section, gave me some idea on the origins of Rhino. I don’t much about the differences between Rhino for Windows and Mac. But after reading, I havn’t had any clue how to better my workflow it in any kind. The tipsters over there refered mainly to other CAD solutions anyways.


That is something we hope to get to some day with Rhino in general, but we’re not quite there yet. Once we have layouts in Mac Rhino, you may be able to get a little further along with not having as much duplicated information floating around but it still isn’t quite at your ‘best I could imagine today’ level.