Technical drawings - Is LAYOUT the best way?


(Gustavo Fontana) #64

Bart, you had brought up some good points with your answer, but I think right after your feedback you might have also started to presume a lot of things about your software’s developers.

These McNeel guys are the most honest, calibrated, unbiased and respectful team to its customers I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot of software teams in my career as a corporate CAD Diva. And Grandpy Brock is the sweetest tech support grump I’ve ever dealt with. Take the time to get to know their culture and you’ll understand why they don’t do everything that every customer asks for right away. It makes sense.

BTW, I’ve been reading this topic since it bubbled back up and I have some thoughts that might be a good step towards a solution that allows chafed and requires no parametric architecture. I’ll be back with that soon.


(PS: RMA team, don’t take my compliments too seriously, I’m just exaggerating for this new kid here. You go and get back to type code now!)

(Bob McNeel) #65

Ok. I’m worried now. I know this is going cost me. :sob:


Don’t worry, you missed the most important part here:



For the ones whose 2D documentation output is for architectural design, I agree with stefannysten and suggest to try the VisualARQ plug-in.

Their tools are very useful to create 2D sections from your 3D models where the sectioned objects can be hatched automatically (actually only the VisualARQ wall objects are hatched, but this is mostly the case in architectural drawings)

Additionally, objects like doors and windows will appear with the correct architectural drafting standards (like the arcs indicating the door opening swing) in the 2D section.

It has been designed to be used together with the native Layout tool from Rhino

You may want to check the way it works as a similar approach could be useful to create documentation for industrial design.



John, thank you for your clear words. You’re absolutely right: time, nor resources are dividable so choices are made with good reason.

It was somewhat snappy of me, I admit, to suggest deliberate advertisement trickery. On the contrary, the Spain team gave me good support the first few weeks I started using Rhino. They too suggested a refund would always be possible if expectations were not met. Absolutely right there.

Good of you, Gusto, to put a finger to the eager horse’s nose…
If not apologising for my earlier comment, at least, let me humbly bow the head for the support and the involvement I received from this forum and from the Rhino team.

And in the meanwhile, ride that pony you’ve been provided with. I’m sure it will surprise me with some more tricks, as it has already done so several times.


I’d like to put on here that we have experimented with just about every design software and nothing else offers the flexibility, speed and easy use of Rhino. Our organization is now about 90% Rhino and we output submittal drawings to Architects, GCs, and other trades. A critical need for us is to have our drawings dynamically derive from the model in the detail views. We have overcome just about all of our hurdles for producing our drawings and are moving forward to test our methods on larger architectural projects.

I’d challenge anyone who thinks Rhino can’t produce your drawings, you need to play with it more. Yes it takes some finesse, and the associativity isn’t like AutoCAD…so what? The lineweight control is a pretty big thing for the OpenGL views, but ultimately we have been able to tell our story differently with Rhino and still get it done.

Export/SaveAs DWG (Sheets)
We do have one struggle that was originally part of the post, exporting our drawings to 2D DWG for delivery to customer. Doing a SaveAs DWG gets us there in every case except where our detail is of a clipped 3D object. In our case it is usually Plan, RCP, or elevation views. Our sections and details have been overcome a different way. Is there a way for that SaveAs to only include the non-clipped geometry? Our solution has been to go to the clipped view, do a Make2D of the geometry.

Issue - Make2D of Mesh
Since a lot of context modeling comes to us from Revit, we pull it in as Mesh. Which is perfect for everything until we do the Make2D trick. We have converted through MeshtoNurbs, but that makes the file size go through the roof.

Wish item - Dynamic Make2D
If it were possible to take a Make2D view that would update through History when the model was modified that would be amazing allowing us to make a wireframe view and giving us lineweight control…

Hopefully the industry will allow for model submission before I retire, but between here and there…drawings and 2D DWGs remain outcomes.




V6 WIP makes 2D from meshes.



One workaround is to set up a technical view in layout and use that. It will be dynamic, but that can not print to vector of course.


Well, actually we do. We do production jewellery and most pieces need some information provided with the piece. Stone size and colour, dimensions for bale openings for example. Like @BartGo said …

That is why I am on this thread, since I now have layouts with Rhino for Mac, I am trying to streamline my work and maybe have all information in my Rhino file, with the ability to print a 2d copy for my records. Currently I have to Make2D and then change my view to a special Pen display I created then CaptureView to file. This PNG is then imported into InDesign where the information is added then exported to PDF.

So I am going through the video “Introduction to layouts” by Mary Fugier, right after I am done here.

Thanks McNeel team !



I support your comment. jewellers do have to document their ideas.

I have been teaching my students to document using the workflow of
3d model> make2d> create layout and annotate/dimensions/centre lines.

Mary’s way is a much quicker way but it doesn’t allow users to control line weights and colours and hatching/sectional.
@bobmcneel is this something V6 can do? dimensioning straight off the 3D model in the layout view using various detail viewports will be what I hope will be coming in the near future.

Just DL the WIP of Make2D. Can’t wait to test it.


I am not sure how Layout is improving in V6?

But just took a look at how Sketchup handles drafting. It has it’s own Layout module.
Seems like there is a lot of good features that us Rhino users are missing…


Apparently, McNeel doesn’t wanna tap into architectural money. I guess they’re already swimming in cash. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I think part of the issue is it is unclear what is being wished for from these videos. The first is not narrated and sped up, so it’s hard to appreciate what Rhino is missing. I see some nifty leader justification, and some sort of component referencing system, and the ability to insert material / part call outs in a leader, but nothing defined enough that a developer would say “we should emulate that.” Even as a user I’m not sure what I’m missing in Rhino by watching that.

In the second video I didn’t notice anything specific that Rhino doesn’t do. So if there is something specific that these show, I think it needs to be more clearly requested.



Being able to ‘pull’ leaders off of objects which automatically populate a balloon or lozenge with the part name or user defined data is something I’ve wished for here a few times, and continue to find a need for it, almost daily. Doing it in Rhino, especially shifting stuff around to get things to fit in complex drawings and retaining alignment of balloon to leader, is a very tedious process in Rhino. It’s even worse in Layouts, where I never feel like I’m directly connected to the drawing elements compared to conventional drafting.

As you say Sam, the first of those videos seems to expose some kind of toolset in that respect. Has a third party ever made a plugin of that type for Rhino?

As an aside, I do love the matte-but-shaded visual style that Sketchup offers, as shown off in the second video at around 5:30. Beautifully clear but dense with detail. It looks like something from a high quality book - lifted above being a mere technical drawing.


bump. It would be nice to control options in all detail views in a layout instead of having to select each detail individually. For instance: hiding objects or layers, or selecting display type. But yea I agree with others, drafting in rhino is painful


I know we all want in-built functionality like this, but it was surprisingly easy to script a company specific solution for this based on this example…

It’d be nice if it was a little smarter like solidworks note tool, but the script is perfectly functional and the boss was impressed with the initiative and result.

Obviously the usertext must be present for it to work, so I developed a another script for adding usertext.


Same here.


Hi, no tuviste problemas al imprimirlo?
yo tuve un problema con la vista tecnica: cuando imprimia ya sea en PDF o el PLOTTER. las lineas me salían mas gruesas de lo solicitado.


ya trate de solcionar ese “problema” que tengo con la vista tecnica… pero no funciona… algun tip?