(Technical drawings) Section views, plans, exploded views?

Hello to everybody!

As an industrial designer I ofter need to export technical drawings such as orthographic views, sections (sometimes of mechanical complex parts) and axonometric exploded views (isometry 30/60 or military45/45).

The thing is: I always struggle to obtain those kind of drawings in a clean easy way and in vector.

-I never found an easy way to make sections.

-I use sometimes make2d to obtain orthographic views but the result it’s quite messy and not clean at all if your 3d is not super simple (it never is).

-exploded views are a nightmare. Are there any tool to facilitate the process?

-is it possible to obtain different axonometric views besides the standard isometric viewport (30/30° if my memory serves me well) + make2d?

my question is addressed expecially to other industrial designers/architects/engineers (but also to McNeel of course):
I’m curious, what’s your process to obtain these kind of drawings?


I am facing the same issues in architectural drawings.

Sections. Try SectionTool plugin it is an free extension tool for rhino or use VisualArq section tool that is more advanced.
Orthographic view probably you can use export PDF as vector graphics or DWG line export.
Exploded view: Named Positions. I found that quite handy.

there is an onboard section command which can help you slicing parts out, also clipping plane can get you a preview which works well with make2d.

you can adjust a parallel camera to the angle of your likings and store it as a named view and also make a template with it. you can import named views from other files and recall it anytime you want to make a snapshot.

automatic exploded views would be interesting, i haven´t seen anything for rhino even though other software packages seem to offer such a tool if i recall correct. one idea would be to use blocks for this and set up your block in an explosive matter that a new but similar model would fit in. the layout of course would have to be adjusted.

even though make 2d will get an overhaul for the windows version 6, such will also the mac version sooner or later i hope, delivering technical drawings is an art by itself, tools can help but they cant express what you are willing to show.

are you referring to named views?

I am referring named positions

this is unfortunately not yet implemented on mac as seen here

Automated exploded views can be generated with the command TestScalePosition

To create these kind of technical drawings you could use Layouts, which can be a combination of “Layout Details” similar to Named Views, in 2D. Each detail can be shaped, both in size and in arrangement of the model (orthographic/parallel, perspective, hidden layers or objects, special display modes of selected objects). Sections can be obtained using Clipping Planes, but whether these can be specific for Layout Details or just general for the entire model I don’t know. Layout details can be overlapping, only the visible objects will be printed, there is no background fill.
Don’t know about isometric presentation, I will do some testing.
Examples: on the Layouts UI:

in print:

You can add Borders, Title Blocks, Annotation and the like by “deactivating” all Layout Details and work on the Layout Page in 2D.


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I tested the isometric presentation. When you activate the relevant detail, then from the menu View > Set View > Isometric > NE (or any of the other orientations) you will get a 60/30 deg. isometric projection (at least I think it is what you meant, easiest to check it out in a model viewport). Deactivate the detail, click on its border and get the Properties Inspector Panel up. Lock the detail to make sure it will stay at the right viewing angle. Don’t worry if you have lost it, just go through the procedure again. You can now revise your model as you like, and the Layout Detail will show its isometric projection. I don’t know about the “military” projection, in fact I don’t understand how it should look. You could rotate the view and lock it, even using some guidelines drawn on the layout page in 2D, but the problem will be that the linear scales of the axis’ will no longer be 1:1:1 (the 30/60 projection is, I checked by drawing a cube and it comes out as a proper hexagon).

(Edit: after rereading your opening post I can see that you are after a different style of isometric view, sorry)

I also tested how Clipping Planes are applied: You define them, select each one, and define in the Properties Inspector Panel in which model and/or layout views it should apply. By default, the view in which it was generated will be clipped (but that can be changed).


nice, does not autocomplete though, seems still a “secret” function :smiley:

I found it on food4rhino but not shure how to install it since it’s a .rhi file

sigh, not on mac…

yes but make2d doesn’t work well itself ahah

how can i be sure the angles are correct?

look: that’s what i’m talking about. They are standard views for technical drawings. The isometric that rhino offers is 30°/30° I think

no easy way i believe also still eager to find out. one way is to use reference images in wallpaper and place the camera that it matches the angles then store the views, or you calculate the distance to the object of a resulting angle and use a surface as reference for OrientCameraToSrf