The way that Rhino prints PDF - Suggested improvements

Thanks, McNeel team for making Rhino - There is nothing else quite like it!

With the newly introduced drafting tools of gradient and transparency fills, there are few remaining functions when comparing to another drafting package.

However, there are a couple of what I perceive to be deficiencies in the way that some geometries are represented when printing to Rhino PDF.

Rhino PDF (vector) is by far the best method for achieving high-quality prints and I think if this tool was improved it would make Rhino more likely to be used as a one-stop-shop for modelling and drawing, without having to go through Illustrator or something else before print production.

If printing in raster mode some of these issues disappear, but the outcome isn’t high quality enough and limits how the drawings can be used.

Main quirks that I personally would welcome being fixed:

  • Order of drawing hatches; Hatches are drawn on top when printing even when these are 3 dimensionally placed further down in Z-axis. If you force the hatch to the back using “send to back” command, it fixes this, but then you have a problem where you have nested blocks where you have to manually dictate drawing order, even if it’s already represented in 3D. Multiple Hatches also don’t play well together where the same block would show a solid hatch on top or below another hatch without a clear reason.

  • Representation of joined poly-surfaces show discontinuous lines, rather than a close-loop the corner joints are printed as un-joined. This is irrespective if the poly-surface is closed or not.

*Dashed lines pattern are represented per segment, and re-start when there is a discontinuity. The pattern should flow smoothly at kinks through lines that are joined even if it is a geometric discontinuity.

*Wishlist: Can surfaces render as hatches when printing to PDF? At the moment the workaround is to make hatches under the surfaces to allow blocks to also be used as 3d objects.

There may be a few more I can think of, and more than happy to show examples if needed,


I thought it would be valuable to show some examples of the above and include a file of the circumstances.

Overall view vector:


Notice how the hatches are displayed in a different order, the raster is what is expected based on height location in combination with draw order attributes that seem to take precedence over height location.

3d view:

One poly-line extruded (each segment is joined together) currently prints like it’s not joined vector:


Closed poly-surface (box) prints like this, notice how one corner is joined and the other is broken, the two other corners not shown here are represented correctly as well.


Line type pattern has the same issue of discontinuity in both modes:

Drawings (641.0 KB)
Drawings 001-Raster.pdf (2.5 MB) Drawings 001-Vector.pdf (39.4 KB)

Another feature / bugfix that would be good is to adjust the representation of joints, refer to V6 Goal: True PDF Export or

Thanks for these examples.
The developer has several reports for the issues with line joins and caps.