Update on activity focused on Block Manager

There has been a fairly long running thread re the Block Manager located at https://discourse.mcneel.com/t/v6-making-a-better-block-manager/20480.

That thread had grown quiet and I see little, if any change in the block manager in the latest V6 WIP. And it seems reasonable to suspect that V6 may be approaching a launch date this year. Which leads me to think that the production team is focusing on ironing out bugs in existing features.

As someone who works with large assemblies from other CAD packages that import as nested blocks, I can’t overemphasize how much the revisions suggested in this multi year thread are valid and needed. Is there any plan to address these needs in this version release? Are there any plugins (aside from block commander) that do a great job of displaying and managing hierarchical data structures in Rhino files?

Importing a STEP file from e.g. NX or Creo will do that, yes. The first thing I do when I import such a file is explode all blocks. Why? Because the block hierarchy only reflects the assembly hierarchy in the native CAD application and is not used to place identical objects at multiple locations in the scene. That’s nonsensical use of blocks in Rhino.

If you want to use the same hierarchical data structure as in the native application, you can use Pascal’s ExplodeBlocksToLayers script to convert that data into layer hierarchies. The most recent posting thereof is found here:

While you may find that functionality unuseful, it can be used to maintain
assembly level organization of the model while keeping components located
correctly within the model. The only detail that makes the blocks
nonsensical is that the model is now outside it’s native environment with a
product data management system that does use most components across
families of products. So, while the blocks do not function as more
efficient use of memory, they are a mode of transmitting complex
hierarchical data to another package. That organizational data can be
utilized to run a number of automated processes to prep models for various
production pipelines an greatly rreduce the amount of tedious manual work
needed to process large volumes of models. In this case, exploding blocks
to low level objects throws away all of the useful information we need.

Just to clarify: I don’t think that hierarchy data is useless. I’m just saying that you are using a hammer to tighten a screw. The tool is not designed to do that. Complaining about how hard it is to achieve what you want with the wrong tool doesn’t make much sense. Asking for a new tool does. Suggestions have been made about using the Bongo hierarchy manager and that sounds right.

McNeel obviously has a right to prioritize their products any way they wish.

Though, given than there was a more than a good response to idea of making the block manager better, if they do not address some of the issues, then it would seem that the Rhino community and the feedback made my not only my self but several other its users has in some small part been invalidated.