What export option to use to get Rhino into Affinity Designer?

Believe me, we tried and eventually we will have a unified system for making PDFs. The only way we can use the Rhino PDF writer from the print dialog on Mac is to write our own custom print dialog instead of using the system provided UI.

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Thank you McNeel for taking this seriously!

For now I just print every single layer from Rhino layouts (so i have the right papaer format) as pdf and import it into Affinity Designer. Then the hatches as svg. It is a bit of work, but for now the best option, because otherwise you cannot preserve the layers in Affinity.

Hope there will be better options in the future.

Did you try file->export to PDF instead of printing?

Is this supposed to behave like that? (not to change between landscape and portrait). The output print then is anoter different thing.supertest.pdf (490.2 KB)

We just discovered that bug and are working on it

Thank you Steve!

Would be great if you guys from McNeel can get in contact with Serif about that issue.

There are ways to get the geometry into Affinity Designer (pdf, svg) and the geometry is fine. But the real problem is the super messed up layer/group structure. So we need a way of getting our layouts into Affinity Designer by preserving the layer structure we had in Rhino. Otherwise AD groups the stuff randomly in groups and undergroups and this is so horrible you can barely work.

I hope by talking to each other you could both make some people happier :slight_smile:


I just wanted to thank you @stevebaer for your effort on trying to give us the best workflow possible between Rhino and Affinity. I just tested the new pdf export and it works great in my simple test. I was able to open the pdf in Affinity with all its layers and also retaining gradient fills, I’m really impressed!

On a side note, I tried to open the same pdf in Illustrator and everything came in one layer, do you know why is that?


Wow, I didn’t expect the layers to come across for Affinity. That’s fantastic! Thanks for letting me know. I was only expecting you to get nicer hatches :slight_smile:

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Yes, it is fantastic! Now we are ahead of Illustrator :sunglasses:


Have you tried nested layers? I’m not on my Mac at the moment, but would be interested to know how those transfer to Affinity

It works!


So cool! Thanks for testing.

Have you also tried to do it in the Layouts?

I just tried and it supports nested layers too, but the nesting gets a little messed up. First, at the top level appears the layers in which the detail belongs, so it’s important to create specific layers for the details, if not, it gets a bit difficult to manage. During my testing, I’ve experienced that sometimes, the name of a layer is repeated or merged into another layer but the content wasn’t affected. So overall is quite workable and will improve your workflow tremendously.

Hi @stevebaer, one thing I did try and didn’t work was exporting various pages at once. It created only one PDF page, and it was messed up with duplicated content. So, choosing this option from the export dialog window:

The resulting PDF was only one page, there were two pages in the file. An as you can see in the attached PDF, there is something wrong with it, it’s like if everything would have been duplicated.
LayoutViewNestedLayersMultiplePages.pdf (30.8 KB)

I’ve attached the Rhino file in case you want to investigate any further Rhino2Affinity.3dm (2.4 MB)


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Maybe it sounds crazy, but how about being able import PDF layers back too (if they are present)?

Just played with this, and it’s a very welcome addition!

Hi Jonathan -

That sounds reasonable but I have no idea how feasible it is with the current PDF tools that we use.
I’ve put it on the list of things to look at as RH-58482.


Thanks Wim. i can’t off by heart recall all the behaviours of PDF import of vector artwork, currently. I think usually it just comes onto the current layer?

Again, great to see the addition of the export.

Thank-you very much McNeel for your continued implementation of user-responsive features like this new export format. I can second that Rhino 7 WIP on Mac exports PDFs with layers that can be opened in AffinityDesigner (including full nests, though separated into individual single-branch trees); even in this WIP stage, y’all have made a happy customer :slight_smile:

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I was a bit gutted after just now purchasing the affinity suite only to find out about this problem. I would love to transition to Rhino 7 wip - but im currently only on Rhino 5. It does seem a bit steep to buy 6 now to get wip access, and then buy 7 shortly there after. I bought 5 very close to the release of 6 - so id rather not do the same thing again…

I guess my question transitions off topic but: is there no way to access 7 WIP having 5 licence? I’m course willing to upgrade, but if 7 is coming out soon it seems a bit silly of me. Sorry, but i really need to turn pennies atm…

thanks for any input!

Soo, I have been looking in this thread and trying stuff out. However, I am unable to translate the layers from rhino to affinity designer. Ive tried the PDF export but it does not export the layers, and .ai export just does not work for designer. Is this export feature exclusive to rhino 7? I am on rhino 6