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

We seem to have at last a program that gets past the issues with Illustrator, its called Affinity Designer.
Having both vector and raster draw options could be the solution waited for for decades, no need for Photoshop to add the effects Illustrator couldnt add.
I need to get my side view of my aircraft into Affinity Designer.
Ideally I dont want to have to trace over all the panel lines etc with AD’s draw tools, Rivets could be drawn with this AD software.

Anyone know what method works best at getting Rhino into AD and not end up turning a square into a rectangle if it hasnt got its origin at its corner as happens in ai option ?


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I tried this during the beta and this is what I found:

  • AI export from Rhino can’t be read in Affinity Designer, since Rhino is using the ages old EPS based format (which was used by Illustrator until version 8 IIRC) while Affinity expects the PDF based newer format.
  • PDF works, but since Rhino doesn’t do it natively, results depend on the PDF printer you install (I tried Bullzip).
  • EMF worked best for my relatively simple purposes in the end and it was relatively small.
    Too bad Rhino doesn’t export SVG…

My tests were with an earlier Beta and some things may have changed in the meantime. My main goal was getting pure curves over to Affinity, no complex layouts.

But yeah, I can highly recomment Affinity Designer and the Affinity Photo Beta for Windows which is free ATM. I found it much faster with larger documents than Illustrator, and it has a lot of nifty and clever things. The vector brushes are stunning too for freehand stuff.
The current intro price for Affinity Designer (39.99) is a steal and you also get some nice brush libraries and templates with it.



to open rhino exports in affinity without using adobe, one solution is to export as dwg or dxf and to open it in inkscape and then export it as any other vector. its still complicated but gets you there if you want to use affinity.

using pdf is in my opinion bad because the pdf´s which rhino creates, rebuilds all curves… i am not sure if this also depends on your installed pdf printer but would be interesting to know if that could work like that if another one is being used.

there are ongoing threads about it here and here

it has not been targeted yet tough it grew a bit of a conscience but not enough to kick it further… that means we seem to be stuck with the old post script exporter still for some time

This one is pretty good:


Cool! Thank you wim!
The second release link seems to be broken on Food4Rhino but I give the first a spin.

[Edit: the plugin doesn’t seem to work here. The extension is shown but it throws an error when I try to save something as svg).



You might also look into Canvas, an illustration program that includes image editing, and has a technical illustration leaning. Includes dimensions. Also multi-page documents, with page design.
It imports Illustrator up to CS, DWG, and PDF


I’ve started a thread at the Affinity forum to remind Serif to solve this:


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I hope this is resolved in the near future. I use Affinity Photo and plan on buying Designer soon, thus cutting my ties to Adobe. It would be a drag to not be able to go directly back and forth from Rhino.

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Thanks so far, should Affinity talk to McNeel or McNeel to Affinity.
or who sees the advantage and acts as mediator ?
I used to go from Freehand to Rhino.
I need easy vector and love Rhinos tools but Rhino cant fill in areas of colour then allow change of that colour via altering in a colour palette, as easily as a vector prog can, especially as one needs to use cmyk, try using Rhino for etch brass sheet designing for example.
Freehand cut a line was archaic compared to Rhino but Affinity is lacking in the snip dept when I last tried, major oversight. One has to cut in vector yet they had not foreseen that need.
Maybe they have fixed it now, I wish it was as per Rhino method.

I just purchased Affinity designer and I saw the ai problem.
this problem could be solved if you have the beta version 6 of Rhino that’s able to natively export svg.
I already tried with some draw without any problem.

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Whaaat? Great that Rhino finally has SVG export! I have been awaiting this feature for like 13 years.

I used to export in AI, then open it in Illustrator to convert to SVG. About 2 years ago I started to use Affinity Designer, so my only option was to export as a DXF, import into OpenOffice Draw and export as a PDF to import into Inkscape.

This native export to SVG makes everything so much simpler. Kudos to the Rhino team for finally implementing SVG export!

what apart from .svg can be used to get rhino into Affinity designer 1.8 ?
Need RhinoV6 for svg and unable to buy it at the mo.


The V6 evaluation period is 90 days, so you can use all the features until it expires.
Other than that, the tedious process that I described seems to be the only solution on V5: DXF > OpenOffice Draw > PDF

Look at @wim’s link for the SVG plugin for rhino5.

as far as I understand from all the threads on the forum. svg will be the way to go for the future export-import-workflow between affinity and rhino, right?
(see also @wim 's response in Layer support in SVG Export)

just a tiny question: will we see the svg layer structure implemented in an RH6 update or rather RH7 (hoping for the first option, of course. :wink: )

thanks for the update

Hi George - That feature request is on our list as RH-38196, which is visible to the public. It is currently slated for a “future” release target which currently means “sometime after Rhino 7”. I’ve added your request to that item.


Add my vote as well
+1 for layer structure in SVG!

Affinity Designer doesn’t support any “advanced” selection tools, like select same appearance or select same stroke… That means, that bringing in any complex drawing into affinity designer without any layer structure will make almost impossible to properly edit that file. IMO, .svg support without layer support is useless to my workflow so please consider adding this feature if you are not going to update .ai export to a newest format.


Has anyone of you figured out a workflow where I can export a 2d drawing from Rhino to Affinity Designer and I when I import it it keeps me the layers?

Currently this is not possible without adding another app to the process.
If you own illustrator, my case, you just export as .ai from Rhino, open it in illustrator and save as newer illustrator file. Affinity designer support illustrator import just not the one used by rhino (very old format).

If you don’t have any other vector app and don’t want to invest in any of those, you could try saving your file as .dxf and opening it in Inkscape ( open source) and saving from there as .svg. I have not tried this workflow recently, so it may not work but you can give it a try.