Which industry uses Rhino 6 the most?

Hi all,

This is a general question about Rhino.
Which industry uses Rhino 6 the most, is there a top 10 list?
I am from New Zealand, so if anyone has any information on NZ industry that would be great, but otherwise thanks all.

I’d take a wild guess and say architecture, but pretty much any industry that uses 3d or even 2d geometry would find Rhino handy I’d say.

All industries use Rhino but the representatives of (ground) architecture are the most vocal in this forum. Which makes your question pointless here.

Why is it pointless? It’s a legitimate question.

I’m sure McNeel have some statistics - from the forms that people fill out when they validate their Rhino licenses the first time which ask what industry they’re in etc. - but as these forms are optional, the data may not be absolutely 100% representative, however it might be pretty close. I wouldn’t necessarily take the distribution of industries among the users here in the forum to be representative - maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Also some people are likely in several industries at once.

That being said, I would agree that architecture is probably the largest industry consuming Rhino licenses now, driven by Grasshopper and perhaps the general crappiness of AutoCAD - and the fact that there are just a lot of architects out there, building is booming in many parts of the world. Rhino started out as mostly ID software, and I think that is still an important segment of the market as well. As I have stated in an earlier post, there are however lots of other industries represented here in the forum and (as a reseller) among my clients.


yes i would also think that Industrial Designers could take a huge chunk of that cake either. also speculating that there ar many boats designers using it, there are also a few frequenting the discourse here regularly.

i assume that the ussage of Rhino in its initial times was very different to what it is now. rhino for architecture has established itself maybe over the past 15 years and started to thrive with the dawn of grasshopper.

but i also have seen doctors and scientists meddle with the software for professional usage. the question regarding which field may dominate the use is maybe really not that relevant, if you are not part of the development team.

rhino can fulfill a variety of tasks, often used in combination with other tools depending on what you want to achieve. but before we discuss all possible statistics, what is your field of interest?

Because it won’t get accurate answer without inputs from all other industries. You may have clients from all of them but it’s just a fragment of what’s happening around the world.

This question cannot be answered with the absolute value of users per industry, because that number is not representative to the size of the industry. That is, larger industries will give larger numbers but that does not mean that it is used more in that industry. The correct way would be the percentage or ratio of each industry that uses Rhino.

Looking at it this way, I think jewelry is the first. Non-Rhino software alternatives are few and not very popular, the most popular are Rhino plugins or just pure Rhino. Secondly I think it would be product design, or at least I don’t know what other software is used in this industry. I mean, Rhino is ideal for product. I don’t think the architecture is one of the first, this software market seems to me to be much more competitive.

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Everywhere you find a boat research ( design archi or ship yard) you find a rhino…

We do not spend any time or treasure measuring this sort of thing.
Based on observation from technical support, the areas where Rhino seems to be the primary application include:

  • industrial design
  • naval design
  • jewelry design

Rhino is used as an augmentation tool in nearly any area you can think of including architecture, motion pictures, medical, packaging, etc.


I agree with John Brock and would add that Rhino may well have become the darling of yacht and boat design

When we started Rhino development, naval architecture was the first group of designers we focused on. We knew a lot of them because of our Seattle based AutoCAD business, knew that NURBS based surface modeling fit their needs very well, and the market was small enough that we could effectively serve it.

Rhino started because of boat designers.
Call them Ground Zero if you want to.


That of course, makes so much sense. Those were the days and unfortunately the business has dropped off remarkably. I’m giving it all my best in the meantime. When I first found Rhino as a beta download in the lated nineties, I fell right in pace with it. The command line was familiar with my self taught Autocad skills or lack thereof, but what I found so easy was the logic in commands such as sweep one curve sweep two curves, curve network, extrude and so forth. I jumped in so hard as to empty the pool!


like obelix?

Not truly familiar with the works of René Goscinny, but I sure found Rhino useful straight out of the box.

i have to quote that out of my memory then:

when obelix jumped into the pool he found himself surprised about the sudden absence of the water. so he asked asterix who cheerfully replied “well my friend it had left the pool when you entered”

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I would not say it’s used as primary application because it’s very limited. Let’s just say it’s widely used in the marine industry for pre- and post- processing.

Hopefully if subd gets more mature and Rhino improves its performance with bigger models, also if it adopts PLM and Rhino Marine Plugins get reasonable prices then it may become a primary tool.
Currently it is primary tool for small companies that do mainly small vessels. Also, “support” companies like Towing Tanks / Hydrodynamics centers, although there NAPA beats Rhino with its functionality, and Rhino has superior surface modeler. For larger vessels its value is only during the initial design phase (hull form modeling) and maybe with the Raytraced in the “Sales” department to show pretty pictures to the potential shipowner. However surprising even to me, a lot of veteran Rhino users do not know how to use Grasshopper and Raytraced.

I would say jewelry market has a large share… quite proud about it. :grinning:

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Globally many custom guitar makers and small factories who are CAD literate use Rhino. In China most factories prefer JD Paint, which has CAM integrated but looks like it’s mesh based.

I should add that we never set out to "take over’ any segment of any market. The arrogance to think any application could provide everything that any given market segment might need is staggering.
We are constantly looking for where customers are having problems in their design process. If we can improve, fix, or eliminate those pain points, that’s where we want to be.
We are not at all interested in writing tools that already exist in other applications and are widely used and accepted.


That is respectable @John_Brock, however transferring data problems sometimes overcome the cons of the other software. Having Rhino more PLM-mature, also having “true” solid modeling capabilities will greatly improve that, in a way allowing Rhino to standout and cover complete workflows.