Which industry uses Rhino 6 the most?

Check the following video and especially the part starting after 9:10 minute. It shows why Alias has two huge advantages over Rhino:

  1. Ability to modify the general structure of the surface while running another tool. It’s supported by the majority of modeling tools in Alias and is called “Explicit control”. In Rhino terms, this is like having an integrated “Rebuild surface” inside its main tools like "Sweep 1 rail, “Sweep 2 rails”, “Blend surface”, “Loft”, “Match surface” etc.
    Rhino has a “Refine match” option in its “Match surface” tool, but it will modify the surface structure with random amount of control points based on tolerance settings rather than using a proper explicit control with manually defined number of control points in the U and V directions.

  2. Ability to match a surface edge with a G2 continuity aver another surface while maintaining the projection vector. With other words, the surface to be matched is being projected over another surface using a direction, thus preserving its shape.
    Currently, Rhino can only match a surface edge over another surface (OnSurface=On) using a guide curve which is preliminary created on the target surface. Not to mention that the matching changes the structure of the surface and moves its control points not only towards the target curve (N direction), but also in the U and V directions.
    Rhino could also match a surface edge onto another surface freely, i.e. without using a guide curve on surface, but that will randomize the end result and make it nearly unusable, because the position of the matched edge depends on normal projection instead of a vector projection.
    By the way, ICEM could also match a surface edge over two or more joined surface (i.e. a polysurface). Rhino is limited to match a surface edge only to one surface.

A 3rd huge advantage of Alias over Rhino is the Zebra analysis with static stripes. Rhino’s Zebra analysis is dynamic, which means that the stripes change their shape and direction all the time upon rotating the camera. Alias’ Zebra analysis is not view dependent, which makes it hugely usable while point editing the surfaces to achieve G2 continuity. On top of that, Rhino also lacks coloured stripes that are even better than zebra stripes. The VSR plug-in for Rhino 5 had coloured stripes and they did a wonderful job.

What that posted in the correct thread? :sweat_smile:

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@Rhino_Bulgaria @ivan.galik

I think even if Rhino offers the same or even better features as Alias or Icem, it doesn’t mean Rhino is going to be the main modelling software in those industries. Too many people have worked out very efficent workflows they don’t want to change. The same is true for any other industry I guess.

I personally see the strategy to harvest from niches as very reasonable. However, I agree that the overall aim is currently not visible for me. I personally also believe that surface tools should and could be improved even further. Not only in terms of functionality but also in terms of workflow.

I remember when the VSR team came in my company which mainly uses Icem,Alias and Catia. Most people ask, what should be the argument to switch to Rhino with VSR if the only benefit is the price tag at purchase (not counting the extra hours for constant workarounds).

I think its unrealistic to convert Rhino into any other type of CAD. It will never be a BIM, PLM or any other specialized CAD package at the current point.


And to close the loop, I think many industries are using Rhino at some point. But I think for very different and sometimes for very simple things… But only McNeel can tell, Johns statement pretty much confirms that… I have seen people exclusivly using Rhino for things like data conversion or cleaning up messy dwg files.


The need for better NURBS modeling tools is not limited to cars only. Many industrial designers can benefit from that, as well.

The simple answer to the question of this topic is: Rhino is used in those industries that could take advantage of its toolset. Imagine if Rhino was incapable of doing 2d drawings. Then nobody who needs to create 2d drawings would buy Rhino. The same refers to the NURBS tools, too.

One important upgrade was the ability to adjust the end profiles of “Blend surface” in Rhino 4 by holding the Alt key. This particular improvement alone made me stick to Rhino in a time where some of my co-workers switched to Alias. It was a much needed improvement. A new upgrade to “Blend surface”, such like the ability for the end profiles to follow the same direction as the edge of the input surface, would be welcome. But unfortunately we may not see this before Rhino 8 or Rhino 9…

Surface structure:

Default behaviour of “Blend surface”:

Check the upper right corner of the “Blend surface”. It uses the (non-existent) “Match edge direction” option.


Totally agree. I also think any person should be able to pick his/her own tool of choice.

The point of my post was just about to say, that even if you have the perfect CAD, people probaly won’t change. As an analogy. As a student I spend a large amount of time in learning Cinema4d. Today you can use Blender for free, but still it feels not natural to me due to my initial experience. If I would be in need to model polygons today, I probally would pick C4d for that job. And many people think the same about Icem or Alias. They spend years, even decades on a specific CAD platform. Even the best feature doesn’t make it easy to switch. And at this point Rhino is not quite at the same level when we talk about direct surface modelling. At least this is my oppinion and I really would love Rhino to be in this state!

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Sometimes people may consider switching to another software depending on their need and/or budget. Couple of forum members recently mentioned that they come from another CAD software and chose to learn Rhino instead.
I can imagine that people who have been using Alias or ICEM for decades will not be willing to switch to Rhino, because they already have experience with much more powerful modeling tools and feel comfortable using them. However, if Rhino has better NURBS modeling tools that would attract many newcomers (students, freelancers, small companies etc) who are just about to decide which modeling program to pick and use as their main CAD software.

Here is another example why Rhino really needs some improvements of its existing tools:


Thats the beauty of Rhino. We are not tied to constrains of BIM, PLM or any other specialized approach. Might not be fit for every business, but I think it doesn’t have to. We do 2d, 3d, BIM, non-BIM, modelling, parametric and analysis work inside one single software package we could not do inside Revit/Inventor/Alias/AutoCAD.
It does need some more work in terms of programming from time to time, but thanks to RhinoCommon this is a non-issue most of the time. We basicly have whole in-house software package on top of Rhino, a basis no other software package could provide.


I also agree, thats a good point. Still the dilemma of this is anybody requesting features to Rhino has other priorities. People say, I need better blocks, other say better surface tool other say better 2d performance, again others want better MacOS support and this is the point were the discussion becomes endless. @Rhino_Bulgaria, regarding surface modelling, I do have a list of at least 20 non-existing surfacing features. But the guy who wants better 2d performance will probaly disagree anyway…

that was my thoughts since i’ve been onboard since v3.

also it seems like rhino is used at a lot of places as a secondary tool. i always liken it to a swiss army knife of cad.

i do wish you guys stuck to the mantra of design tools. the foray into layouts, kind of bummed me out. i understand why, the need and customer base was there. just kind of wished that time went into tools and modeling. :wink:

from my perspective i can say that if rhino improved in areas i advocate for, wich are pure additions/fixing issues no changing of the software as such, it could become main tool for many more offices. right now i cant push or reccomend rhino as replacement to autocad workflow for example with clean conscience because i know it wouldnot work. rhino is sitting on the edge of being professional tool but it seems it want to remain semi professional. semi professional means you can do lot of things with it but you cannot rely on it absolutely. the difference for me is far from origin problems, block management, performance with blocks, no clipping of references, booleans are weak, annotations are weak, dwg export destroys annotations. dwg is still standard for documentation almost everywhere. the problem is that you dont hear that mcneel wants to fully resolve this ussues by version X.

I think they will, its just they don’t want to pressure themselves. I believe they monitor these threads very well. Before Sub-D surfaces were developed, many forum members complained about the lack of T-Splines in RH6. Also some requests from the VSR faction were implemented.

But essentially this is what I’m talking about, in automotive industry for instance you don’t need any of these features. If you would target this industry other features and fixes are required. I don’t know if these are simple to implement or not, but I rather think in order to replace AutoCAD there is even more required. It will always be in direct comparision and you really have to have arguments why people should switch… Putting so much effort in this however will worry others. So lets see what RH8 offers

While I agree that everyone has their own preferences and requirements, Rhino is primarily a NURBS modeling program. We all remember the slogan “NURBS modeling for Windows” used for many years. :slight_smile: However, it was removed in recent Rhino versions. In a post above I just mentioned a few of the most important NURBS modeling features that are still missing in Rhino 7.

Also, in order to make 2d drawings of NURBS models or use blocks with NURBS models, those NURBS models should be modeled first. How? The answer is: With proper NURBS tools. :smiley: If the modeling tools are not good enough, then the resulting models won’t be good, too. And that automatically affects everything else in the workflow, including 2d and blocks.

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Its actually not a problem if its not completly game-breaking, so to speak. Yes it is annoying, and it would speed up many more things, but that generic description of shortcomings fits almost any software.

So I dont understand these threads or hyperbole like this

but maybe I’m just doing semi-professional work. I wonder what branch with heavy software-reliabilty has the all-in-one solution. I’d be surprised if more than 5% of such industries use only one program that does it all.

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Of course this is correct, and personally I would always weight development in this direction higher. But it also true that for a large group of Rhino user, the existing Nurbs-Tools are totally sufficent and they rather want better data management. ICEM had a long period of specialized development, because suddently all OEM’s were outsourcing Design and Engineering. So a large group of influencial users, said we don’t need better modelling features, but instead better tools to judge others work…

Rhino is usually targeted to small companies, shops or freelancers who do the work on a single machine, or spread the work on several machines where everybody does a different thing. I hear good things about Worksession in Rhino, too.

Also, while parametric programs such like SolidWorks are regularly used by multiple people working on multiple machines on the same project, that’s usually something related to machinery, vehicles or other complex projects that require thousands of changes of paratemers to be possible at any time, and involve plenty of movable parts and components and their corresponding collision detection, mating, limits of moving/rotation, strength analysis etc. Sometimes they even require careful calculation of fluid and temperature dynamics.
On the other hand, due to Rhino’s direction of free-form modeling and general lack of the usual parametric modeling approach used by other CAD software, it’s mostly used on “static” projects without (too many) moving parts, so it’s perfectly suitable for a broad range of business that are not related to developing complex machinery. Where Rhino could shine and attract a lot of freelancers and small shops is the product design, which require just a few improvements of the existing modeling tools and analysis tools.
One of these improvements is the addition of “Edge continuity” analysis that was introduced in Rhino 7. I already used it multiple times in combination with the “Move UVN” tool and it’s a huge time-saver for those who do this kind of control point adjustment to achieve G1 or G2 continuity manually. Alias has a similar tool for many years and I’m glad that Rhino finally has something to offer in that regard.

Btw this was something I proposed in this forum due to my daily works in Icem 3 years ago. Not saying it was me giving the hint in this direction, but if it was me, it is indeed a sign that the community has influence.

The example I gave with ICEM was just to make clear, that the demands on a software, no matter who is targeted, is not always as obvious. Furthermore this might be incorrect. I would say Rhino tries to target as many people as possible. Larger corporations doing CAD also have many Rhino licenses for special purposes.

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Alias has a huge improvement in the last 10 years. Rhino and Alias were close during the Rhino 4 times (which means Alias was still not so good 12-14 years ago), but recent releases of Alias are quite powerful thanks to their constant improvement of modeling and analysis tools. That makes Alias very desirable for those who do product design of any kind, along with automotive design.
Rhino has much, much better user interface, camera control and customization of everything, but it also needs better NURBS surfacing tools.

Rhino tries to be “the boy for everything”, i.e. offering universal tools for many tasks not necessarily related to NURBS surfacing, but that also makes it less competitive in any of those directions due to the smaller developer team. For example, AutoCAD still has superior drafting and dimensions tools. Alias has much better surfacing tools. Blender has an awesome rendering engine. 3ds Max, Katia and Fusion 360 have very well developed Catmull-Clark subdivision and modeling tools (sorf of SubD in Rhino 7).


The hamster wheel is spinning very fast now :stuck_out_tongue:

Alias is a specialized tool with strong emphasis on automotive and product design. Again I personally agree, but Rhino also has many users being architects, craftsman, jewelery designer, fashion designer, furnature designer, naval engineers, cgi specialists, hobbiests even my local carpenter uses Rhino.
And no, they don’t need to manually match a corner blend to perfection with a deviation analysis. :smiley:

EDIT: I haven’t read carefully enough. Yes this is the dilemma. But its good that there is such a versatile tool out there, which is also very affordable for small businesses.


I’ve been asking for the same things for years: improvement of Nurbs modeling tools and analysis (Blend srf, match, etc.). Current improvements are weak and too slow, many years to add a new option … (VSR tools are the reference Rhino should strive for).
They are not criticisms, but findings, no attacks! Rhino could be a wonderful tool, more so than many other expensive and cumbersome software.

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Even on that forum I have read multiple people saying they are afraid to upgrade to Rhino 6 or Rhino 7, because they don’t want to lose the great modeling and analysis tools they currently have with Rhino 5 + VRS. :slight_smile: This speaks volumes. Several years ago I also used to work in a company with VSR for Rhino 5 and it was fantastic upgrade over the default Rhino modeling tools. My favourite was the “Light lines” zebra analysis, and specially its alternative set to 7 colourful stripes that were NOT view dependent, i.e. they were always static and “locked” to the surface geometry just like a texture. That’s an extremely powerful tool for spotting even the slightest imperfections in the surface flow and continuity. Sadly, Rhino 7 lacks it.
I still keep one screen-shot of VSR that I made in the past and it reminds me of how useful were those light lines.