Who's the Parasolid export chief? I have a bad export to share

Hi RMA team, I tested again Parasolid exported in V5 and V6. It’s still unreliable yet a very needed file format for us, but it is soooo close to be right. Out of a 7-part assemble only one bad part with a trim that changed shape. Are you guys planning to keep supporting this? Who can I send my file too? Maybe @lowell? Don’t hide from me guys, come on take my bad files :joy:


Why are you still using Parasolid? It seems that most people us STEP these days.

@tim I believe worked on X_T last, but it hasn’t been a high priority in recent years.

Hi Bob,

Parasolid is a religion around here, I waste a lot of time and energy questioning it and not following it. a couple of examples:

Today’s email response because some RP operator cannot make sense of STL scales:

…A few months ago the 10 commandment of how to write an internal job request:

Our machinist and model makers are awesome but the poor guys deal with a lot of bad geometry, especially worse since the Millennial generation of modelers arrived to the workforce. …I also make terrible files sometimes, which works really well to model and try stuff really really fast, but those are always masked under sealed/fixed mesh files.

Since we are mostly an NX and Solidworks house Parasolid has become the most trusted way to exchange files from those platforms. Solidworks doesn’t care either way, and Steps work great, but NX’s Step exported are complete garbage. This might be related to the fact that they license Parasoldi libraries and make a nice change of change form that? or maybe it’s just an interesting coincidence?

What I want to know is if you guys would consider shipping an exported that works really well, or if it doesn’t you should give us the option to disable it completely? Maybe if we do our own installer image to deploy Rhino here we can just remove the Parasolid plugin? But I rather have it working right and we solve the problem once and for all.

BTW, I used to fight back so we don’t use it but it’s a waste of time. Also every time one of our users that are mostly on NX/Solidworks tries to do something in Rhino and uses their export file of choice they get the impression that Rhino is just a terrible tool. I don’t think this is a good situation.


Ok. Keep in mind that we wrote the x_t in-house because parasolid wanted too much money per copy of Rhino to use their libraries. It would have nearly doubled the enduser cost of Rhino last time I check.

The best option is http://www.datakit.com/cad-convertors/rhino-to-parasolid/1773-rhino-3d-to-parasolid.html
(As you can see it doubles the cost of a Rhino seat.)

I’ll chat with @tim about this and see if there is any hope of improvement.

Of course, we would like to see the file. You can upload it here: http://www.rhino3d.com/upload

In relation to parts to be 3D printed (I assume that’s why .stl format), parasolid format is completely ridiculous. Your modelmakers - as well as perhaps your designers - need to get with the program… (just for reference I spent most of my professional career as professional modelmaker)

Parasolid is completely useless for 3D printing. You will need to re-export it anyway as .stl later. And the “no units in an .stl file” is well documented. The same happens with .dxfs destined for laser cutting.

What it means is that the designer needs to specify to the modelmaker the units that were used when the .stl was exported - either by something like a suffix like you already seem to have for durometer in your work order specs above, or by an accompanying PDF with an image of the object and ancillary info like a description, units, etc. The better job you do of communicating your intentions to the modelmaker, the more likely you will be to get the part back sooner and like you want it.

…and the only acceptable units for an stl are either mm or inches, nothing else.

Parasolid export from Rhino has been broken for a long time as far as I know - I believe @jim once suggested that it should simply be removed from the list of exporters…


That make sense Bob, not point in burdening Rhino with such high cost. Datakid is a good suggestion, most people here are on floating licenses and I think we can also add a few floating Datakit importers/exporters. I’ll have our team explore if we need to match the number or Rhino seats, or how else does it work. If that’s the case I rather spend that money in doubling our number of licenses, instead of doubling the price of our current ones.

I’ll upload the example. If you see this is an easy fix and want me to try a few more examples I’ll be happy to do that.


Hi Mitch, all good points but all companies work differently, and we deal with two main things here:

  1. We have designers that are extremely talented at product creation, design for manufacturing and developing world-class, reliable, profitable products. Keep in mind in most markets we are the number 1 or number 2 player in terms of market share. Hiring at this caliber is extremely hard and painful. And retaining that talent is also challenging. Expecting that these folks would also be great CAD operators is completely unrealistic. I can count with my hands the designers in the world that I know, or I know of, that can be really great designers and great modelers. We give them a product brief to our team that includes lofty goals like “become best product in this category”. So no, nobody is getting (too much) on their case to get with the program. And to be fair I have seen lots and lots of CAD from designers from the world over, and I can tell you with confidence, this guys and gals are on the top of the game for a non-cad-operator. Asking them more is ludicrous. That’s why I need to come here instead and ask Bob. He is used to my ludicrous requests.

  2. There’s a logistic reason our modelmakers ask for Parasolid: total flexibility. We give our modelmakers the flexibility to design how they want to fabricate an assembly. We might suggest “RP-Objet Vero gray”, but if that machine is busy and a Haas is just sitting around, the modelmaker can give the Parasolid to a machinists and keep both the machinist and the machine busy. Here in US (I’m sure similar in Switzerland) material cost (resin/metal) is not as impact as labor cost, utilization and hitting deadlines. Since we use Parasolid as currency we have a lot more flexibility to mix-match/change processes. Also great to build fixtures, etc.

Regarding the units clarification, you are right, great suggestion. We already agreed with our RP guys that I will throw a screenshot with overall dimensions so then can know what size to expect. But adding that as a file suffix as you suggested is even better. Thx!