Our shop does product design and prototyping, we use Rhino for all of our form and aesthetic modeling. It works very well for our purposes which include conceptual modeling and prototyping (3d printing mostly) of our designs. The curve tools are also very powerful, and have taken over all 2d duty for designing parts to be laser-cut.
Rhino is a great tool. It's powerful and flexible, its learning curve is not too steep (surprising given the overall power of the solution), and it has worked for me with zero bugs or crashes. It's impressive. Grasshopper is a free add-on that makes Rhino 5x as powerful for my needs.
I like Rhino, but Grasshopper blows me away.
One of the traditional toughest challenges in modelling is how to tune or recreate your work. Creating a significant model happens in hundreds or thousands of steps -- creating each object, relationships / alignment / intersections etc. Even in a great tool like Rhino this feels somewhat like drawing. What happens if you are 20 hours into a project and determine some basic decision (like a key dimension) needs to change? Rescaling etc. can only get you so far. Unfortunately, in the traditional approach, the further you go in a project, the harder it is to change.
Grasshopper changes this approach entirely. Grasshopper is a visual programming tool that runs in a separate window, but controls what happens in Rhino. This allows you to capture all your decisions (origins, dimensions, ratios etc.) as numbers / parameters, then push a button to create the Rhino model from this. All the steps (create object, rotate, intersect, mesh, whatever) are explicit in Grasshopper, so you can always change a parameter and re-run the scenario with changes to get a new Rhino model.
This is a superb idea and the execution of it is also very good (although not yet perfect). By moving modelling further away from the "CAD drawing" paradigm and closer to the "process / programming" paradigm, many things get better. I love the fact that I can review my parameters and modelling steps with another person, that I can change the parameters and re-run models, and that I can put Grasshopper models into source code control. Grasshopper captures much of the value of very expensive modelling tools like PTC.
The only problem with Grasshopper is that there are operations in Rhino that are not yet provided in the Grasshopper layer -- in these cases, you need to work in a more hybrid mode, flipping between the two tools that breaks the new paradigm a little. It would be natural to assume anything you can do in Rhino (UI or Rhinoscript) could also be done in Grasshopper -- not yet true. Hopefully McNeel will achieve complete parity between Rhino and Grasshopper. You can bridge the gap somewhat by creating custom scripts in Grasshopper (e.g. I use Python to access the Rhinoscript API when needed) -- neat capability, I'm OK with that, but it's probably a bit much for many users.
It's hard to fully understand Grasshopper until you use it. My challenge to you is, create a model without touching the Rhino window -- just treat it as output from the Grasshopper process. You can do it, and once you fully grasp this process, it will change the way you think. Not to mention give you a massive productivity boost.
Coming from a 25 year background in 3D surface modeling, I recently looked for a transition to solid modeling for real world design and prototyping. Rhino has been the perfect bridge between the surface modeling software I know, and the strict workflows of of tools like Solidworks. For me, it's the best of both worlds. Every Rhino tool shows a solid anticipation of the problems I need to solve.
This product has all the features I was looking for and, because of the command line word prompt it allows you to type tools you may know from other 3d programs! The way it makes STL files for stereo lithography is a definite selling point for me, it is a great price range and worth every dollar!!!
I've tried and evaluated at least a half dozen cad products. and this is by far the most intuitive and comprehensive package out there. The most important thing to me is that there is lots of help if I ever get stuck on something.
As a former user of autocad 14 which I found easy to use I was pleased that Rhino has s similar interface allowing me to be drawing in 3D comfortably after about 12 hours of looking thru the included help file to locate the commands. The drawing commands are 1 mouse click from the left toolbar, and the surface and solid command menues are 2 and occasionally 3 mouse clicks. There is maximum availability of screen space unencombered with tool ribbons in the drawing area. The loft command where you draw airplane wings and car bodies as an example is really wonderful, and can be easily tuned as needed. I have used the edit/rebuild lines command on lofted curves with consistantly good results on the boolian commands. I have called the software developer Robert McNeel .com and talked to their tech department befor buying the software and was impressed with their ability to explain the software to the rest of us. I bought it the next day from Novedge.com at a cost of $778 and would also reccommend them as the vendor. I am using a 1.8Ghz AMD processor desktop with 1Gb of ram running windows XP which may be a little light on ram which I hope to update in a few months. I am a retired construction worker and engineer and use this software for aircraft design. It does all the hard to do stuff effortlessly.I use meshcam and EMC2 for the CAM software and some free downloaded FEA which are not included in this software or autocad or solidworks either.Rhino also has parametric modeling which is used to streach, nudge, and poke a shape into a different shape.
Rhino is a great software. It is useful across a wide spectrum of industries, and with the tools available for customization, and the plug-ins available, the potential is almost limitless. For example, Rhino could take an idea, design it, use the Flamingo plug-in to render a photo-realistic image, then use the MadCam plug-in to produce the part on your CNC.
I'm a happy Solid Works user and purchased Rhino for its free form surface capabilities. So far, I really like the product. Its fun to use and I've already been able to create some designs. I'm looking forward to becoming a more advanced user. I definitely recommend Rhino if your looking for a powerful and very moderately priced solution.
Novedge had the best price and worked with me to get the software delivered when I needed it..even when they did not have it in stock. Rhino 4.0 is the best 3D modeler I've found (using it for architecture)...and I've tried several since I started looking 20 years ago.
I'm new to solid modeling. I'm a scale model maker and have drawn with 2D AutoCAD LT for a few years. I make cast parts in resin and metal. My model parts require master patterns to produce rubber molds for spincasting. My goal is to use Rhino to develop master patterns that will be made cnc and possibly 3D printed. The tutorials are good and the program in general is great. I'm just learning but I like what I see so far and expect to use it extensively.
Good value for the money and a relatively fast learning curve for the average person.
What an intelligent, intuitive and comprehensive program! As an Autocad 12 (up to 2002 now) expert user, I'm not easily swayed by other programs. Rhino is packed with abilities, has a very easy to grasp GUI, and the command line is there, which is essential for speed. I easily lofted a set of Autocad-made hull sections into a solid, nicely renderable surface. I feel at home with the program, only after four sessions. I'm going to buy the Rhino for sure, eliminating the need for about $6,000 of resource-hungry 3D Studio and Autocad upgrades. And the Rhino and Autocad 2002 combo don't embarrass my Dell Latitude's 4-year-old Pentium 4.
Seriously, for doing anything from unfolding for quick model building to full size manufactured production, a better 3d modeler for such a price is impossible to find. Not only can Rhino open almost any format you through at it, but it can write back to those formats as well. Don't have Illustrator? No Problem, open the file in Rhino, edit it, and return it as an illustrator file. Don't have solidworks? Open a solidworks file here to view and edit and return. Need to make a 3dPrint, you can use Rhino for this also. All in All, its the best choice for modeling with the familiar interface of Autocad, but with streamlined 3d and a set of tools that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
My background; My work history was concerned with sophisticated mechanical devices, and I am an electronics/computer hobbiest, but I had zero experience with CAD. When the need came along to use a CAD program, I asked around knowlegible folks and was pointed towards Rhino. I did the Rhino tutorials and was off and running. With no classroom training in CAD of any kind, I thought it wise to buy as much Rhino reading material as I could. I got books from Amazon, and I bought Rhino Training Manual 1. There are DVDs associated with all these publications which makes self teaching easy. The Rhino Training manual stands head and shoulders above all the rest, being easy to understand and to the point. With the training manual to the side and my computer screen in front of me, I play with the lessons in the training manual and the Rhino program, it is fun. I find Rhino very do-able.
I first tried the demo version of Rhino and found the included tutorial easy to understand and with excellent demonstrations of Rhino's capabilities. I then tried several demo's of other 3D software and found they were no match to Rhino's ease of use and exemplary tutorial. I made a quick purchase and am even more pleased with the full learning tutorial and manual. It's the easiest to use and most intuitive 3D drawing software I have seen.
Coming from Pro/CDRS or Desiger, AutoCAD 2006, Alias Studio, Rhino has been the most easy to learn and use 3D software by far. I don't use it for animation or particles, but for product design and scene creation it does a superb job. Simple compared to those other programs I've worked with in the past for real world designing.
It beats AutoCad and a few other 3d rendering programs. I'm still a newbie with the 3d arean, so very user friendly. For those of you with lots of experience I think you'll find it up to your standards and quick to produce your stuff.
I really do enjoy allot of the new tools and my never go bact to version 3. But it is a bit frustrating when things like this happen. I also realize I have more to learn. If anyone has a solution for this observation could you please advise me about how to correct it.
For this serious hobbyist, scratch building large scale model cars, the promise of 3D printing is enormous. So the choice was to join the CAD community or be stuck in the past. I looked at numerous CAD programs, but settled on Rhino because of its ability to model complex curved surfaces. Rhino has turned out to be a great choice, despite the cost. After a couple of weeks of experimenting I was confident enough of the basics to begin modeling. I found the Rhino tutorials to be useful, but limited. They are primarily tool based, rather than app based, so figuring out how to model a complex shape generally goes beyond the level of the tutorials. Likewise, I found very little Rhino help for dealing with the challenges of 3D printing. This is a non-trivial issue which I fortunately stumbled over early on. The online advice I found elsewhere saved me a lot of re-design work. A specific Rhino tutorial to deal with this issue would have been really helpful.
Rhino has a great interface and functions for modeling in 3D, I couldn't be happier, I also love the ease of generating 2 sections from 3D objects. My only criticism would be the lack of control of the display of dimensions - I am used to the flexibility that AutoCAD provides in the display of dimensions, leaders, etc., and Rhino has some catching up to do in this department. Otherwise, Rhino is outstanding and has some remarkable functionality for the price.
I'm still learning the program but have used Alias for the prior eight years and that helps with the transition. The major difference is that there is limited history built into Rhino which I guess accounts for the more affordable price but changes the way one constructs objects; you need to save often.
Overall Rhino has plenty of capability and the interface is pretty much straightforward if you're at all familiar with 3D modeling programs. The Help does include short videos that make it easier to understand vs. reading just text.
Novedge delivered the product very quickly and had a very good price.
Have only just began learning Rhino. The program seems very powerful and have had a frustrating, but great time and a lot of fun finding my way around. Am in the process of financing rapid prototyping milling machine for jewellery purposes. Rhino drives this device and is part of the package, so essential I use these early tutorials to get a bit of a head start. Will review again further down the line. Thanks for the free trial download.
we're not industrial software experts and are just using it as a base for dental-shaper from cimsystem/ sum3d. requires a more experienced user than dental people, but still does what it should for us. would like more training and esier apps for "regular joes"
It's great new upgrade.However, it has a lot of bugs including low (surprisingly) performance. Booleans refuse to function properly in certain situations. The work around: use trim & split actions together with extracting surfaces from solids. If new SR1 or SR2 release could improve this I will give to it 5 stars...
I had downloaded a demo version of Rhino.It was very limited all kind of accesses that's why I couldn't create any design. One more thing there is no listings of gem stone sizes, by carat, like 0.02, 0.25, 1.00 etc…
My company bought Rhino 4.0 and found the software to be very useful. However, when we needed to move the software to a faster computer and could not find the original disk and activation code, NcNeel said we had to pay $1000 for a replacement disk. This is piracy. The CEO was sarcastic and condescending. Better to use the built in rendering in Solidworks than deal with pirates.
I used the rating, FAIR, only because I was not able to find the S/W utilities that would allow me to design the drawing that I wanted. I'm sure that the utilities are there somewhere but I could not find them. All S/W should be intuitive as far as how it works and where to find readily what is needed. With more learning time, I can probably do what i want to do but time is not a luxury.
Still cant get the time to actually understand its full capacity. It is not easy if you are not used to this kind of programme. I find it hard to coprehend in some of its tasks, but maybe its's because I don't have a lot of spare time to just sit and play with it to understand it. I will keep on trying though.
Technical support for Rhino 5.0 is available directly from McNeel by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone from 8am to noon, and between 1pm to 5pm Pacific Time at the number (206) 545-6877. For more technical support information and options please visit the Robert McNeel tech support page.