Introduction to Rhino

Introduction to Rhino

D1-01_Introduction to Rhino

Rhino system was built to allow for easier curve surface generation. This is in comparison to 3ds Max and Sketchup. Though the term “easy” may be subjective, this blog wishes to highlight its method based on 8 years of architectural usage. As such, Rhino has been efficient in creating surfaces in short period of time, making it suitable for competition use or tutorial works at the eleventh hour. As complex surfaces can be created in a short period of time, the drawings generated from the model must require refinement before turning into authority and building drawings.

001_Software Comparison

The blog will start off introducing Rhino tools and navigation methods for beginners. As it progress it focuses on the following:

• making basic drawings,
• Modelling 3d building,
• turning 3d models to axonometric drawings,
• making complex surfaces, and
• turning complex surfaces to physical models.
• Making Drawings on Rhino
• Knowing the Unit setting and Toolbars

D1-02_Selecting the File type
Setting the filetype in the beginning allow consistency of measurement unit among your works and teamworks. This can be done upon opening the Rhino software. As this blog is created for architectural users, “Large Objects – Milimeters” is selected.

D1-03_Knowing the Toolbars
The toolbars are created in order of complexity, from 1 dimensional of POINT, to 2 dimensional LINE and CURVE, and to the 3 dimensional SURFACEs and 3D forms. The second half of the toolbars are for editing the first half of the creations.

D1-04_Ensuring the Snapping Toolbars

The snapping bars are at the bottom of the windows.
Grid Snap = Snapping to the Grid shown.
Ortho = Orthogonal, making your snapping to 90°, 180°, 270° and 360° directions.
Planar = Restricting 1 axis for the next selecting point, allowing snapping to the other 2 axes only.
Osnap = Object Snap. Once enabled, additional snapping bar will pop up.
SmartTrack = Automated Tracking line will appear as it anticipate your potential snapping points.


Once the OSNAP button is toggled, a new paragraph of tools will pop open. Select at ease the snapping potential of each combinations to ensure objects are snapped.

D1-05_Properties Panel


The Properties Panel opens all relevant info of the selected object. This ensures you are working on the correct layer. Type “Properties” in the Command Line to reveal the Properties Panel.


D1-06_Layer panel

Typing “layer” onto the Command Line reveals the layer panel indicating your available layers. Double click on the space below the tick allows layer change.
Clicking on the light bud toggles the layer visibility.
Clicking on the padlock toggles the layer lock.
Clicking on the coloured boxes changes your material colour.


D1-07_Viewing Options


Right clicking on the Perspective reveals all the Viewing Options – Wireframe, Shaded, Rendered and others. This changes the model rendering option within the viewing panel. Here are the effects. Whilst “Shaded” is usually the preferred option, other options may be more graphic resources consumptive than the others.


There are 4 simple navigations shortcuts to keep in mind:
hold “Shift” + hold “Right Mouse Key” to pan around the view.


hold “Right Mouse Key” to rotate around the view.

D1-11_Zoom in
Scroll the “Middle Mouse Key” to zoom in and out.

D1-12_Maximize view
click “Ctrl + M” with the perspective view clicked ( as pointed in the image below) will maximise the view. Click “Ctrl + M” again will revert to previous viewing panels layout.

D1-13_Types of Objects
There are 5 main object types within Rhino that we have frequently use. Most of these objects are known by selecting the objects, and their object type will be shown. There are:


D1-15_Opened curves


D1-16_Closed curves

D1-17_Open/ Closed Surfaces


D1-17_Open/ Closed Polysurfaces



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