Rhinoceros 3D

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Developer(s) Robert McNeel & Associates
Stable release 5.0 / November 28, 2012
Operating system Windows (2000/XP/Vista/7/8), OS X in development phase
Type 3D computer graphics
License Proprietary
Website http://www.rhino3d.com/

Rhinoceros (abbreviated Rhino) is a stand-alone, commercial 3-D modeling software application developed by Robert McNeel & Associates. The software is based on a mathematical model called NURBS (non-uniform rational B-spline), which is adept at producing curves and surfaces in computer graphics. Robert McNeel & Associates have attempted to distinguish Rhinoceros in the 3D software market with multidisciplinary functions, a relatively low learning-curve, interoperability, and a lower cost than some competing products.[citation needed]

Rhinoceros has been used in several industries, including industrial design, architecture, watercraft design, jewelry design, automotive design, CAD, CAM, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, and product design, as well as for multimedia and graphic design.[1]

Rhinoceros was originally called Rhinoceros 3D. Before publishing Rhinoceros 3D v1.0, Robert McNeel & Associates allowed the public to download beta versions of the software in order to provide feedback. Rhinoceros was developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Robert McNeel & Associates is now adapting the software for OS X.[2]


Rhinoceros has a scripting language based on Visual Basic, an SDK, and a plug-in system. One plug-in, a parametric modeling tool called Grasshopper, attracted some architects to the program.[3]

File format[edit]

A robot modeled in Rhino and rendered in Flamingo

The Rhino file format (.3DM) is useful for the exchange of NURBS geometry. The Rhino developers started the openNURBS Initiative to provide computer graphics software developers the tools to accurately transfer 3-D geometry between applications. An open-source toolkit, openNURBS includes the 3DM file format specification, documentation, C++ source code libraries and .NET 2.0 assemblies to read and write the file format, on supported platforms (Windows, Windows x64, Mac, and Linux). The McNeel Wiki has more current information.

Rhinoceros supports the following CAD and image file formats natively (without use of external plugins): DWG/DXF(AutoCAD 200x, 14, 13, and 12 ), SAT (ACIS, export only), Microstation DGN, Direct X (X file format), FBX, X_T (Parasolid, export only), 3DS, LWO, STL, SLC, OBJ, AI, RIB, POV, UDO, VRML, BMP, TGA, CSV (export properties and hydrostatics), uncompressed TIFF, STEP, VDA, GHS, GTS, KML, PLY, Google Sketch-UP. IGES (Alias, Ashlar Vellum, AutoFORM, AutoShip, Breault, CADCEUS, CAMSoft, CATIA, Cosmos, Delcam, EdgeCAM, FastSurf, FastSHIP, Integrity Ware, IronCAD, LUSAS, Maya, MAX 3.0, MasterCAM, ME30, Mechanical Desktop, Microstation, NuGraf, OptiCAD, Pro/E, SDRC I-DEAS, Softimage, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, SUM3D, SURFCAM, TeKSoft, Unigraphics), NASA GridTool, Yamaha ESPRi and Tebis.[4] DWF and DWFx file formats (from Autodesk products) are not supported.

When opening CAD file formats not in Rhino native file format, the program will always create a new drawing called "Untitled" and convert the file, meaning that for the file to remain in its old file format it must be re-converted to its original format. Images cannot be opened directly: they can be inserted as a background bitmap (for sketching), as a wallpaper or used as texture in an object material.

As the AutoDesk AutoCAD's file format changes every new version released (see DWG file format for more information), the Open Design Alliance has to reverse engineer the file format once more. So programs like Rhino3D can't always open AutoCAD files written in the most recent versions.

Rhino3D version 4.0 SR9 opens only DWG/DXF file formats until 2007 version. DWG files from 2008 to 2012 can opened only after being converted to older DWG versions using an appropriate version of Autodesk AutoCAD or the free Autodesk DWG TrueView 2012.

See also[edit]

Wheel rims modeled in Rhino and rendered in Flamingo.


External links[edit]