Rhinoceros Edit + Analyze


This Tutorial reviews some of the more common Editing, Analyzing, Measuring and Transforming Commands for Rhinoceros 3D. Each Command will apply universally to any Geometry within the Rhino Interface- thus, these Commands are typically utilized most often throughout your Modeling Workflow.


Menu Location: COMMAND ONLY

This Command will prove most useful, and most frequently relevant throughout any Modeling Workflow. Calling this command will provide you with detailed information on any selected object properties. Primarily, this Command will indicate whether or not an object is Closed, or Open- extremely useful when preparing files for any Digital Fabrication Post Process!


Menu Location: NONE

Typing ‘SEL’ into the Command Prompt will provide you with multiple selection options. The Auto-Complete will create a drop-down list of all available Selection Commands. There are various methods in which you can SELECT your geometry. Getting to know these options sooner, rather than later, will save you a lot of time.


Menu Location: Edit  > Control Points >

Control Points, are the Points that define your Geometry. This is extremely useful for quick/minor edits to line geometry, but gets more difficult as you transition into 3D Modeling. Turning your POINTSON, allows you to edit the location of your defining Control Points. Line Segments will typically be controlled by their Start and End Points- whereas Curve Geometry will usually have multiple defining points available for editing. You will have trouble navigating around your geometry with Control  POINTSON, so turn them POINTSOFF when you are finished editing.


Menu Location: Edit  > Visibility >

During the Modeling Process, there will be several instances where Geometry complicates completing a separate task. You can select the Geometry, and HIDE it to complete your task. It is recommended, however, that you place the Geometry on a separate Layer, and HIDE it by toggling your Layer Visibility. It is a common mistake to constantly HIDE items- when the moment arises in which you require the Geometry to be visible once more, typing the command SHOW will make ALL hidden Geometry Visible again. You can imagine hiding multiple items, forgetting about them, and then calling the SHOW Command. A surprising ‘mess’ will ensue.


Menu Location: Edit  > Visibility >

You can LOCK selected Geometry with the LOCK Command. The item will remain Visible, and you can still Object Snap to defined points. The Geometry cannot be deleted, or edited until the UNLOCK Command is called. Similar to HIDE/SHOW, it is recommended that Users place their Geometry on a Layer, and Lock it, if they have multiple items requiring this setting.


Menu Location: Edit  > Join/Explode

There are several instances, in which Objects are made up from multiple parts. This could be a Polyline, or a Polysurface- by calling the EXPLODE Command, your Object will separate into each specific part. Polylines become Line Segments, and Polysurfaces become Surfaces. JOINing an Object back together, proves a little more difficult, as all disjointed items must be re-selected beforehand.


Menu Location: Edit  > Trim

Performing a TRIM is exactly what it sounds like. To successfully TRIM any Geometry, however, you require an intersecting object. The TRIM Command requires that you select the Object you would like to TRIM, first; then you select the intersecting object. From this point forward, within the Operation, whichever parts you select with your mouse, will be deleted/removed.


Menu Location: Edit  > Split

SPLITting an object is similar to TRIMming- however, your Object retains any TRIMmings- instead of deleting them. This Command required that you select the intersecting object first; then you select the Geometry to be SPLIT.


Menu Location: Transform > Move

The MOVE Command is helpful when you need an Object MOVEd from specific point to specific point. You can use Distance Values, or (X,Y,Z) Location Values to define Starting Position and End


Menu Location: Transform > Scale > Scale 3D

SCALE an Object by selecting an Origin Point, first. Next, define the Object’s first reference point- preferably, this is a distance, length, or value you already know. Finally, enter the new value into the Command Prompt. This will re-size your Object to the Size you’ve indicated. Origin Point-to-Reference Point #1 = New Value. You can also Scale 1 or 2 Dimensional by using SCALE1D or SCALE2D.


Menu Location: Transform > Copy

The COPY Command allows you to create multiple copies of an Object. Alternately, you can use the MOVE Command, and set the ‘COPY’ option to ‘YES’ within your Command Prompt. Think of the COPY Command, as a MOVE Command- only you are now creating duplicates.


Menu Location: Transform > Mirror

MIRROR Objects by selecting the Geometry, first. Second, indicate a Center Line, this is called your ‘Mirror Plane’, and by default defined by (2) points. You also have the option of creating copies, by activating the ‘Copy’ Option within the MIRROR Command Prompt.


Menu Location: Transform > Rotate

ROTATE an Object by selecting the item, first. Second, indicate an Origin Point, this is called your ‘Center of Rotation’. Next, indicate your first ‘Angle Reference Point’- your object will ROTATE about the ‘Center of Rotation’, dynamically, or by a defined angle value input into the Command Prompt. You also have the option of creating copies, by activating the ‘Copy’ Option within the Command Prompt.


Menu Location: Analyze > Length

The LENGTH Command is great for Line Geometry. Simply select the Geometry, and use the LENGTH Command. The LENGTH of the Line can be referenced in the Command Prompt’s History at the top of your screen.


Menu Location: Analyze > Dimension

Use the DISTANCE Command to get DISTANCE Values between two points. The DISTANCE Value can be referenced in the Command Prompt’s History at the top of your screen.


Menu Location: Dimension > Linear Dimension

There are various DIMENSION Commands- however, specifically using the DIMENSION Command will allow you to create a LINEAR DIMENSION. This is more commonly used when providing reference to outside project members- but useful for ‘quick’ measurements on an as needed basis.


Menu Location: Dimension > Text Block

Using the TEXT Command, will allow you to insert TEXT Objects into your Layout. You may choose the Font, and Font Style- and you can re-edit the TEXT by double-clicking the Text Object after creation. By default, the TEXT will appear with a Fill- meaning, the object is filled with a solid color (dependent on the Layer on which the Object was created). You can eliminate this fill, by using the EXPLODE Command. However, re-joining the object won’t re-fill the TEXT. See HATCH (next paragraph) for information on how to re-fill a Closed Object.


Menu Location: Dimension > Hatch

The HATCH Command, will create a pop-up prompt, for you to select what type of fill, a Closed Object should receive. Note, that the object must be completely closed, before performing a HATCH. Typically, HATCHing is a Computer Aided Drafting Command, used to distinguish between different materials or processes for a Project. However, the command is also utilized for various Digital Fabrication Processes, such as Laser Engraving.