RHINO

Looking for something specific? Use Ctrl+F to search for a term. If not, take a look at the resources compiled here and at the links to other resources at the bottom of the page. Can't find what you need? Email our Rhino Experts at beehivetutor.rhino@gmail.com.

 

Interface

orbit = right click
pan = shift + right click

4View:
Welcome to the 4View: plan (top), perspective, & elevations (right & front) all at once. Each has a different "construction plane" (like a reference plane in Revit) where it draws. To understand: start typing "rectangle" until it autofills into the command line then hit enter or the spacebar. Click in the top view to place the first point and move the mouse - it'll make a rectangle. Look at the perspective view to see how it draws. Without clicking a second time, move down to the front view and right view - see how it draws the perspective. These are construction planes.
To maximize any of the viewports, double-click on its title. To change it, right click the title and go down to Set View and pick what you want. This is also where you pick wireframe, shaded, rendered, and other display options.

ToolPalette:
The Tool Palette has buttons for almost all the commands available in Rhino. Click on the little black arrow or click and hold to see the expanded list of options. Hover over any of them to see the name for it (what to type into the command line in the future) and that'll usually be a good indicator of what it does.

Commands

In Windows Rhino, the command line lives up in the top but you can drag it down to be more centered on your viewport. As you type, it'll fill in the closest one and a list will drop down of commands that contain the letters typed. You don't need to know shortcuts, and the names are usually what they should be - rectangle for rectangle, split for split, etc. When in doubt, start typing away: Rhino will help you out. Once you enter a command, it will instruct you what to do. Each has different options and they will appear below the command line as you use the tool. Click to activate them or type the underlined letter and enter to select it.

Helpful Commands List:
SEL+: commands select things.
SelAll: selects everything
SelCrv: selects all the curves
SelLast: selects the last objects edited
SelSrf: selects the surfaces
***there are infinite different ones, so if you just type "Sel" in the command line, all the options will pop up***
SelOpenCrv / SelClosedCrv: will select only open or closed curves
Invert: selects the opposite of what is currently selected
Zoom: sometimes Rhino's camera doesn't work how you want it to. If it won't zoom in, it's probably rotating around the wrong place. Use the Zoom command to fix this. The most useful Zoom is to Ctrl+A to select the entire file, then type "ZS" for Zoom Selected.

Gumball:
The gumball allows easy movement in the X, Y, and Z directions and rotation. To use it, type "Gumball" then click On.
Drag the arrows or click on them to type in amount by which to move the object. Drag or click on the arcs to rotate. Use the square to scale. Tap ALT to copy and object as you move it.

Geometry

Rhino has basically 3 types of geometries: curves (shortened to Crv), surfaces (Srf), and polysurfaces (made up of multiple surfaces - PolySrf)

Crv
Curves include lines, polylines, circles, and rectangles. They lack surface and volume. Curves can be edited by Control Points - to see these, select the curve and run the "PointsOn" or "POn" command. Edit points as desired (easily done with Gumball), then hit escape until they go away. The curve becomes uneditable when its control points are off.
Curves can be open or closed - to see if it's closed, select it and run "What" - a box will pop up with lots of info. Look under geometry. It should say "Valid Curve" and under that whether it's open or closed. To close an open curve, run "CloseCrv". To join 2 open curves, type "Join" - this works for surfaces too.
Curve editing is very similar to AutoCAD, with commands like "Trim", "Explode", and "Offset".

Srf
Surfaces are flat - they have no thickness. It can be a plane or a complex blobby shape or anything in between. To make a surface blended of multiple profile curves use "Loft" or "Plane" to make a simple flat plane. Use "SrfPt" to make a srf of up to 4 corner points. Srf are also edited with Control Points, use "POn" to make them editable also. Multiple surfaces can be "Join"ed to create a polysurface...

Polysrf
Made up of 2 or more separate surfaces welded together along their edges. Can be open or closed. 
Open: just made up of multiple surfaces, not sealed, wouldn't be watertight, can't 3D print.
Closed: solid, contains volume, holds water, able to be 3D printed
To find out if your polysurface is open or closed, type "What" > Geometry > either "Polysurface with _ surfaces" or "Closed solid polysurface with _ surf". If it's open, try "Cap" to close it; if that doesn't work, create a surface over the open part(s) and join it all together.
With solids, add and subtract using Booleans. "BooleanUnion" will add 2 together, "BooleanDifference" will subtract one from the other, "BooleanIntersect" will find the overlap between them.
Extruding: to create a solid from a curve, "ExtrudeCrv" and be sure to select the "Solid" option. You can choose the extrusion direction, enter a direction, tons of options. "Extruders" is another tool that can extrude existing surfaces into solids.
If you want to extract curves from the faces of a srf or polysrf use "DupFaceBorder". To duplicate an edge, use "DupEdge".