Updated 10 Aug 2003

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Rhino Set Up

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Rhino Options button

1.   It is important to set up Rhino so it works in appropriate units and that the grid and snap settings are useful. Click on the ‘Options’ button to access many of the Rhino program options and Document settings.

2.   The Options available here affect the whole Rhinoceros program. You can adjust these to suit your own taste, but the Nudge steps in units section needs a bit of explanation. I will be using a British aircraft prototype, so will be using feet as my units of measurement. The nudge keys allow me to move selected items by these set distances. Nudge key alone is set to 1.0, or 1 foot. 0.08333 is 1/12, so by pressing the Ctrl + Nudge key, my selection will move 1 inch.  0.02075 is 1/48, so when I press Shift + Nudge key, the item will move 1/4 of 1 inch.

Of course, if your subject was made to metric dimensions, these settings could be 1, 0.01 and 0.001 for meters, centimeters and millimeters.

Rhino Options dialog box

3. Now we need to set the units and the settings for our grid. These are specific to the model we are working on, and we access these by clicking on the Document Properties... button, bottom left corner of the Options dialog; see the picture above!

Rhino Document properties dialog box,  setting units.

4. Click on the Units tab and select Feet from the drop-down list. Now when we save the file, and export data such as dxf meshes, the base unit will be 1 foot. This is important if other programs are going to scale our exported data correctly. The other settings can be set as you wish, but if you are going to use any of our tutorials, these settings will mean our data will look the same ‘on-screen’.

5. Then click on the Grid tab. This dialog will enable us to set up the size and pitch of grids within each view, and how the Snap to Grid function works. The settings shown here are very similar to the Nudge settings we set earlier, for the same reasons!

6. The Grid spacing is set to 1, that is 1 Foot; the unit of measurement we selected. When switched to visible, this grid appears in our modelling views. Major lines are slightly heavier lines and help to count the grid lines; just like graph paper! I have set mine to every 5 feet, but you could use whatever suits you.

Rhino Document properties dialog box,  setting grid details.

7. Perhaps you recognise the setting in the Snap spacing box. Yes, that’s 1 inch again! This means when the ‘Snap to Grid’ function is on, the cursor will jump in steps of 1/12th of a foot (1 inch). This can be a great help when plotting out shapes for which you have dimensions. The Grid extents setting just sets how far the grid will be drawn from the origin point, 0,0,0. 100 feet will give a grid that goes from -100 to +100 in x, and -100 to +100 in y, and the same in z. Once happy with your settings, ‘Save as Template’ under the File menu will mean you can load the settings for any future project.