Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Export Rhino files, part of Rhino: Tips, Tricks & Techniques.
- [Instructor] We now focus on sharing our Rhino files by exporting them into other software formats besides the .3dm. Fortunately, Rhino is excellent with both importing and exporting many types of 3D files. But for now, we're going to just focus on two file formats. Before I discuss which ones those are, let's talk about what is NURBS and what is not NURBS. Over here on the right I have exported or converted the housing into a mesh or polygon.
So that does not qualify as NURBS. We want to send out a file that is NURBS based like the rest of the geometry. That means people can continue editing and modifying it. So this would not be very useful unless you're prototyping and are completely done. OK, by far my favorite version of NURBS to export is .step, known as the STEP format. The beautiful part about this format is Rhino treats it as if it was created inside of Rhino.
That means everything is editable, and you still have all of your layers, so it is quite nice. As a distant second choice, I use IGES file formats and only if I absolutely have to, because the person receiving or sending can't handle .step files. Why is that? Well, with IGES files, we do get NURB surfaces but they are completely detached. You may have hundreds or even thousands of little individual pieces, which is a lot of trouble to reconnect and join if you want to do anything with the file.
So by all means, try to stick with STEP, even if it includes a little bit of education on the recipient. This has happened from time to time, where I have told people, "Listen, this is a pretty fairly common format. You may have not used it before, so just try to open it. It'll save you a ton of time." The way we access either of those is on the file menu. So go file, save as, and then under this type pull down, we have access to all the formats I mentioned earlier.
There is the STEP. We have IGES up above. But I would focus your attention on the STEP file if at all possible. You do have the options to save small, which is kind of nice to save file size by getting rid of that screen display. But that's it. The whole file is saved out in one quick step. Now, we do have some other options here. And I've typically, unless I've been told differently, just go with whatever the default is here. So I just will accept that, and it's done.
It is telling me that the polygon mesh and annotation objects, which is typically the text, is not exported, that's totally cool. So just hit OK and proceed. So that step file I just created should be not only openable, but editable in just about any 3D software package. So Rhino has one of the best import and export converters of any 3D software. So yes, you can export to a few dozen formats but I would stick with the NURBS format STEP file if the recipient wants to continue editing your file.
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Skill Level Intermediate
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