Open or Merge Rhino Model

Use these workflows to open or merge a Rhino 3D Model file (.3dm) directly in ARCHICAD

File > Open

File > Interoperability > Merge

A Rhino model imported to ARCHICAD will appear as a non-editable GDL object, maintaining the logical structure/buildup of the original Rhino model. It is placed into ARCHICAD project’s Embedded Library. You have the option to adjust the model segmentation before and/or after import to ARCHICAD, depending on your preferred settings (described below).

Topics in this section:

Import Options for Rhino 3D Model

Rhino Object Parameters in ARCHICAD

Rhino Properties in ARCHICAD

Rhino View Display in ARCHICAD

Import Options for Rhino 3D Model

The Import Options dialog is available when importing a Rhino model in any of the following workflows:

File > Open

File > Interoperability > Merge 

File > External Content > Place Hotlink, from the New Hotlink Module dialog box.


In each workflow, choose the Rhino 3D Model (.3dm) file type, and click Options to open the dialog.

The name of the dialog box varies depending on the command:

Rhino Open Options

Rhino Merge Options

Rhino Import Options (when Hotlinking a Rhino model)

See Hotlink Rhino File and Import Rhino 3DM File as Object for these workflows.

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Segmentation of Curved Geometry

Use the slider to adjust the segmentation of curved surfaces imported from Rhino.


The segmentation slider affects curved geometry only, not planar elements

If you increase segmentation (resulting in a higher number of polygons for smoother surfaces), remember that a high polygon count affects both file size and performance

Baked Curved Geometry

Optionally, check the Bake Curved Geometry box to finalize segmentation before import. As a result:

You will not be able to further adjust segmentation once the model is imported to ARCHICAD

On the other hand, element snapping will be available

In general, navigation is faster in models if this option is checked

Hidden Elements

Use these controls to define how to interpret Rhino’s “hidden” elements.

In Rhino (unlike in ARCHICAD), it is possible to hide an individual element, whether its Layer is visible or not. By default, such hidden elements are NOT imported to ARCHICAD.

To import them, check the Import hidden elements box.


Use these controls to define the Layers onto which to place imported Rhino elements (visible and hidden, if any).


Import Layers to Keep Original Layer Structure (Default)

Each Rhino Layer is recreated as a separate ARCHICAD Layer, named after the Rhino Layer’s folder path: folder_subfolder_layer.

These Layer names automatically get the extension “Rhino”.

Any identical Layer names are differentiated with a number added onto the extension.

You can add an optional Prefix to the Rhino Layers.


Place all elements on an existing Layer

Use the pop-up to choose ARCHICAD project Layers for the visible and for the hidden elements imported with the Rhino model.

Place all elements on a new Layer (Available only when using Open. Not available with Merge.)

Create new Layers in ARCHICAD for the imported visible and hidden elements.


Use these controls to define how to handle Rhino colors, which are handled as Surface attributes in ARCHICAD.

Import Rhino colors as Surfaces

With this option, each imported Rhino color

is recreated as a separate ARCHICAD Surface.

is automatically assigned the name of “Rhino” plus a number

can be assigned an additional, optional Prefix

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Use existing uniform Surface

Use the pop-up to choose a single ARCHICAD Surface to use for all colors imported with the Rhino model.

Rhino Object Parameters in ARCHICAD

Each imported Rhino element becomes a separate ARCHICAD object (.gsm), with a file name prefix of “Rhino”. These are stored in the ARCHICAD Embedded Library, in a separate folder for each imported Rhino File, and a separate sub-folder for each layer.


Use the Rhino Import Object Settings panel of Object Settings to set its appearance.

Note: Object Settings of placed, Rhino-based hotlinks cannot be edited.


Note the following Rhino-specific parameters:


This control is available for objects imported from Rhino, provided that you did not check the Bake Curved Geometry option at import. (See Baked Curved Geometry, above.)

Note: If you placed the selected object in ARCHICAD using the Object tool (instead of importing it from Rhino), Segmentation is not available.

Use the Segmentation pop-up to adjust the smoothness of a selected curved object. Remember that a high polygon count may affect file size and performance.

2D Representation

Show Face Edges: Show them if you want to see the internal surface edges in 2D.

Hotspots on bounding box: Turn this on if you want to see additional hotspots on the object’s bounding box in 2D. This can be useful, for example, for dimensioning an orthogonal object such as a curtain wall.

Rhino Properties in ARCHICAD

Every element imported from Rhino and placed in ARCHICAD is assigned an Element Property Group called Rhino, in the Object Settings Classification and Properties panel.


These properties store the element’s original Layer and original ID in Rhino. (This is true even if you chose to place all Rhino elements onto a single Layer in ARCHICAD.)

Use these properties to find and select Rhino elements by Layer, even after modifying the ARCHICAD Layer structure.


Rhino View Display in ARCHICAD

After Open, the views of the imported Rhino model are now 3D axonometric views listed in ARCHICAD’s View Map. The view’s display mode (a 3D Window Setting) depends on the original display mode in Rhino.

Display Mode of View in Rhino

Display Mode of View in ARCHICAD

Wireframe, Ghosted, X-Ray, Technical


Shaded, Rendered, Artistic, Pen