Summary: How to build and debug RhinoCommon plug-ins for Rhino with the free express editions of Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop
Microsoft now provides free trimmed down versions of their developer products called Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop that support both C# and VB.NET.
Note: Make sure you download the … for Windows Desktop and not the … for Windows edition.
This product can be used to develop .NET plug-ins for Rhino. Here are some helpful steps to get you started:
Download and install Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop
Choosing between VB.NET and C# is really a matter of syntax preference. Both programming languages should be able to build the same quality of plug-ins. It just depends on the language that you feel more comfortable with. The installer downloads and installs everything you'll need to develop Rhino plug-ins.
Install the RhinoCommon plug-in project and command templates from the Visual Studio Gallery
Create a Rhino plug-in project
Compiling and debugging the plug-in
I like to have the output window showing when I compile my projects. This way I can see what is going on. To show this window, click on Debug… Windows … Output.
The RhinoCommon template has set things up so when you compile the solution a .rhp file is compiled in the bin subdirectory of the project directory.
From the Debug menu selecting Start Debugging (F5) will launch Rhino.
If it's the first time you launch Rhino from your plug-in project you'll first need to install it:
If you want to step into the code you can add break-points in your code before you run the command.
To add a new command to your plug-in: