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Rhino to Revit and Back

Part of the Rhino in Architecture Series

A common workflow is to use Rhino for early design and model exploration. As a project matures, it becomes necessary to export the Rhino models into Revit for further refinement and documentation. There are many ways to pass models and objects between Rhino and Revit. Each of the methods below has its advantages and disadvantages.

Rhino.Inside.Revit, a revolution in the workflow

In 2019 McNeel introduced the technology to run Rhino and Grasshopper inside Revit's memory space. This completely changes the way interoperability between the products works.

For more information on this amazing new process, see:

Rhino 6 and Earlier workflows

Here is an excellent presentation on transferring Rhino information using BIM: "Rhino in your BIM toolkit" at 2018 Shape to Fabrication

The list below goes from the easiest to the most complicated transfer. But , the later processes give the transfer more and more control. The main ways to transfer information are as follows:

  • Rhino > Grasshopper > Dynamo > Revit- Learn how to create parametric relationships in grasshopper. Understand how to take those parametric relationships, and push them into Revit using the add-in hummingbird
  • Read 3DM file in Dynamo, (Mantis Shrimp) demonstrating a possible workflow for using Rhino geometry to create panels in Revit (adaptive components).
  • Rhynamo a more evolved way of passing information from the .3dm file format to .rvt using a great Dynamo package called Rhynamo, developed by Nate Miller at Proving Ground.
  • Cloud based workflows for larger teams and projects:
    • Speckle - realtime project connectivity.
    • Konstru - Konstru synchronizes analysis data and geometry between various modeling programs, while respecting their specific standards.

Enzyme Article by Eugenio Fontan from Enzyme Architecture Office

How do you connect a workflow based in Rhinoceros with a BIM platform? This demand is growing in large architecture firms and multidisciplinary firms from the AEC industry. So what is going on?

Rhino is a powerful tool for designers in different professions including architecture, construction, and the AEC industry. The challenge happens when designers or professionals working in Rhino need to adapt to the BIM requirements of colleagues working within the same company.

BIM is not known for being designer-friendly. But Eugenio Fontan from Enzyme Architecture Office claims that even though BIM is a tool that is not easy to use, it will enhance your design.

Enzyme believes that connecting such a powerful design tool with the most efficient and smart workflow for the industry is crucial to achieving your best design and bringing it to reality.

Read the article on Enzyme...


Using 3D DWG files

Using AutoDesk DWG to transfer geometry from Rhino to Revit and back can be a quick way to transfer a model for reference purposes. The model will show up in Revit as massing, but can be used to cut floors and reference points. A design workflow that keeps some geometry such as shell and core in Rhino for much of the projects can use this method.


Using IFC to transfer BIM objects to Revit

Upgrading Revit's IFC Import and Export

Revit's default IFC reader is not the best IFC reader available for Revit. This may lead to objects within Revit not importing complete family objects. It is recommended to download the upgraded reader for Revit 2017 and Revit 2018. Download the advanced Revit IFC Plugin here

In addition to the upgraded reader, it is recommended to set a IFC import template. Here are instructions to set a proper IFC import template. A decent default is the “Residential-Default.rte” template comes within the Revit library folders.

In Revit there are two ways to work with IFC files. First is to insert the IFC as a link. This will allow the revit objects to reference the links geometry. But the objects are not editable. If the Bind and Ungroup method is used in Revit, the objects withing will not be editable. TO properly edit the objects in the IFC model the IFC should be opened through the Open command. This gives the maximum flexibility in Revit. In many cases the objects will be native families in Revit.

Using Visual ARQ IFC

Visual ARQ is an architectural add-on for Rhino. It includes the ability to create and set BIM objects within Rhino. It also has a robust IFC importer and exporter.

Using Geometry Gym IFC

Geometry Gym provides OpenBIM software tools and support for Architects and Engineers. Primarily these tools target project data exchange. Generative BIM data exchange is provided using a combination of OpenBIM formats (primarily IFC) and direct API interaction to popular software including Revit, Archicad, Digital Project and Tekla. Structural Analysis models can be exchanged with many popular analysis software.

Additional article in Revit IFC

Using Grasshopper to Dynamo

Technically one of the most difficult solutions, this process can be used to create very specific almost native models on both platforms. A god example might be using Grasshopper to determine the location of seats in a space, then using a link through to Dynamo


Additional articles on Rhino to Revit:

rhino/architecture/bim/rhino-to-revit.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/28 by scottd