Rhino to Revit

Rhino to Revit

If you’re not familiar, Rhino 3D is a free-form surface modeler which uses the NURBS mathematical model to generate geometry. This makes Rhino one of the leading CAD tools for conceptual design in the AEC space as it provides an intuitive interface for creating geometry quickly and easily.

Rhino to Revit

Rhino also includes a visual scripting application, Grasshopper, which is similar to Dynamo for Revit. Grasshopper grants Rhino users the ability to leverage automation techniques without software development experience.

Although Rhino is popular amongst architectural designers for conceptual design, the leading authoring tool for construction documents is still Autodesk Revit.

In this post we will cover how to bridge these two tools to help you get your models from Rhino to Revit.

Interoperability: Rhino to Revit

Many design firms juggle multiple design authoring tools as part of their daily workflows, but the question always remains, “how do I get these different tools to talk to each other?” In other words, what is the best way to get a model from Rhino to Revit?

Rhino to Revit

The good news is, these applications are compatible to some extent and there are two main ways to port your models from Rhino to Revit.

Method 1: Import the Rhino Model to a Revit Family

The most common technique to import Rhino to Revit is to import the .SAT Rhino file directly into a Revit family of the “Mass” model category. Once imported into the family, the family can then be loaded into a Revit project as usual.

Conversely, you also go from Revit to Rhino with a similar export/import process.

This process is fairly straightforward, but if you are looking for a solid step-by-step guide is available from BIMtopia, Transferring Models – Rhino to Revit to Rhino.

Method 2: From Rhino to Revit Using Rhino.Inside.Revit

One of the latest work in progress (WIP) projects for Rhino is the Rhino.Inside initiative which allows users to run Rhino and Grasshopper “within” other applications. This means unprecedented free-form modeling tools are now available in Autodesk’s leading CAD and BIM applications. In addition to the new tools exposed to Revit, this new approach to interoperability also means a more simplified Rhino to Revit workflow.

For more information about this progressive initiative and a full how-to guide on how to implement, check out Rhino.Inside.Revit.

Rhino to Revit or Rhino.Inside.Revit?

Either of the two methods above will help with getting 3D models from Rhino to Revit, but which path should you take?

Put simply, if you need a quick way of getting geometry from Rhino to Revit or perhaps you only just need to do this once, simply import it into a family (method #1). If you are looking for true interoperability between the multiple authoring tools, you most definitely want to go with Rhino.Inside.Revit (method #2).

Although it is a bit more upfront setup,  Rhino.Inside.Revit enables entirely new possibilities for Rhino to Revit workflows. So if Rhino and Revit are integral pieces in your tech stack, try out this new way of connecting Rhino to Revit.

Revit Add-Ins Are Where It’s At

Like Rhino to Revit, UNIFI also helps users save hundreds of hours annually by maximizing efficiency in Revit. Visit us here to learn more.

DTS Invite: August 26 and October 21 at 11 am PDT

We’re thrilled to be gold sponsors at DBEI’s virtual DTS event this year! 

Join us on August 26 and October 21 at 11 am PDT for two discussions you can’t afford to miss. You can check out the full details here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Autodesk Transitions to Named User Licenses

In May 2020, a new Autodesk license structure was introduced which assigns licenses using Autodesk usernames rather than serial numbers. These “named user plans” began rolling out May 7th, but current customers had their existing multi-user subscriptions retired just recently on August 7, 2020.

What is a “named user plan” and how is that different?

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Depending on how your IT department handles software installations, you most likely have lived through the pain of dealing with serial numbers and product keys when installing Autodesk software. With named user plans, these serial numbers are no longer required, as you only need to login to your Autodesk account to gain access to all of the software that your organization has purchased for your use. This alone is an improved user experience for both end users and administrators, as it simplifies the onboarding process for new staff and the management of licenses for existing staff.

The improvement over managing serial numbers is just one benefit of enabling this new license structure, so what else can Autodesk customers expect as a result of the Autodesk license transition?

Usage Data is Gold

Whether you’re in architecture, engineering, construction, you need to ensure your team is running as efficiently as possible and this new license structure may actually help. Now that each license is assigned to an individual team member, usage data can be tied to a person on your team, enabling more granular usage data insights. At UNIFI, we also transitioned from a network or “open” license model to an active user model, which increased simplicity and allowed our customers to increase their ability to effectively plan for their team’s growth.

Administrators will have the ability to understand exactly how their team members are using Autodesk software, which can result in cost savings. For example, the new named user plan enables visibility of an individual user’s activities within a Revit model. These insights can reveal if you have team members who are using a license for the full version of Revit (which can cost over $2,000 per year) when they can actually do their job just as effectively with the free Revit viewer.

Autodesk Licenses

Additionally, customers have reported that simply having visibility of what version of software is installed on what machine is a big win to ensure their team is always using the latest and greatest release.

Future State of Autodesk Licenses?

If you’ve already read through the article for the new named license structure, you may have seen noticed a fascinating statement made by Autodesk:

“This is just the start of a more relevant user experience including collaboration, tailored learning content and insights.”

Undoubtedly, the concept of “tailored learning content” is intriguing. Will Autodesk roll out a mechanism which addresses each specific user’s needs for technical training? It is definitely a possibility!  

Cost Associated with Autodesk License Structure Change

Autodesk Named User Licenses.

As one would imagine, a change in the Autodesk license structure means a change in cost to the customer, for better or for worse. For anyone transitioning to named user plans, Autodesk advertises a trade-in offer which is, “similar to your current rate.” Through this program, customers can trade in each seat for two subscriptions for two users. In other. words, if you have 20 seats, you can trade them in for 40 subscriptions for 40 users.

For more information on license costs and the trade-in program, check out Autodesk’s named user article.


It’s no secret that Autodesk customers expressed disappointment a few years ago when the transition to subscription licensing was first announced. The new named Autodesk license structure is sure to rebuild some goodwill. For information about named user plans, check out the list of frequently asked questions by Autodesk.

At UNIFI, we’re thrilled to see this offering by Autodesk as journeying with our customers, optimizing efficiency, and maximizing your Autodesk investment is what we’re all about. To learn more about how we achieve this, please click here.

Have you transitioned to the named user licenses? What has your experience been like? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

September 9 @ 11 am PDT: 15 Min to BIM Invite

Webinar Invite!

You’re invited to join our 15 Minutes to BIM webinar, “Upgrading Revit Content (Made Easy).”

August 26 @ 11 am PDT: Webinar Invite

Webinar Invite

You’re invited to join our upcoming webinar, “Revit FAQs: Answered”.

August 12 @ 11 am PDT: 15 Min to BIM Invite

Webinar Invite!

You’re invited to join our 15 Minutes to BIM webinar, “Ultimate Guide to Revit Families.”