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Autodesk Connects Revit with Rhino with a Data Exchange Connector

 

Autodesk is happy to announce the release of the McNeel Rhino Connector into Public Beta. The Rhino Connector, which is based on Autodesk Forge, enables you to share geometry and properties with other connected Autodesk and third-party applications. 

— like Revit, Inventor, and Microsoft Power Automate.

Data transfer across Autodesk’s many programs has long been an area of emphasis.  

Many architect’s and industrial designers’ favorite sketching and conceptualizing tool, Rhino3D, now has a cloud-connected path to Revit, most architects’ BIM application. Autodesk created this path, which connects Rhino to Revit or Revit to Rhino.  

According to Autodesk, the two-way data connector for Rhino and Revit has entered public beta. The connector enables architects to take Rhino-created buildings (in part or whole) and flow them into Revit, and vice versa. 

Project managers, VDC managers, and BIM managers can use the connector’s pre-defined process template examples for the Power Automate platform. Autodesk is currently including another connector, the enormously well-liked McNeel Rhino, in the ecosystem of exchange. 

The Rhino connector is a product of Autodesk Platform Services (formerly known as Forge), a developer platform designed to connect vertical programs internally and externally while transferring geometry and data. The most recent Data Exchange item is the Rhino Connector. Additionally, using Microsoft Power Automate, connectors link to Microsoft programs like Excel and Slack. 

Rhino Exchange Connector  

Video Source: Autodesk Building Solutions

Rhino is one of the top conceptual design tools in the AEC sector and can generate complicated façades as well as simple massing models thanks to its Grasshopper generating capacity. The new connector enables users to transfer geometry and property data between Rhino and Revit as well as back and forth. This keeps the project designers in sync and knowledgeable of the most recent modifications to the levels, grids, floors, and (curtain) walls. 

According to Autodesk, data exchange for use by other applications without the Rhino Exchange Connector may result in loss or incomplete translations, forcing time-consuming fixes or third-party plug-ins to capture the full range of the information being shared.  

This new Connector improves workflow synchronization between Rhino and Revit for more fluid design creation and offers a step forward for interoperability and collaborative work. 

Before switching to more general-purpose BIM and CAD technologies for design development and documentation, many architects, and designers first model and analyze 3D solids and surfaces for everything from straightforward massing models to intricate façades.  

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Without the Rhino Connector, sharing data for consumption by other apps may lead to lossy or incomplete translation, necessitating time-consuming workarounds or third-party plug-ins to capture the full breadth of the information being shared. With enhanced workflow synchronization between Rhino and Revit, this new Connector advances interoperability and collaborative work for more efficient design creation. 

How to use the connector? 

Entering the beta program is the first step in using the Rhino and Revit connector. You can choose the geometry you want to send to Revit and establish a “data exchange” after installing the Rhino Connector in Rhino. This data exchange will be published in Autodesk Docs. You can then access the data from Revit or, in the case of a product design, Inventor. 

As the design changes, the exchange may be updated, keeping the users of Revit and Rhino in sync. These data exchange connections create a cloud-based permanent link. 

Rhino.Inside 

The most recent innovation from Autodesk draws on McNeel’s own application connector, “Rhino.Inside,” a set of plug-ins that integrates Rhino into other 64-bit Windows programs. Rhino can run in the same memory area as Revit thanks to a feature called “Rhino.Inside.Revit,” which enables an unheard-of level of integration between the two programs. As a result, using their respective APIs, whatever that Revit builds can be read by Rhino, and vice versa. 

Rhino.Inside.Revit also makes it easier to apply Grasshopper scripts to Revit geometry and read the recipes for each and every object. 

‘Rhino.Inside.Revit is quite different in that it integrates Rhino and Revit live as a user works on their desktop, as opposed to the transactional nature of Autodesk’s Data Exchange Connector’, according to Scott Davidson of McNeel. 

You might consider using this to distribute and store different kinds of files in your Revit construction project. Rhino files along with additional formats required for a significant project. Along with the geometry, parameters are also kept in and transferred using Rhino files. 

Although you need a full license of Rhino on your computer, Rhino.Inside.Revit is free to use. 

Proving Ground Conveyor 

Conveyor, a plug-in developed by Proving Ground, a US software development and consulting firm, allows users to import Rhino objects into Revit as native elements. 

The software integrates/extends ‘Rhino.Inside.Revit’ by adding a Rhino-based user interface (not Grasshopper-based, as Rhino.Inside.Revit comes). 

The workflow shown in Autodesk’s video for Rhino Connector Public Beta appears to be strikingly similar to Conveyor’s workflow. 

The Proving Ground Conveyor comes at $695.  

Autodesk Enhancing Data Exchange  

Autodesk has been striving to enhance data flow between its many programs for a long time. Autodesk created a plug-in for the Forge Data Exchange Connector component especially to assist in enhancing the data exchange between Revit and Inventor (Autodesk’s 3D CAD program for product design and mechanical engineering). 

Grasshopper, another software from Robert McNeel that enables programmatic design generation, is widely used by architects in addition to Rhino. Autodesk has also alluded to the arrival of a comparable connector for that product. 

Users of design software often manage multiple programs, some of which are outside of their area of expertise or are intended for broad use, such as those made by Microsoft. (Autodesk is able to communicate with Microsoft Power Automate.) 

It appears that Autodesk is attempting to create the “one connector to rule them all,” although it is unclear how much it will cost to use. Autodesk might implement a unique token-based mechanism for every transaction. However, it’s now in beta and unpaid. 

It’s also unclear to what extent Autodesk would opt to integrate these tools in order to sustain them and offer them comprehensive feature sets on par with specialized development teams working on commercial products like Proving Ground and McNeel. 

Join the Data Exchange Connectors Public Beta, sign up here

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