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Importing and Scaling Reference Drawings in Rhino

We've all been there.... Your client gives you a PDF drawing to work off, and now you need to redraw the floor plan from the beginning. To make matters worse - there are hardly any dimensions. You ask, where is the original CAD file? There is no CAD file! But it has clearly been made on CAD. Do you think to yourself, should I pull out my scale rule? What if the floor plan isn't even at the correct scale? I'm already spending more time on this than I should...

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could take a PDF floor plan and convert it precisely to scale at the click of a button. Well you can, and we have the solution!

Read on how to import reference drawings into Rhino and resize them accurately to convert it to the correct scale. Once this is done, you can confidently measure, redraw and even build a 3D model from it in no time!

Next time you finish your design project earlier than expected make sure you invest your free time to learn some more advanced skills to design super fast and efficiently!

Quick Guide

  1. Click right mouse button on the top viewport title > Background Bitmap > Place
  2. Choose your background file
  3. Arbitrarily choose two points in Top View to place the Image – The image is to be scaled directly after it is placed.
  4. You will notice in the command line that the background image command is still active. Click the 'Scale' option.
  5. Choose two points as a reference (scale bar is ideal if you have one)
  6. Type in the actual dimension> Press Enter.
  7. Test the scale by typing 'Distance' and measuring various known measurements of the drawing.

Step 1 Place Background Bitmap

Click right mouse button on the top viewport title > Background Bitmap > Place

Step 2 Choose your Background File

Save your PDF to an image file or take a screenshot

Step 3 Place the Image

Arbitrarily choose two points in Top View to place the Image – The image is to be scaled directly after it is placed.

Step 4 Scale the Image

You will notice in the command line that the background image command is still active. Click the 'Scale' option.

Step 5 Choose two points as a reference

Choose two points as a reference (scale bar is ideal if you have one)

Step 6 & 7 Type in the actual dimension

Type in the actual dimension. Press Enter. Test the scale by typing 'Distance' and measuring various known measurements of the drawing.

You have now imported your reference drawing into Rhino, and scaled them to the right size to continue working from in future.

If you have more than one image you need to import, try using Picture Frames. This will allow you to place multiple scaled images in the same view.

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Posted on 13 Mar 2019



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