Rhino in Education

a place to shine a light on the work of students and teachers

I'm doing workshops and seminars for children( startin age 10) at schools and other educational institutes in Germany. These courses are all about 3D printing because i think it is a great way to get children involved into STEM (in Germany it's called MINT), to use the means they are already using (tablets, laptops, toys) and, especially because of the printing, to get from digital back to analogue; to hold an object in your hands.

But what I really need is a cad program which is easy to use, easy access able, not expensive, short learning curve.

I'm trying Sketchup, 123D Design, Freecad and some "in the cloud" stuff but they're all unsatisfying.

Because I'm a rhino trainer and long rhino user and enthusiastic i would like to use rhino or similar. The functionality is great, the GUI is very clear and functional and the educational license is feasible.

But what i would like to have is a rhino GUI stripped to the bone and with the bare necessities to get into it. There is MOI which is a very good attempt to get things down to the basics but i would like to use Rhino because it's the thing I know best and I don't want to waist time getting to know another program when I have everything at home, also MOI is a bit more expensive.

Does anybody have experience in "undressing" Rhino?

I'm curiuos

Marc Kohlen

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So, what would your 'stripped GUI' consist of ?  What are the basics?

Hello Bob

Thanks for your interest in this matter.
I'm a long and enthusiastic use of Rhino and I'm trying to get children involved into 3D Drawing, 3D Printing, Rapid Prototyping, Additive Manufacturing. It is of most importance that the threshold to get into these themes is as low as possible. Criteria are low learning curve, availability, price, language, adaptability, ease of use, etc.. When you start using Rhino you start at a certain level, the level given by Rhino, that's the threshold. While learning it you change the Software according to your needs and gained knowledge; you take it to a higher level. It would benefit Rhino and it's users if it would be "Downgradable" or "Stripped". In that case the threshold to get into Rhino would be lower and easier for children.
 Rhino has everything under the hood to fit in children's education but, like other CAD Programs, there is too much functionality when you are just starting to learn the program so it would be a good idea that the GUI could be evolving related tot he learning curve; functions should only be there and visible until you’re experienced enough to use them.

So the basics would be:

  • An adaptable GUI where the “Admin” can change it according to the needs.
  • This means altering of Menubar, Toolbars, Buttons and Panels.
  • Making the not-used commands inactive when mistakenly used.
  • Make the command bar readable but not editable.
  • Put the panels and buttons in a logic order which follows the chronology of the process of 3D drawing and 3D printing.
  • Give  more importance  to the Gum ball. The process of Dragging, Rotating and Scaling with the Gum ball is a very intuitive and natural way to shape. That should be easier and more emphasized. There are several examples where it functions very good or bad (sketchup, MOI, Spaceclaim)
  • Make selecting easier, just by hoovering over it selecting Points, Edges, Surfaces/Faces and Solids. In combination with the Gum Ball you will have a very powerfull tool.
  • Considering that children will have more contact and be more involved into 3D printing the Software should have that in mind while working on the GUI and functionality.
  • Have as much space on the screen as possible.


And as to start with on how I would shape a Rhino for Children I've put in a Mind Map as PDF and also a Mind Map which can be opened with free ware like FreeMind.


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