Apr 14, 2011

RhinoWorks from LEDAS Revolutionizes Direct Modeling

New plug-in gives Rhino users parametric control over their 3D models.

Novosibirsk, Russia – LEDAS, Ltd. today released RhinoWorks, their latest plug-in for Rhinoceros 3D, bringing constraint-based parametric design to the popular freeform modeling tool from Robert McNeel and Associates. Rhino is used extensively by designers of architecture, furniture, consumer goods, yachts, and jewelry. Now all of them can benefit from the new plug-in.

Based on the original technology developed by LEDAS and smoothly integrated in the Rhino environment, RhinoWorks allows designers to edit many kinds of solid, surface, and wireframe models parametrically. It gives them full control over design intent through the application of geometric and dimensional constraints, which significantly increases the productivity when designs change.

RhinoWorks unifies two previous LEDAS’ plug-ins for Rhino, RhinoAssembly and RhinoDirect, in one product. It is fully compatible with any model created by the two former plug-ins.


Adding constraints with RhinoWorks is like declaring, “these two faces should be parallel” and “the distance between these edges should equal 100mm.” Constraints are added easily to all existing models, including those imported to Rhino from other CAD systems. Once added, constraints are immediately solved, forcing changes to geometric shapes and body positions. Constraints added by designers are solved simultaneously, even in the case of constraint “loops” (such as three distances between three points). Constraints are stored in Rhino’s native .3dm files, and so can be used for further parametric modification of the same model.

For easy navigation through constraints, RhinoWorks includes RhinoWorks Manager, a special user interface that lets users switch constraints on and off individually, and change the value of their parameters.

Designers are not forced to add all constraints manually. RhinoWorks recognizes many geometric relationships automatically (such as coincidence, tangency, parallelism, concentricity, and equal radii). This means that designers merely need add a few dimensional constraints to have full control over the design intent for their models; the rest are added automatically. An Options dialog box allows users to specify specific modes in automatic recognition of constraints.

RhinoWorks also works in an “assembly mode” to prevent changes to geometric shapes. In this mode, the plug-in is limited to moving and rotating rigid parts sufficiently to satisfy constraints. Assembly mode is useful for simulating assembly processes and checking the kinematics of mechanisms.

The animation function of the RhinoWorks plug-in allows users to produce high-quality videos through the built-in or plug-in renderer. The movies are useful for demonstrating the motions of mechanisms, and for observing the changes of shapes and dimensions in realtime.

Availability and Price

Commercial single-user licenses of RhinoWorks are US$595 (EUR 595 in Europe) each, and can be purchased from the Share-it! online store at www.DrivingDimensions.com/store/Rhino. The plug-in is also available from authorized resellers; see the complete list at www.DrivingDimensions.com/resellers.

With this release of RhinoWorks, LEDAS stops sales of RhinoAssembly and the beta test program for RhinoDirect. Users of RhinoAssembly v1.0 and v1.1 can upgrade their licenses to RhinoWorks for just US$95 (EUR 95), which works out to less than the half of the difference in price for the products. With this low upgrade price, LEDAS thanks the first users of its plug-ins for Rhino.

A 30-day evaluation version of RhinoWorks plug-in can be downloaded at no cost from www.DrivingDimensions.com/download, where visitors also can watch video tutorials, read online help, and ask questions of LEDAS developers and users through the online forum. The Web site was recently redesigned to simplify the navigation, guaranteeing access to any information with just a couple of clicks.

With RhinoWorks, LEDAS extends its Driving Dimensions product portfolio, a collection of plug-ins that adds constraint-based parametric designing to popular 3D modeling software, like Rhinoceros from Robert McNeel and Associates, and SketchUp from Google.

Driving Dimensions software is based on Variational Direct Modeling, a powerful technology invented by LEDAS for easily modifying 3D solid, surface, and wireframe models parametrically in history-free environments, complete with automatic recognition of design intent. VDM combines direct modeling with a constraint-based approach, placing direct modeling systems at the level of parametric (a.k.a. history-based) ones - yet retains for end users the simplicity of direct modeling operations.

The core of VDM technology is the LGS 3D constraint solver. Already integrated into a dozen commercial CAD/CAM packages, it is available for licensing to all developers of engineering software.