Modeling a simple house Part 1

In this tutorial I will go through modeling this simple house in Rhinoceros without using any plugins like VisualARQ. In this first part we will model the base shape of the house from Autocad plans.


Before we even start modeling we need Autocad plans of a house. I’ve taken dwg files and saved it as 3dm (native Rhino file format).  You can download it here:



If you like, or if you get stuck with some step, you can download each step individually here:

step 1

step 1

step 1

step 2

step 1

step 3

step 1

step 4

step 1

step 5

step 1

step 6

step 1



Ok, in this first step we will be setting up our plans in 3D space. Actually we will align each view plan to our viewport in Rhino. But first, we need to group all the lines from each view and put them in a separate layer. Just so we don’t get big pile of curves in one layer, that way we wouldn’t be able to control anything. Organizing in layers is always a great idea because we can easily hide whole layer or lock it.

Ok, so lets start. First create a new layer named Plans and move all other layouts (except Default) inside Plans layers.


You should have your layers setup like this

Now we need separate layers for our views. We need 4 side views and one top. So go on and create new layers (top, front, left, right, back).You should have something like on the image 2.

image 2

image 2

Next thing to do is to group each view and put the lines in its layers accordingly.


image 3

image 4

image 4

We need to orient our blueprints so they fit in every viewport in Rhino, right now they are all oriented the same way visible in Top view. We will be using command to do this, so we don’t have to rotate, Rhino can do that for us. So, lets start with Front view. To do so, click on the Front group of curves (or layer) from Top viewport and run RemapCPlane and click anywhere inside front viewport. You should get the same situation like on image 5 below.

image 5

image 5

Using tool and with help of Osnap (End option would be enough, but just to be sure you can check Intersection too. Near could be a little confusing) we will position our front layer in right place according to our top layer (check image 6).

image 6

image 6

We will do this same step for all other views, so we get a “house” made of plans. Sort of. Note: when using for other views (groups of curves) make sure you use the right viewport and cplane. For example, if you want to remap back layer you will have to select it, run the RemapCPlane and click anywhere on Back viewport. Since Back (or left) viewport is not active by default, you can click on any of 4 viewport names with right mouse button, then Set View, and there you can choose which viewport to use. Just remember, For back group of curves you need back viewport, for right group of curves you need right viewport, and the same applies for left, front and even top.

I don’t think this should be very hard to setup, and once you do, you will have something like on the image 7 below.

And note the orientation of the letters above groups. That should give you pretty good idea of how well you did to recreate this.

image 7

image 7

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13 Responses to “Modeling a simple house Part 1”

  1. dhymax says:

    This is a great little tutorial and is much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Marco Varela says:

    where is the part 2?

  3. Ivan says:

    part 2 is still not online. I hope to write it soon.

  4. […] windows, doors, and balconies creation. If you are new to this tutorial, you should start from the Part 1 first and then continue with this […]

  5. Frantz says:

    I’m really enjoying modeling this house but I don’t understand the steps between image 21 & 22. I’m stuck there. Feel like something is missing.
    *I paste from the clipboard the second roof surface and trimed the wall polysurfaces. What do I join? I asume you are refering to the wall and roof surface I just paste. What about the previous roof surface and trimed roof slab I joined? In my drawing now I have two roof surfaces, one joined to the wall polysurfaces and the other to the trimed roof slab. My model does not look like yours in image 22. Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Thank You.

  6. Ivan says:

    ok, what you need to have is two objects. one object that is representing the walls of your first floor, and the second is box on top of that walls object.
    By copying the roof surface, you will end up with two exact surfaces. So, just copy it, (don’t paste yet) and trim with it the upper box. Then, after trimming join and hide that box. Next, paste your surface, and trim that surface and walls object. Join that too.
    That is all.

  7. Frantz says:

    Thanks for your response Ivan, I’m going to give it another go when I get home. Really excited about this, I’m enjoying 3D modeling. Oh just have one quick question. Most of the modeling I’m going to be doing would be architectural related. What addon to Rhino would you recomemed for this? I know there are a couple available but before I purchase anything I thought I would ask you first before making any decisions. Thanks again for your assistance, its much appriciated. Ciao

  8. Ivan says:

    You can speed up your arch modeling process with VisualARQ, but when it comes to architectural visualisations, I guess modeling shouldn’t be a problem, it is pretty easy, but rendering is a part you should work on more.

  9. Giovanni says:

    Hi. Great great work, very well explained and illustrated. I did all of this first part and now will approach second part, with Rhino evaluation. Really really great and clean workflow! Bye, hope to meet you somewhere!

  10. smith says:

    Hi, i am unable to download the plan 3dm file. When I click on it, it opens a text file? Am i doing something wrong?

  11. Ivan says:

    Hi, you need to right click and choose Save As…

  12. Nirav says:

    Excellent job, something worthwhile in Rhino for architects

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