Modeling a simple house Part 1


In this step we will start modeling. So, before we even start outlining our plans we should hide all view layers except top (front,left,right and back). This way we easily make our workplace a lot clutterless. One more helpful thing would be to have Osnap enabled, and have End option set (you could use Int as well). Then you might want to create new layer called “walls” and set it to active by clicking in the Layers window left from light bulb. If you want, you can change the color of our layer to, say, red.

So, lets make a closed line with command.

image 8

image 8

That closed curve (or rather polyline) needs to be offset by 2.5cm (the thickness of the wall needs to be 25cm actually, but since these plans came in like this, we can scale the whole house once we finish it).

image 9

image 9

Next we need to trace the wall lines. Again, using polyline and a little help from Osnap options (end option is great here, you might want to disable Smart Track – it is annoying sometimes when you don’t need it)


image 10

Next thing will be to trim the lines and join them together so we can extrude the walls. So, lets first hide the top layer. Select all lines and initiate command. the excess lines marked on the image 11 below:


image 11

After you trim 5 lines, join them. After that using command extrude the lines (make sure options in command line are set to BothSides=No Cap=Yes – make your “left” layer visible because we need the height of extrusion)


image 12

Ok, now we need a base for our first floor. So, again using PolyLine command we will make an outline for our surface. Be careful at two balconies we got on the side where main entrance is, and on the opposite side of  that. See images below (you can unhide all view layers except back, we don’t need it much at this stage, so having “left” unhidden already, unhide “right” and “front”):

{in case you didn’t get this step, follow this link to get the step-by-step instructions}

image 14

image 14

Once you have that line, go ahead and using ExtrudeCrv extrude it. For reference of extrusion height use left view and Osnap:


image 15

Now we need plans for a first floor so we can make walls and extrude that too.

So, lets go and unhide “Plans” layer. Where it says “KAT” select those lines and group them. Create new layer named “1st floor” and put those lines into that layer (if you still don’t know how, just while you have the group selected right click the mouse on the layer and select “Change object layer”)

image 16

image 16

Now we need to position those plans on our model. Just find two reference points from and to which you will be moving this group. Like on the image 17.

image 17

image 17

all layers except “1st floor” and lock it (don’t hide “walls” layer either and keep it active). You can hide everything else from the “walls” layer, but not the layer itself. Now, again, pretty same method as when extruding walls from ground floor. Make a outer trace, and offset it by 2.5cm and then using PolyLine make inner walls, trim what you don’t need and those lines. After that just extrude them using ExtrudeCrv. For extrusion height we will input 26cm. It is the same height as for the ground floor.

image 18

image 18

Create one more closed polyline following the outer edges of the walls we just created. Or, simply use the one we used for extruding these walls, and move it up by 26cm. Your choice actually. I moved it (Image 19)

image 19 - move curve

image 19 – move curve

Now, extrude this line (with Cap=Yes and BothSided=No) by 2.0cm (the same height as for the ground floor [20cm]).

After that, we will follow the inner curve of “left” layer’s roof. So you can hide all layers except the one you are working in (maybe “walls” layer) and “left” layer.

Using OSnap with option Near turned on we will start our line from end point on the roof line (image 20) and hovering anywhere ON that line we will see Near show below our cursor. While seeing that just press once TAB key, and direction will be locked. Now just make it long enough (like on the image 20)

image 20

image 20

Do the same for the opposite side, and trim two lines and join them.

image 21

image 21

Extrude that polyline, and copy extruded surface to clipboard. Do it by pressing CTRL+C while surface is selected. Next, trim this surface with walls, and then with slab seperately.

First select roof surface, and slab. Run the Trim command and click on the parts we don’t need. After we finish trimming, join those (2) already selected (poly)surfaces into one polysurface. After that we need to paste the roof surface we copied into clipboard seconds ago. CTRL+V or from menu Edit>. Trim with walls polysurface and join.

image 22

image 22

We just need to “extend” our walls. We just need to use polyline command with some STrack help. See the video below. And extrude that and copy on the other side too.


video 1 - STrack

video 1 – STrack

Now, we need to make a roof section. Using already half of the section we made before, we will just make another half with polyline command.

image 23

image 23

Extrude with BothSides=No and Cap=Yes options. The extrusion height/distance is 102.5 but you don’t need that info, just unhide “front” layer, and use the end point as reference:

images 24

images 24

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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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