Rhinoceros (Rhino) is a stand-alone, NURBS-based 3-D modeling software, developed by Robert McNeel & Associates. The software is commonly used for industrial design, architecture, marine design, jewelry design,automotive design, CAD / CAM, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, product design as well as the multimedia and graphic design industries
Rhino specializes in free-form non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) modeling. Plug-ins developed by McNeel include Flamingo (raytrace rendering), Penguin (non-photorealistic rendering), Bongo, and Brazil (advanced rendering). Over 100 third-party plugins are also available. There are also rendering plug-ins for Maxwell Render, V-Ray, Thea and many other engines. Additional plugins for CAM and CNC milling are available as well, allowing for toolpathgeneration directly in Rhino.
Like many modeling applications, Rhino also features a scripting language, based on the Visual Basic language, and an SDK that allows reading and writing Rhino files directly. Rhinoceros 3d gained its popularity in architectural design in part because of the Grasshopper plug-in for computational design. Many new avant-garde architects are using parametric modeling tools, like Grasshopper.
Rhino’s increasing popularity is based on its diversity, multi-disciplinary functions, low learning-curve, relatively low cost, and its ability to import and export over 30 file formats, which allows Rhino to act as a ‘converter’ tool between programs in a design workflow.