Rhino-ceros (or Rhino) is a relatively mature, paid 3D modelling application for the PC, which is also currently available as a free Beta for OS X. Around the time that Rhino 5.0 is released for the PC it will also become a paid OS X app.
iRhino 3D fires up quickly and efficiently on any recent iOS device, and offers the ability to pinch-zoom, rotate and pan around any Rhino 3DM models that are stored in the app’s file system. The app itself comes with some links to demo models ready installed, so you can pull them down from McNeel’s servers and try your app out straight away.
Transferring models to your iDevice can be done via iTunes, straight into iRhino’s sandbox file system, or by downloading from Google Docs, Dropbox, via email or from URLs. However, I was a little disappointed that I had to convert any model I had in other formats into Rhino’s own format before I could view them. A simple option to load one or two popular formats, like perhaps the very widely used 3DS format, would have been appreciated. But at the end of the day, even though this is a paid app, it’s very cheaply priced and is obviously meant to promote Rhino 3D’s system and model format.
It is worth remembering iRhino 3D is just a viewer, not an editor. So its application is limited to viewing models you get from elsewhere, or make yourself using one of the full Rhino desktop modelling applications.
Models can be viewed either as a simple 3D view, or actually in stereoscopic 3D (for which you will require a pair of 3D glasses with blue and red plastic lenses in opposite eyes). It’s a fun twist to a model viewer app.
Although suited to a quite narrow set of functionality this mobile app is well presented, with a clean easy to use UI, instructions, web links and menus. Recommended.
- Viewing models in 3D is fun. (Although you need to get your own 3D glasses.)
- Easy to view and manipulate models.
- Rendering of models is fast and pretty.
- Google Docs integration.
- You can only import Rhino 3D (3DM format) models.