Polygon (.ply) import/export

Stores data from 3-D scanners as a list of meshes or points.


To open, import, insert, and attach a file as a worksession

  1. From the File menu, click Open, Insert, Import, or Worksession > Attach.

  2. In the dialog box, select a supported file type.
  3. Click Open and configure the settings.
    When you open a non-3dm file and save the model, its filename will be the default 3dm filename.


To save as or export a Rhino model

  1. On the File menu, click Export Selected or Save As.
  2. In the dialog box, the Files of type list displays the currently supported file types for export.
  3. In the Files of type box, select the supported file type.
  4. In the File name box, select or type a file name.
  5. Specify what is to be saved.
  6. Options

    Save small

    Though clearing the render meshes makes the file smaller, it will shade and render more slowly the next time you open the file.

    Save geometry only

    Saves geometry objects only. No layers, materials, properties, notes, or units settings are saved. This is similar to exporting the objects. A new file is made, but it does not become your active Rhino model.

    Save textures

    Embeds external textures used by materials, environments and decals into the model.

    Save plugin data Saves data attached to objects or the document by plug-in applications.
  7. If the export can be configured, click the Options button to specify export settings.
  8. Mesh file types export NURBS surfaces as meshes either with the specified meshing options, or the document render mesh settings.

PLY Export Options

Output type

Uses ASCII character table to export geometries.


Uses Binary character table to export geometries.

Export vertices as doubles (Binary only)

Saves double-precision meshes.

Confirm your downstream application supports reading double-precision meshes before using this option.

Export vertex normals

Vertex normals are the normalized average of the normals of the faces that contain that vertex. The average can be weighted by the area of the face or it can be unweighted. Vertex normals are used in Gouraud shading, Phong shading, and other lighting models.

Export vertex colors

Exports color data assigned to a mesh vertex.

Export object material

Exports the material name assigned to the object.

Mesh vertex

The location where the edges of the mesh faces meet. The mesh vertex (plural vertices) contains x, y, and z coordinates and may contain a vector normal, a color value, and texture coordinates.

Always use these settings. Do not show this dialog again.

Saves the current settings and turns off the dialog display.

To turn the message back on

See also: ResetMessageBoxes command.

See also

Wikipedia: PLY (file format)




Rhinoceros 8 © 2010-2024 Robert McNeel & Associates. 07-Jun-2024