What do you like best?
It provides a wide range of tools and commands for me to build lines, surfaces and solids. There are tons of different methods to create the same geometry in Rhino, each method comes with its own advantages. You can easily and very quickly build surfaces and they will be suitable for industrial production.
Besides using it for product design and architectural design, I also use it for graphic design. It has great capabilities for creating, transforming, distorting and arraying 2D shapes for vector graphics, which are sometimes non-existent in software like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. It can import export many filetypes suitable for graphic design.
Its help file is more than enough to teach you from scratch. It works very similar to Autocad, so if you learned Autocad somewhere, everthing gets even easier to get started. Plus there are lots of tutorials all around the web.
Rhinoceros has a very expansive resource hub, where you can find a wide range of learning materials, plug-ins and events. I especially love it for the variety and large amount of plug-ins.
Rhino is also very light in terms of disk space and processing power it requires, when you compare it to other NURBS software.
What do you dislike?
Although you can create very high quality surfaces and objects, it needs to get better at Class-A surfacing. If you are looking for a control level similar to Alias Surface or ICEM Surf, you need to get a plug-in for it, which diminishes its cost advantage. Even then, you will not be able to achieve a detailed technical control like ICEM or Alias.
You cannot control number of spans and control points while building a surface or a fillet surface. You cannot produce chordal fillets (Well, you can work around it; but it requires too many steps and takes a lot time compared to its bigger rivals).
When you want to play with Control Points of a surface, can use many translate commands but you cannot bulge them along surface normals or slide them (Well, again, you can work around it; but it requires a lot of work and time).
But these are apparent only if you aim a fast Class-A work.
Recommendations to others considering the product
If you are looking for a surface modeling software that is easy to learn, easy to use and capable of producing quality surfaces for product design: just get Rhinoceros. It is always developing, and open to development with the help of large amount of plug-ins. Its export-import support is phenomenal and it is compatible with many render engines too.
You will never regret having it.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
As a product designer I use it for:
- Quickly Sketching an idea in 3D
- Surface Modeling for production
- Surface Analysis and Draft Analysis of geometry built by other designers.
- Designing 2D or 3D graphics for print, web or using on products.