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For most users, Rhino does a great job 'straight out of the box' and more demanding users can use additional plug-ins and write their own scripts and macros to further enhance Rhino. There are some users, however, that need to program additional routines to perform specialised functionality from within Rhino and one such Simply Rhino customer is Pilkington Automotive.

Pilkington is the leader in the development and use of computer simulation for advanced glazing technology and works with customers early in the design stage. Computer simulation plays a key role for the vehicle manufacturer and for the glazing supplier providing quick and accurate information on:

  • manufacturability/shape achievability
  • tooling design
  • optical performance
  • process selection
  • surface manipulation

Norman Bearon, who heads up the Modeling and Stress Analysis team at Pikington Automotive's impressive UK Technical Centre, has written many such additional routines for Rhino all of which create new commands that analyse data from vehicle manufacturers IGES files and compares this to legislative and manufacturing constraints.


"Some time ago we started to look for a replacement for our existing NURBS modeller which had become dated and expensive to maintain", recalls Norman. "I then discovered that one of our colleagues in New Zealand was using Rhino and achieving great results and after looking at the evaluation version I called in Simply Rhino to demonstrate the product."

"One aspect that immediately appealed to me was the open architecture and developer support and I could see that it would be relatively straightforward to port some of my existing routines to Rhino as well as writing new ones. The developer support at McNeel is good and they actively encourage users to write add-ins for Rhino which is in marked contrast to some other software vendors."

Rhino is now becoming more widespread within the Pilkington organisation and Simply Rhino continue to provide training and support to both new and existing users.