DistanceParallel Command
(by Matt Monforte)
DistanceParallel is a python command for Rhino that measures the distance between two parallel planar surfaces.
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DistanceParallel is a python command for Rhino that provides a quick measurment of the distance between two parallel planar surfaces. The command can temporarily unlock all layers and objects to allow surfaces to be selected.



1. Download and unzip the folder
2. Move or copy the folder—DistanceParallel{c92ade5c-25c3-4adf-be7c-f64c5609bff2} with all of it's contents—into the Rhino PythonPlugIns folder. Create the PythonPlugins folder if it doesn't already exist.

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/McNeel/Rhinoceros/6.0/Plug-ins/PythonPlugIns/DistanceParallel{c92ade5c-25c3-4adf-be7c-f64c5609bff2}
  • Win: C:/Users/<username>/AppData/McNeel/Rhinoceros/6.0/Plug-ins/PythonPlugIns/DistanceParallel{c92ade5c-25c3-4adf-be7c-f64c5609bff2}

3. Restart Rhinoceros
4. Run the command by typing DistanceParallel in Rhino's command line.

Optionally add the command to a tool palette
Add the DistanceParallel command to a tool palette by creating a custom button. The icon for the command can be found in the command dev/icons folder.

  •  Mac: Distance_Parallel_Icon.pdf
  •  Windows: Distance_Parallel_Icon.png

Add "!_DistanceParallel" to the script/macro editor for your custom button.

For more information on creating custom tool bars/palettes:
Customize Tool Palettes (Mac en-us)
Customize Tool Palettes (Windows en-us)

Start the command by typing DistanceParallel into the command line. Select two parallel planar surfaces to measure the distance between. The distance will be reported in the command history panel. The measurement will also be added to your clipboard (untested on Windows).

Command Line Options

  • Unlock layers and Objects: Temporarily unlock all visible objects and unlock layers to allow surface selection. Unlocked objects and layers will be relocked on completion of the command. This feature has not been thoroughly tested. If the script crashes, layers and objects wont get relocked. Use with caution and test to your satisfaction on non critical work.
  • Results in Message Box: Display result in a pop-up message box. The value of the measurement will be added to your clipboard (untested on Windows).


  • If the selected surfaces are not planar or parallel within the document tolerance, the command will report and terminate.
  • Surfaces within blocks are not always selectable. Polysurfaces can be selected, extrusions cannot. Explode blocks if necessary.
  • Meshes are not currently selectable for measurement.

Support Continued Development
If you find this plugin useful please donate to show your support for continued development.

Future enhancements:

  •  Test on Windows
  •  Test in Rhino 8
  •  Measure between planar meshes
  • Tolerance settings
  •  Unit conversions
  •  Rewrite in C#
  •  Improve selection highlighting
  •  Create Installer and or
  •  Work with Rhino Package Manager
  •  Add additional measurements

$3, $7 or $11 to MonSalon


  • The code can also be found on GitHub
  • Copyright ©2020 Matt Monforte. All Rights Reserved.
  • MonSalon.org Web Development
  • ClickWhirDing.com Tinkering

You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/

License Cost:
Manual Install v0.5.1
Rhino 6 for Win
Rhino 7 for Win
Rhino 6 Mac
Rhino 7 Mac