Editing Streamed Rhino Blocks in Blender

Hi, new to speckle (v2.14 Mac), and am trying to use it to render a Rhino (v7 Mac) model in Blender (v3.5 mac).
The stream was super smooth and I was able to edit most of the Rhino geometry in Blender, except for rhino blocks. I can see and select them, but can’t enter edit mode, or change materials. Objects in question all show “_speckle_type: BlockInstance” in Blender’s Custom Properties window.
Thanks in advance!

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This is a really good question, one that others have asked, and are likely to ask again,
so I thought it deserves a complete response.

As a bit of background. Rhino/AutoCAD blocks, Revit families, Sketchup components, Unity prefabs etc,
all represent instancing of a group of many objects.

Blender’s equivalent to this is Instanced Collections.
These are maybe not the most common form of instancing in Blender, however, they
are a pretty close analogue of Rhino Blocks and the other types of instances within Speckle.

This is why we have taken the decision for the default behaviour for the Blender connector to receive Speckle instances as Collection Instances.

Now, because these types of instances represent many objects, they are not editable through
the normal “edit mode” inside Blender.

Instead, the best option is to “link” the actual collection into your scene, and edit the geometry
inside that collection, as you normally would.

To do this, simply open the Blender File tab of the Outliner, and link the collection you want to edit.

Now, we realise for some users, this is a bit of a long process to do if they just want an easy way to edit their geometry, and don’t care so much about perfectly preserving their Collection Instance structure.

To address this, recently we have exposed an alternate way to receive Speckle instances in Blender;
The option to receive instances as Blender “Linked duplicates” (i.e. normal blender objects that share the same Mesh/Curve definition)

This option makes it far easier to receive and edit individual objects, without having to link, unlink, and manage many (potentially deeply nested) collections.
It’s worth noting, that receiving with this option is a more lossy process, in that we loose the “Collection of multiple objects” relationship as we have sacrificed the ability to edit the objects like Collection Instances and gained the ability to edit them as individual Blender objects.
Thus, this option is not the default, but nevertheless, an option for users who would prefer this behaviour.

Here is a quick video showing the difference between the two modes.

It’s worth noting that there are several third party plugins that add support for easier editing of Collection instances. E.g. Blender Edit Collection Addon, GroupPro, Quick Instances. Admittedly, I have not tried all of these enough to recommend any.


Thank you Jedd – this is super helpful!