Datasmith Rhino Live Link

Hi there,

I am trying to set up a Datasmith live link from Rhino 7 to UE5 but it doesn’t display any active live links when I create one in Rhino 7.

Is this feature only available for Twinmotion or is this supposed to work with Rhino 7 <-> UE5 and I am missing something in the setup?

Yes you should have direct link working between Rhino 7 and UE5.

You said it works with your Rhino 7 and Twinmotion?

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Can’t test with Twinmotion at the moment but here’s what happens with Unreal Engine 5:

  1. Open Rhino 7 doc with Datasmith for Rhino 7 installed
  2. Toggle Auto Sync
  3. Click Synchronize
  4. Open Connections window

  1. Connections window does not display any activity.
  2. Open Unreal 5 project with all Datasmith plugins enabled, including DatasmithRuntime Beta
  3. navigate to Datasmith > Direct Link Import…
  4. Direct Link shows no sources available

Is there anything we are missing? We also tried going the other way - open Unreal scene and Direct Link Import window first, then open Rhino 7. Same result.

Are you running the 5.0.3 version of the Datasmith Rhino plugin, and not a previous version (like 5.0.1 ?).

You can also click on the triple dots at the bottom of the Connections window and set a custom folder to make sure the Direct Link scene cache is actually exported by the Datasmith plugin.

When doing a Direct Link sync, the cache data will then be exported in the set folder.


Thanks Antoine,

I have the Datasmith plugin for Rhino version 5.0.3 and Unreal Engine version 5.0.2.

Tried changing the Cache Directory but that didn’t help.

Is there anything else I can try?

Edit: I am trying to update UE assuming there is a 5.0.3 version out now?

Yes Unreal is currently on version 5.0.3, try matching both the exporter and Editor versions.

If this does not work, do you have any network restrictions on your machine that were set by an IT service ?


Hi Antoine that seems to have fixed it thanks

Glad to hear !

As a rule of thumb, do update both the plugin and engine to a matching version to avoid potential issues.


Hi Antoine,

I have some follow up questions regarding the Direct Link stability. After some testing it seems to exhibit a strange behaviour where:

  1. Live link is established only 1 time after a Windows restart. If broken by closing Unreal or Rhino, no live link is displayed in Connections tab. After extensive testing we can only run it again after a Windows restart.
  2. There seems to be no way to re-establish a live link to continue working with it after closing either software. We can see mesh files updating in the designated Direct Link folder but these do not propagate back into Unreal possibly due to issue number 1. Restarting Unreal and enabling Direct Link Re-Import on an asset does nothing.
  3. General question: does a new Direct Link need to be established every time or is the intent to set it up once and reuse for consecutive sessions?

Can you please advise on the these and possible solutions?

We want to deploy it on some live projects but points 1 and 2 make it hard to build a case for using it.

Hello Evmatica !

Direct Link connections should be re-established when the DCC and the exact same project file used for the previous syncs have been opened.

Do you happen to be using incremental versions of your Rhino project ? Or maybe renamed the file ?

Depending on your Direct Link Auto Reimport choice (ON or OFF), the status icon on the top left of the Datasmith Scene asset will either change to “Asset is synced and will automatically re-import on Source change” (auto reimport is enabled and the scene up to date with the DCC, any manual or auto sync will trigger a reimport)

or “Asset is up to date with Direct Link Source” (means auto reimport is disabled, but the scene is up to date with the DCC/last manual or auto sync)

or “Asset is not up to date with Direct Link Source” (means the link is established but the scene in UE is not up to date with the scene in the DCC)

or finally “Direct Link Source is not available” (means UE cannot establish a connection with the DCC, usually because the file opened in the DCC does not match the last sync to UE).

If the file open in the DCC is the correct one, make sure to do a sync beforehand or to enable autosync in Rhino and re enable auto-reimport so the model in UE syncs to the DCC.


Hi Antoine,

Thanks for the reply. We think the issue is it shows as if connected but geometry doesn’t sync up and it doesn’t show up in Rhino links either. We are using the same file.

Notice a large box on the right did not come through to Unreal even though it says direct link is established.

We can see (mesh?) files updating in our Datasmith folder but they don’t propagate to Unreal.

Could this be due to networking or ports config on the company’s network?

As a follow up question, does Live Link use UDP Messaging?

In this situation, have you tried disabling auto-reimport ? What icon/status does it change to ?

If you quit both Rhino and UE (let’s say after a day of work you shut down the machine) and start both again in the next morning, open both the Rhino file and UE project, this is the icon you should have when Auto Reimport is disabled.


As soon as you enable autosync or trigger a manual sync, the link will be re established again if you either do a manual reimport in UE, or enable auto-reimport on the Datasmith Scene asset.

And yes, we use the UDP Messaging protocol to send data/updates with Direct Link.

Note that re enabling auto reimport will NOT trigger a reimport, it will wait for the next sync/autosync in the DCC to reimport the scene in UE.

Hi Antoine,

Thanks for for looking into this for me.

When we close both UE5 and Rhino sessions, restart PC, etc and come back to the Direct Link, it shows up as red instead of yellow as in your screen shot.

Direct Link Auto-Reimport switches the icon to green but scene does not receive any updates from Rhino.


Is there a chance UDP Messaging is affected of our company’s network setup and policies or firewall etc? It seems to struggle to establish connection. Currently we have about 20% success rate for creating a new Live Link after a computer restart, and 0% success rate re-establishing existing Live Links. Which makes me think the data must be sent via incorrect ports/networks adapters.

Is there a process to troubleshoot UDP Messaging?

We do not have a way to troubleshoot the UDP Messaging at the time sadly…

Let’s try something :

Open the Datasmith Scene asset, and navigate to this button

When you click on this, the Direct Link source selection will pop up : do you see your Rhino source here ?

If this fails, we can schedule a call so you show us your workflow live.


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Do you any of the other DCCs we have Direct Link on ? Sketchup, 3dsMax, Revit, Archicad etc…

You could try with one of these too.


Hi Antoine,

  1. Inspecting the Live Link asset:

It looks like the the asset (image 1) has a different file path to our path settings in Rhino (image 2).

Yet the live link does work sometimes but only with a fresh import and until either software is closed.

That said, we didn’t see any performance improvements testing with the ‘default’ paths, it still behaves exactly the same as with custom path set in Rhino.

Clicking on “…” gives no active links with Rhino running (image 3). After doing about 5 tests, we saw a direct link option pop up 1 time but was trying to link to a fresh Rhino file rather that the re-link to the original file the asset was created with.

  1. Other DCCs:
    3DS Max - we can’t find Datasmith UI panel with a Live Link option, just an option to export as datasmith file
    Revit - no links established / clicking Synchronise doesn’t do anything and Connections window remains empty

Generally it feels like 80% of the time Datasmith tries to communicate through the ports that are blocked by our network policies or windows configuration. Sometimes we get ‘lucky’ and it goes through after a windows restart but even that link is a ‘one-time’ one versus being permanent.

Is there a technical spec or anything that can help our IT configure the network or open ports for Datasmith?

Hi Antoine,

With your help we figured out that Live Link is using UDP messaging protocol. We managed to solve all sync issues by getting our IT to review Firewall settings and unblock Local Port 6666 on our network.

UDP Messaging tab in Project Settings helped us to pinpoint the problem.

Thanks again for keeping the conversation going!

Glad you were able to fix it !

Networking issues with firewalls can be a bit of a pain to pinpoint…

Don’t hesitate to post here if you have issues or suggestions after using Direct Link a bit more !