algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Introducing 'Exoskeleton' - A wireframe thickening tool

A collaborative effort by David Stasiuk and Daniel Piker, Exoskeleton brings simple wireframe thickening to Grasshopper. You input a network of lines, and it turns them into a solid

(without the heavy calculation of a Boolean intersection of many pipes and spheres).

The input line networks can have any topology, and need not form closed polygons or volumes, so could come from algorithms such as DLAleaf venation, or Woolly threads.

The resulting meshes are ideal for 3d printing and further processing, such as subdivision with WeaverBird and relaxation with Kangaroo.

There are settings for the thickness of the struts, node sizes, and whether to leave openings at nodes with only one connected line.

The approach we used is loosely based on the one described in the paper Solidifying Wireframes by Ergun Akleman et al.

Thanks to Giulio Piacentino for helpful discussion in the development of this idea, for WeaverBird, and the GHA wizard, to Mateusz Zwierzycki for convex-hull ideas, and Kristoffer Josefsson for helpful discussion.


(component will appear under the Mesh>Triangulation Tab)




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Comment by Jak Drinnan on January 2, 2013 at 2:30pm

Hi Guys,

Looks like a great tool thanks for sharing! I seem to be having trouble with using it in Rhino 4 though, getting the same bug as reported earlier. I also don't have access to any Rhino 5 yet either, do you think you will get it working for Rhino 4 at some point? Seems like a sign to upgrade I think...

Comment by Daniel Kautz on December 29, 2012 at 12:04pm

Thank you Patric, that worked.

Comment by patric guenther on December 29, 2012 at 2:48am

@ daniel: right click the file and choose "Unblock" 

Comment by Daniel Kautz on December 28, 2012 at 6:44pm

I am not seeing exoskeleton in the mesh > triangulation menu. I copied the component into the special folders > components as per usual installation of new components. What am I doing wrong? I've tried Rhino4 and Rhino5 (32 and 64 bit) versions. Grasshopper is version 0.9.0014

-Thanks in advance

Comment by patric guenther on December 28, 2012 at 2:51pm

hey Guys,

as you can see in the attached picture i run into the problem that the exoskeleton component connects some parts to the 0,0,0 coordinate.

where is the problem? any idea?

all the best

Comment by David Stasiuk on December 28, 2012 at 4:23am


Yes you're right...the polygons along the struts are alternately rotated to create symmetrical triangulation.  It would be possible to allow for them not to be rotated/develop quads in the struts/not require divisions...I guess the one concern would be that quite suddenly there will be so many more options for input!  But maybe it could just be a "simple strut" boolean that implements all of these at once.  But it's totally doable...there are some other adjustments we're looking at as well, including the hulling, how the "knuckles" behave, and possibly examining "charge" options for variable thickness along the struts...Christian's request for tying in surfaces is something else that's been on my mind as's a slippery slope!  We'll see what happens...

Comment by Harri on December 27, 2012 at 6:01pm

Hi David and Daniel,

Really nice component.  I noticed how the cross section is rotated along the length.  I assume this is to create nice triangulated meshes?  It would be nice to have the option to maintain the orientation of the cross section (possibly with quads), or even not require any divisions along an edge?

Just in case you did any updates!

All the best

Comment by STUDIOTJOA on December 26, 2012 at 7:23am

I was just thinking about a need for this. Many thanks for this new tool.

Comment by Christian Schmidts on December 22, 2012 at 3:45pm

amazing work guys! here is a little suggestion: wouldn' it be possible to intergrate surfaces into the exoskeleton? to combine line-like typologies with surface-like ones..

Comment by Ali Habibian on December 22, 2012 at 12:14pm

:D ?????





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