algorithmic modeling for Rhino

(A double-post from the Discussion section, but this post should probably live here...)


I put together a utility definition to create a grillage (waffle) surface for laser cutter fabrication. Please feel free to use it (at your own risk...). I plan to make improvements to this base configuration in the future.


_Specify the uniform spacing for each of two (A = above, B = below) orthographic cut planes;
_Specify the rotation (angle) of the orthographic cut planes to the reference surface;
_Fine tune the start of A or B cut planes by shifting each independently;
_Specify rib height and notch thickness;
_Automated layout of the rib sections for fabrication including notches and labels;
_Visual 3D reference guide for construction;
_A "defaultGrillage" state has been saved under the "Solution" menu for quick start-up;
_A "generate_grillage_layout?" on/off toggle to allow for faster operation.


_The reference surface must always be shrunk;
_The grillage (for now...) is generated from a vertical extrusion downward. A surface with extreme geometry may not work well, if at all;
_If the outline of the reference surface is such that a section plane will cut the surface in two locations the automated layout will not function correctly;
_The notches are generated as rectangles with the intention that the user will want to cut the notches on a separate pass from the rib sections;
_Without any clusters, the canvas looks pretty scary. The resulting output of the definition is located all the way downstream (but should be clearly labeled).

View some screenshots from my album Gillage Making.

Download the definition file here: grillageFAB_v1.rar

Happy cutting.


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Replies to This Discussion

Oh.... now I see what you're doing. I misunderstood before.

My definition definitely wont do what you're after. I'd have to see if I could tweak things, but I'm not sure I have time right now.

I doesn't look like something I could do quickly...

Yeah its a lot of work !
thanks anyway and if you find something, just let me know.

surf.rar gives 403 access denied
gFAB is moving to a permanent location.

You can now download it here.
Some gFAB and gRadFAB friendly add-ons:

This script from Chris Chalmers at BIOS converts Rhino text objects into single line curves.

This will definitely speed up label cutting on a mill or with a laser!

CNC friendly numbers in Rhino

Chris also posted a definition to unroll surfaces that seems useful, but it's limited to unrolling 2 curves that already form a lofted surface. I'm wondering how difficult this routine would be to extrapolate to surfaces made from 4 curves (or less).

Unrolling Surfaces in Grasshopper
Hello Taz, Thank you very much for all the updates. just a minor problem, I only have GH5.09, is it possible to save your definition as 5.09 format? i'm using school computer and it would not allow me to install any updated version of GH...
@ lele

I can't downsave to GH 0.5.00XX because data trees are essential to the definition and they are only available with GH 0.6.00XX or higher... Sorry.

@ Mac Ward

Only the links to the most current definitions are live, all the rest should be dead...
Hi Taz,
The Definition is amazing.
But I don't know why it dosn't work well on the (poly)surface I made.
the surface was cut but grillage didn't show up, so did the output.
Do you have any idea how can I make it?

Thank you so much!

The if you don't have a closed polysurface the definition will only extrude it (downward). Offsetting a polysurface (i.e. shelling) is complicated in GH.

Try making a closed polysurface to account for what thickness you want the ribs to be, then it should work.
Hi Taz,

I'm having an error where grillage slices are skipped at layout stage. The images attached show red outlines where there should be boards. I see in your note above the known errors that cause things like this, but some of the boards skipped are supposed to be exact copies of other boards that are properly laid out.

Also, several boards are doubled up. I should only have about 8 cuts in the B direction; instead I get 16.

Any ideas?

Thank you, Mac

I've sometimes run into the error where GH has trouble creating planar surfaces from the section cuts, but the double surface problem seems strange.

Can you post your chair? I'll try to take a look.

I'm not sure what your error file is, I can't open it.
Here they are. I left the Grasshopper Definition incomplete - disconnected at the dispatch nodes - so you can open it without it jumping to making a layout.

Thanks for looking. The grillage definition is awesome.






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