algorithmic modeling for Rhino



Octopus is a plug-in for applying evolutionary principles to parametric design and problem solving. It allows the search for many goals at once, producing a range of optimized trade-off solutions between the extremes of each goal.

Also see octopus.E for custom evolutionary algorithms.


Download the latest version on food4rhino

It is part of a range of tools developed at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and Bollinger+Grohmann Engineers.


  • search for single goal + diversity of solutions
  • search for best trade offs between 2 to X goals
  • improve solutions by similarity-goals
  • choose preferred solutions during a search
  • change objectives during a search
  • solutions' 3d models for visual feedback
  • recorded history
  • save all search data within the Grasshopper document
  • save a solution as a Grasshopper State
  • export to text or text files

Octopus introduces multiple fitness values to the optimization. The best trade-offs between those objectives are searched, producing a set of possible optimum solutions that ideally reach from one extreme trade-off to the other.

Based on SPEA-2 and HypE from ETH Zürich and David Rutten's Galapagos User Interface. Developed by Robert Vierlinger in cooperation with Christoph Zimmel, and Bollinger+Grohmann Engineers.


To install:

  • Copy the .gha and .dll file into the Grasshopper components folder 
  • Right-click the file > Properties > make sure there is no "blocked" text
  • Restart Rhino and Grasshopper


Some examples are provided here

New commented examples and a brief manual are provided in the download of octopus on food4rhino.

Location: Vienna
Members: 437
Latest Activity: Mar 19

Discussion Forum

Octopus Loop - How to use 1 Reply

Hello everyone,very new to grasshopper, I want to repeat a process taking place on a grid multiple times using a Loop. I did it using the Anemone Loop which was great and easier for me to understand,…Continue

Tags: octopusloop

Started by Theodora Georgopoulou. Last reply by Flávia Tissot Mar 18.

Using Octopus with a loop and stream gate. 10 Replies

Hi Robert, We are using octopus to optimize for multi-dimensional objectives. The phenotype or mesh inputed to Octopus is a result of a loop created by a plug in called Anemone(…Continue

Started by Faisal Barazi. Last reply by Flávia Tissot Mar 17.

The names of the axes of the Pareto diagram 1 Reply

Hi there,I need help with changing the names of the axes of the Pareto diagram which is derived from Octopus.when I change the name of the NUM components which are defined as objectives the names of…Continue

Started by sanaz zarghami. Last reply by Yaya Kedo Feb 10.

Double click the Octopus plugin and Rhino crash! 1 Reply

Dear everyone,Does anyone meet the problem that when double click the Octopus component and the Rhino crash!!! It works fine on a previous computer but doesn't work on this workstation. I just pull…Continue

Started by anxiao zhang. Last reply by arch232 Jan 11.

Comment Wall

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Octopus to add comments!

Comment by abner on May 7, 2019 at 23:59

Hi all,I want to know how to use Octopus to solve my problems, how can I get some related cases or tutorials? 

thank you

Comment by RENhui on April 2, 2019 at 17:15

Hi, guys. I am using the Octopus to operate the optimization of the performance of building. However, during the optimization process, the octopus show the black interface like the following and I restart the Octopus still cannot solve the problem. I wonder if anyone could give me the suggestions... Need U help.

Comment by Max Marschall on November 10, 2018 at 4:09

Hi Robert, is there a way to set the solution parameters and trigger the solver from within a definition (as opposed to opening the Octopus interface)?

Comment by Andrew Chase on October 9, 2018 at 14:19

I have Rhino 6 and grasshopper 1.0.0007 I am trying to load Octopus, but for some reason it isn't loading nor is it relating to the HelixToolkit.Wpf.dll file. I have restarted grasshopper and my computer repeatedly, still nothing. However, I have the octopus component In the folder, and I can place the component and it isn't recognizing. 

pls help 
Comment by Mateusz Mazurek on September 23, 2018 at 14:03

@Alex Cligman 

It works in Rhino6

I have a question - can we edit the scale of the axes somewhere? 

I have one result in the range of 100-200 and another 1000-1200, I want the axes to have 1:1 relation starting from 0. How can I do that?

Comment by Alex Cligman on August 27, 2018 at 8:20

Can anyone confirm if octopus is wokring on rhino 6? Hesistant to upgrade!

Comment by Alvaro Rodriguez Garcia on May 7, 2018 at 5:26
Hello, I have 2 questions:
1. What is the maximum amount of objectives that octopus can handle and how are they represented ( since it only has 3 axis)
2. Is there an available example of using octopus together with Design explorer?

Thank you so much !
Comment by Robert Vier on February 9, 2016 at 5:09

Hi Aymeric,

sorry for the inconvenience. It seems to be a problem with the HelixViewport. do you see any messages in the Rhino Command Prompt Window when running your setup and octopus?

You could also try to place the latest version of helixtoolkitwpf.dll from the helixtoolkit in the libraries folder..! HelixToolkit.Wpf.dll

And if you would not mind, please post questions like this into the discussion forum next time!



Comment by Aymeric on February 9, 2016 at 4:26

Hi guys,

I've just installed Octopus 0.3.6. (Unlock the files and copy/paste in the Component folder...)

Unfortunately, I can't see the axes of the viewport neither the view cube when I open the Octopus window. The Solver seems to run  but I don't get any visualization of the fitness landscape. I have tried with another computer and everything looks fine. Does anyone of you have already experienced such a case? How could I solve this problem for computer 1?

Here attached image on computer 1 followed by image on computer 2.

Thanks for any idea!

Best regards,


Comment by Andy Chen on August 10, 2015 at 20:21

Hi guys,i just start to use octopus,and i want to know how it works.Where can i find the essay or articals?Thanks a lot!


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