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: 419
Latest Activity: on Friday

Discussion Forum

Value list as input for Octopus

Just wondering if there is a way to set a 'value list' as an imput for Octopus, or an alternative way to do it. Thanks in advanceContinue

Started by José Manuel Parrilla López-Brea on Friday.

Optimisation Goal 4 Replies

Hey everyone,I would like to know if you can add a certain constraint in Octopus that lets you give solutions that are "bigger as" or "smaller as".For example, I would like to get soltuions for a…Continue

Started by Jakob Grave. Last reply by James Jul 23.

Octopus cannot start computing - phenotype? too fast for loops? 3 Replies

Hello all, I am having a problem with figuring out why Octopus cannot compute anything. The case is sailing yacht's rig (mast, spreaders + steel lines) multicriteria optimisation. The 1st criteria…Continue

Started by Mikolaj P.. Last reply by Mikolaj P. May 10.

Structural Optimization 3 Replies

Good Evening to everyone,I'm writing here because I'm trying to optimize a girder bridge for my thesis.I'm trying to achieve the less expensive construction material, with the problem of satisfy…Continue

Tags: Octopus

Started by Leonardo. Last reply by Thomas Wortmann Dec 23, 2018.

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!


Members (419)






  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2019   Created by Scott Davidson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service