e chosen to dive into Grasshopper. I’m about 6 months in. If some of my comments are completely off, please take that to mean that a feature is too inaccessible to a newish user rather that it’s just missing, as I may have stated.
One of my primary pain points is this. Things that can be done in other programs are invariably easier in other programs. This is a big enough issue that I doubt there’s an easy solution that an armchair qb like myself can offer up.
I’ve used a lot of 3D programs. I’ve never encountered one as difficult as grasshopper. What in other programs is a dialog box, is 8 or 10 components strung together in grasshopper. The wisdom for this I often hear among the grasshopper community is that this allows for parametric design. Yet PTC (Parametric Technology Corp.) has been doing parametric design software since 1985 and has a far cleaner and more intuitive interface. So does SolidWorks, Inventor, CATIA, NX, and a bunch of others.
In the early 2000's, when parametric design software was all the rage, McNeel stated quite strongly the Rhino would remain a direct modeler and would not become a parametric modeler. Trends come. Trends go. And the industry has been swinging back to direct modeling. So McNeel’s decision was probably ok. But I have to wonder if part of McNeel’s reluctance to incorporate some of the tried and proven ideas of other parametric packages doesn't have roots in their earlier declaration to not incorporate parametrics.
A Visual Programming Language:
I read a lot about the awesomeness and flexibility of Grasshopper being a visual programming language. Let’s be clear, this is DOS era speak. I believe GH should continue to have the ability to be extended and massaged with code, as most design programs do. But as long as this is front and center, GH will remain out of reach to the average designer.
There is no reason a program in 2014 should allow me to make decisions that will not work. For example, if a component input is in all cases incompatible with another component's output, I shouldn't be able to connect them.
I hate sliders. I understand them, but I hate ‘em. I think they should be optional. Ya, I know I can r-click on the N of a component and set the integer. It’s a pain, and it gives no feedback. The “N” should turn into the number if set. AAAnd, sliders should be context sensitive. I like that the name of a slider changes when I plug it into something. But if I plug it into something that'll only accept a 1, a 2, or a 3, that slider should self set accordingly. I shouldn't be able to plug in a “50” and have everything after turn red.
Give components a little “+” or a drawer on the bottom or something that by clicking, opens the component into something akin to a dialog box. This should give access to all of the variables in the component. I shouldn't have to r-click on each thing on a component to do all of the settings.
And this item I’m guessing on. I’m not yet good enough at GH to know if this may have adverse effects. Reverse, Flatten, Graft, etc.; could these be context sensitive? Could some of these items disappear if they are contextually inappropriate or gray out if they're unlikely?
Tighter integration with Rhino:
I'm not entirely certain what this would look like. Currently my work flow entails baking, making a few Rhino edits, and reinserting into GH. I question the whole baking thing, btw. Why isn't it just live geometry? That’s how other parametric apps work. Maybe add more Rhino functionality to GH. GH has no 3D offset. I have to bake, offsetserf, and reinsert the geometry. I’m currently looking at the “Geometry Cache” and “Geometry Pipeline” components to see if they help. But I haven't been able to figure it out. Which leads me to:
Update all of the documentation:
I'm guessing this is an in process thing and you're working toward rolling GH from 0.9.00075 to 1.0. GH was being updated nearly weekly earlier this year. Then it suddenly stopped. If we're talking weeks before a full release, so be it. But if we're looking at something longer, a documentation update would help a lot. Geometry Cache and Geometry Pipeline’s help still read “This is the autogenerated help topic for this object. Developers: override the HtmlHelp_Source() function in the base class to provide custom help.” This does not help. And the Grasshopper Primer 2nd Ed. was written for GH 0.60007.
Grasshopper is fundamentally a 2D program:
I know you'll disagree completely, but I'm sticking to this. How else could an omission like offsetsurf happen? Pretty much every 3D program in existence has this. I’m sure I can probably figure out how to deconstruct the breps, join the curves, loft, trim, and so forth. But does writing an algorithm to do what all other 3D programs do with a dialog box seem reasonable? I'm sure if you go command by command you'll find a ton on such things.
If you look at the vast majority of things done in GH, you'll note that they're mostly either flat or a fundamentally 2D pattern on a warped surface.
I've been working on a part that is a 3D voronoi trimmed to a 3D model. I've been trying to turn the trimmed voronoi into legitimate geometry for over a month without success.
I’ve researched it enough to have found many others have had the exact same problem and have not solved it. It’s really not that conceptually difficult. But GH lacks the tools.
Make screen organization easier:
I have a touch of OCD, and I like my GH layout to flow neatly. Allow input/output nodes to be re-ordered. This will allow a reduction in crossed wires. Make the wire positions a bit more editable. I sometimes use a geometry component as a wire anchor to clean things up. Being able to grab a wire and pull it out of the way would be kinda nice.
I think GH has some awesome abilities. I also think accessing those abilities could be significantly easier.
re are major changes and enhancements.
More Flexible Workflow - Many small modifications were made to support a more flexible workflow, such as the ability to separate a zone created with masses2Zones into editable HBSrfs that can be recombined. For the energy components, it is now possible to plug custom constructions directly into the components that set the zone constructions without writing them first into the library. For the daylighting components it is now possible to change all of the materials of specific surface types at once.
Support for Complex Geometry - Many small bugs for complex geometry have been fixed including the ability to import energy results correctly for curved NURBS surfaces as well as unconventional window configurations. Also, the intersectMasses component now almost always succeeds in splitting all of the surfaces of adjacent zones, no matter how complex the intersection is.
Automatic Download Issues Fixed - Many users who faced issues with not having “gendaymtx.exe” or who had trouble syncing with our github know that we faced an issue with automatic background downloads.
Air Walls - Honeybee EnergyPlus models now officially support air walls (or virtual partitions) in a basic implementation. Now, any time that you use the air wall construction or set a surface type to “air wall,” the air between adjacent zones will be automatically mixed. At present, this mixing is just a constant flow based on the surface area between zones connected by air walls multiplied by an adjustable “flow factor.” It is important to stress that this basic air mixing is not with the EnergyPlus Airflow Network, although the groundwork laid in this release will eventually allow for the implementation of the Airflow Network in future releases. As such, this present air mixing is only suitable for multi-zone conditions where there is not significant buoyancy-driven flow between zones.
Natural Ventilation - To go along with the new potential introduced by air walls, there has been a basic implementation of EnergyPlus’s natural ventilation objects in a new component called “Set EP Airflow”. The current setup allows for three possible types of natural ventilation: 1) natural ventilation through windows (with auto-calculated flow based on window area, outdoor wind speed/direction, and stack effects), 2) custom wind and stack objects that can be used to model things such as chimneys off of single zones, and 3) constant, fan-driven natural ventilation.
Additional Thermal Mass - The capability to add additional thermal mass to zones has been added. This is useful for factoring in the mass of indoor furniture or heavy interior objects such as chimneys.
New Utility Components - Abraham has added a couple of useful components to help calculate lighting loads based on bulb types and target lighting levels as well as a converter from ACH to the m3/s-m2 that the other HB components accept. Along this vein, there is also a component for adding in the resistance of Air Films to HB constructions.
Improved and Editable Ideal Air Loads System - The EnergyPlus Ideal Air System now goes through an automatic sizing period at the start of the simulation based on the extreme weeks of the weather file. Furthermore, the ability to adjust many of the parameters of the ideal air loads system have been added with a new “Set Ideal Air Loads Parameters” component. The component allows you to add in heat recovery, air side economizers and demand-controlled ventilation.
OpenStudio Export Update - The OpenStudio workflow is still largely under development but this release includes a version with a working VAV and PTHP system template for those curious with experimenting. Note that not all of the new features available for the basic “Run Energy Simulation” component are available for the OpenStudio component (such as air walls, natural ventilation, or additional thermal mass).
Microclimate/Indoor Comfort Maps - Blossoming from initial experiments with the radiant temperature map, a workflow for looking into sub-zone microclimate and indoor comfort has been initiated. All components for this are presently under the Honeybee WIP tab but, over the next month, they will be completing their development phase and moving into the rest of the tabs. If you are interested in testing when they are ready, please let Chris know. For a teaser video of the intended capabilities, see this video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNylb42FPIc&list=UUc6HWbF4UtdKdjbZ2tvwiCQ)
Monthly Bar Chart - After much demand from multiple parties, a new component to create monthly bar and line charts has been added. The component is particularly useful for plotting the outputs of the “Average Data” component like monthly EPW data or averaged monthly-per hour data. It also supports daily data and any type of Energy simulation results.
Wind Profile - To go along with the new capabilities of natural ventilation in Honeybee, Ladybug now has a fully fleshed-out Wind Profile component that allows you to visualize how wind speed changes with height in relation to your building geometry. The component is geared to understanding the conditions of prevailing wind and will be useful in the future for setting up CFD models. Credit goes to Djordje Spasic for adding in all of the new capabilities. In a similar vein, the appearance of the wind rose has also been improved thanks to suggestions from Alejandra Menchaca.
Faster Solar Adjusted Temperature - Thanks to the SolarCal method from the Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley (http://escholarship.org/uc/item/89m1h2dg), the solar adjusted temperature component now includes an option for a much faster calculation that produces results that are very close to those originally obtained with the genCumSky component. Instead of using the cumulative sky, the component can now accept the direct and diffuse radiation from the ImportEPW component. Over a whole year, this essentially takes a calculation that used to be a half-hour and shrinks it down to 10 seconds. Thanks again to those at UC Berkeley for keeping their work open source!
Instructions - Last but not the least, [It took me almost two years to understand this but finally] we have a text file that describes the installation step by step and is way easier to modify than a video. You can find it in the zip file. Credit goes to Chris!
We also want to welcome Anton, Patrick and Sandeep to the team. Anton has kicked off his development by working on a component to import and visualize epw ground temperature data and he will be continuing to develop components to bring in reliable precipitation data to Ladybug. With this basis, he will continue to implement Honeybee components for ground heat storage, earth tubes, rain collection and hot water systems. Patrick and Sandeep are working on integration of Honeybee to Energy Performance Calculator.
As always let us know your comments and suggestions.
the data structure of the input.
I'll create a component that aims to write all the GH_Paths inside the input data structure into separate output parameters. I'll add a menu item to the component that allows users to synch the number of outputs with the current data.
Note that there are some bugs I found related to Undo here, but I'll attempt to fix those asap. The mechanisms employed in this example are correct.
Let's start with the Component class definition and the constructor:
Public Class GH_ExampleComponent_VarOutput
Public Sub New()
MyBase.New("Extract Paths", "ExPath", "Extract all the paths from a tree", "Sets", "Tree")
Now, the RegisterXXXXParams methods:
Protected Overrides Sub RegisterInputParams(ByVal pManager As GH_Component.GH_InputParamManager)
pManager.Register_GenericParam("Tree", "T", "Data tree to examine", GH_ParamAccess.tree)
Protected Overrides Sub RegisterOutputParams(ByVal pManager As GH_Component.GH_OutputParamManager)
'We'll add one output parameter, just to not have a jagged output.
pManager.Register_PathParam("Path 1", "1", "1st path in tree")
SolveInstance() is somewhat special, but not very complicated:
Protected Overrides Sub SolveInstance(ByVal DA As IGH_DataAccess)
'We have only one input parameter and it is set to Tree,
'so SolveInstance will only be called once for every solution.
'We don't actually need the data inside the input, we're only interested in the paths.
'So we don't actually need to call DA.GetDataTree, we can just go in and extract the
Dim paths As IList(Of GH_Path) = Params.Input(0).VolatileData.Paths
'Abort if there is no tree.
If (paths.Count = 0) Then Return
'Post a warning if the number of output parameters does not
'equal the number of paths in the tree.
If (paths.Count < Params.Output.Count) Then
AddRuntimeMessage(GH_RuntimeMessageLevel.Warning, "There are more outputs than paths in the tree.")
ElseIf (paths.Count > Params.Output.Count) Then
AddRuntimeMessage(GH_RuntimeMessageLevel.Warning, "There are fewer outputs than paths in the tree.")
'Iterate over all paths and assign to output parameters.
For i As Int32 = 0 To Math.Min(Params.Output.Count, paths.Count) - 1
Adding a menu item to the component menu is relatively straightforward, however handling the menu command requires a fair bit of logic:
Protected Overrides Sub Menu_AppendCustomComponentItems(ByVal iMenu As System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripDropDown)
'Add a single item to the component menu.
Menu_AppendGenericMenuItem(iMenu, "Synch outputs", AddressOf Menu_SynchOutputClicked)
Private Sub Menu_SynchOutputClicked(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs)
'Here we have to synch the number of output parameters with the number
'of paths in the volatile data tree in the input parameter.
'This requires a few steps:
'1. Determine whether something needs to happen at all.
'2. Record an undo event.
'3. Remove excess outputs or add missing outputs.
Dim paths As IList(Of GH_Path) = Params.Input(0).VolatileData.Paths
If (paths.Count = Params.Output.Count) Then Return 'yay, nothing needs to be done.
'Something needs to be done, record an undo state.
'We either have too few or too many outputs, determine which is the case.
If (paths.Count > Params.Output.Count) Then
'Add the missing outputs
For i As Int32 = Params.Output.Count + 1 To paths.Count
Dim param As New Grasshopper.Kernel.Parameters.Param_GenericObject()
param.Name = "Path " & i.ToString()
param.NickName = i.ToString()
If (i.ToString.EndsWith("1")) Then
param.Description = i.ToString() & "st path in tree"
ElseIf (i.ToString.EndsWith("2")) Then
param.Description = i.ToString() & "nd path in tree"
ElseIf (i.ToString.EndsWith("3")) Then
param.Description = i.ToString() & "rd path in tree"
param.Description = i.ToString() & "th path in tree"
'Remove excessive outputs
If (Params.Output.Count <= paths.Count) Then Exit Do
Dim param As IGH_Param = Params.Output(Params.Output.Count - 1)
Finally, we must make sure that the component properly (de)serializes. This means we have to override the Write and Read methods and add additional information to the GHX archive:
Public Overrides Function Write(ByVal writer As GH_IO.Serialization.GH_IWriter) As Boolean
'We must make sure that the number of output parameters is correctly stored.
'We'll use a special function on the GH_ComponentParamServer to accompish this
'without too much sweat.
Public Overrides Function Read(ByVal reader As GH_IO.Serialization.GH_IReader) As Boolean
'Very important, we must make sure all parameters exist before we
'start with the main deserialization.
I attached a VB file that contains the code outlined above.
me of course!So I'll try to be as clear as possible.I have two problems.The form we have is a shade. I would like to close the shape of the top so she cancling to a bulb socket. For this, I want to keep a planar surface (the same surface asthe top of the basic shape without distortion but reduced (scale)), then connect themodified form (with the attractors points) to this surface. However, it must be dividethis surface on triangle to succeed have flat surface (because the shade is made of paper and then cut out of planar sheets).I managed to do it but very complicated and non-automatic by taking each point oneby one through lists items.Do you know a way to do it automatically and it still works even if we increase the number of facets of the form?I also have a problem with attractors points to 2 different places, to distort the basic shape and create the holes.
I could wish to create as many attractors points what I want in my program but it is limited.Do you think it is possible to group all attractors points in only component (point) to make this automatic?In my program, I have managed to use several (3) points attractors to distort the basic shape using dispatch order if I want attractors for example 24 points, I wouldcreate 24 pieces of program which is quite disturb!For holes, the problem IS exactly the same.Do you have any ideas? (If you have time).
Thanks a lot.Ines
is the name of an existing layer and if so figures out the suffix 3
and creates a new layer Green4.
In order to do this I have been reading up on the sample pages and the Rhinocommon
SDK but I seem to be not grasping how to access certain members. I have written
below how I think I would access the members. Can someone please explain why my
logic is incorrect. I have a feeling I am not grasping the Structure of the classes.
This is the sample code from the LayerTables find method page in the RhinocommonSDK
Public Shared Function AddLayer(ByVal doc As Rhino.RhinoDoc) As Rhino.Commands.Result
'Does a layer with the same name already exist?
Dim layer_index As Integer = doc.Layers.Find(layer_name, True)
Since the find method is part of the LayerTables class which is part of the
Rhino.DocObjects.Tables namespace I would have thought the above would have been
ly has finally metamorphosed to have all known major bugs fixed and is ready to be used by a larger number of people in our community.
Butterfly is powered by OpenFOAM, which is a validated and open-source engine for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Primarily, Butterfly assists with exporting geometry and other input parameters from the CAD + scripting interface to the OpenFOAM engine. The Grasshopper plugin supports live results visualization that updates as the CFD simulation iterates. The Dynamo plugin supports results visualization once the analysis is over or paused.
For installation instructions and guidance on getting started, check out the Butterfly wiki page. There, you can find step-by-step installation directions and tutorial videos. There also 3 YouTube playlists for getting you started with installing OpenFOAM for Windows and using Butterfly for Grasshopper and Butterfly for Dynamo.
Similar to other ladybug tools, Butterfly uses an external validated engine (in this case, OpenFOAM) and you need to install it first to get the insect up-and-running. However, unlike Radiance and EnergyPlus, OpenFOAM doesn’t have a native installation for Windows and it requires Linux to run. Accordingly, the current version of “OpenFOAM for Windows” uses a technology called docker to run a Linux virtual machine on your system, inside which OpenFOAM operates. While this sounds complicated, the good news is that all of this setup has been packaged into the installer for “OpenFOAM for Windows.” So running this installer with all its defaults should give you everything you need.
The bad news is that the installation can fail if you don’t check your Windows system properly beforehand or don’t follow every step carefully afterwards. You will also need to run Rhino, Revit, and OpenFOAM as an administrator to ensure Butterfly works properly (by right-clicking each launcher for the program and selecting “Run As Administrator"). This said, if you follow the steps carefully, you should have no issues with the installation. You can find some of the issues that people faced during the alpha testing and the solutions to them here.
Butterfly is the first plugin that is fully developed based on the structure that I discussed before which consists of a core library and [+] libraries for specific software (in this case Grasshopper and Dynamo). We hope this structure to extend ladybug tools to more platforms by re-using the current code. We will provide a better documentation with more details on this matter in the near future but for now you can use the API for butterfly, butterfly_grasshopper and butterfly_dynamo for customizing or extending the current development.
Finally, having access to a powerful CFD engine from inside parametric/generative modeling environments is a great power and as Spider-Man or Uncle Ben once said:
“with great power comes great responsibility!”
We believe in learning by doing and we don’t expect you to be a CFD expert to get started with butterfly however we expect you to educate yourself along the way. If you have never used OpenFOAM before here is a great presentation to get started. We also highly recommend checking out the official OpenFOAM User Guide that goes through most of its functionality. Finally, we have also collected a number of other learning resources on this page that can be a good starting point.
We understand that you will have questions about the plugins which you can post to this forum or Dynamo discussion forum however CFD related issues and questions should be posted to CFD Online.
I like to thank everyone who have helped us with the development and testing during the last year or so, and special thank to Theodore who single-handedly educated me through the process of migrating to OpenFOAM and developing butterfly. Butterfly wasn’t possible without Theodore!
As always let us know about your comments and suggestions.
Happy flying the butterfly! Happy Spring!
ager As Grasshopper.Kernel.GH_Component.GH_InputParamManager)
"Name", "N", "String", GH_ParamAccess.item)
"Point", "P", "Point3d", GH_ParamAccess.item)
"Local Axis", "LA", "Null/Surface/Plane", GH_ParamAccess.item)
"Support", "S", "I_Model_Support", GH_ParamAccess.item)
"PointLoad", "PL", "List (of I_Model_PointLoad)", GH_ParamAccess.list)
"Group", "G", "List (of (I_Model_Group)", GH_ParamAccess.list)
Protected Overrides Sub RegisterOutputParams(ByVal pManager As Grasshopper.Kernel.GH_Component.GH_OutputParamManager)
"Node", "N", "I_Model_Node",GH_ParamAccess.item)
Protected Overrides Sub SolveInstance(ByVal DA As Grasshopper.Kernel.IGH_DataAccess)
Dim inName As String = Nothing
Dim inP As Point3d = Nothing
Dim inLA As Plane = Nothing
Dim inS As I_Model.I_Model_NodeSupport = Nothing
Dim inPL As New List(Of I_Model.I_Model_PointLoad)
Dim inG As New List(Of I_Model.I_Model_Group)
Dim outNode As I_Model.I_Model_Node
If Not DA.GetData(0, inName) Then Return
If Not DA.GetData(1, inP) Then Return
If Not DA.GetData(2, inLA) Then Return
If Not DA.GetData(3, inS) Then Return
If Not DA.GetData(4, inPL) Then Return
If Not DA.GetData(5, inG) Then Return
Dim IM_P As I_Model_Node
New I_Model_Node(inP, Nothing, inName)
If Not DA.GetData(2, inLA) Then IM_P.SetLocalAxis(inLA)
If Not DA.GetData(3, inS) Then IM_P.SetSupport(inS)
If Not DA.GetData(4, inPL) Then
Dim PL As I_Model_PointLoad
For Each PL In inPL
If Not DA.GetData(5, inG) Then
Dim G As I_Model_Group
For Each G In inG
outNode = IM_P