Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kaulquappe meets Grasshopper

Grasshopper is very often seen as a tool to intuitively create complex geometries. Nevertheless its potential is just as powerful when it comes to systematized complex geometries to make them producible.

For the developed planning of the Volkswagen stand in the automobile fair in Paris 2012, Grasshopper helped in achieving the challenges of a highly complex geometry combined with a competitive deadline. An intuitive, straight forward user interface with ready-made geometrical operations in combination with the possibility to include self-written code from a c# and Python library brings together two powerful tools.

The overall surface geometry of 780 sqm of the Volkswagen stand had to be subdivided into 220 frames, being themselves subdivided into 6 x 6 ribs – a system often talked about as “waffles”.
  • From the outer surface and its inner offset a pure Grasshopper definition extracted four curves by intersection with a set of two planes.
  • Making use of Grasshoppers programming components, a c# script systemized and put together the extracted lines to form solids, which would fulfill the requirements in precision for the following stages. A c# script is preferable if enhanced granularity is required.
  • In a third step, each of the ribs was subtracted from its 6 perpendicular neighbors to create the interlocking connections. While being totally different in geometry all the connections share one important aspect: Due to a 90° angle, they all can be produced by 3-axis milling.
  • Grasshopper geometry containers and operations were combined with a VB script component to apply various preprocessing tasks on all 2’700 individual ribs and frame edges. The resulting production data was converted and optimized for an efficient KUKA© 4 axis milling process.
The Volkswagen Messe Paris 2012 project was done by Kaulquappe GmbH, Zurich on a commission by Metsa Wood Merk. Design by Cebra. Trade fair construction by Ambrosius.
Kaulquappe GmbH is an innovative young company based in Zurich that offers advanced skills in 3D Engineering for complex projects. We mainly work with an efficient mixture of Rhinoceros CAD and programming in VB Script, C#, Python and Grasshopper™.

For further information about this project, please visit our webpage

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