Friday, June 28, 2019

Making robots accessible to the creative industry

KUKA|prc's goal is to make industrial robots accessible to the creative industry.

As such, members of the Association for Robots in Architecture can use KUKA|prc for free for research and teaching.

KUKA|prc builds upon the accessible visual programming system Grasshopper, which is a part of the CAD software Rhino.

It provides the robotic building blocks to directly integrate a KUKA robot into a parametric environment. Instead of writing code, simple function-blocks are connected with each other directly and the results immediately visualized.

Architecture for a rhythmic gymnastics center

Architecture in the spirit of rhythmic gymnastics: Rhino with Grasshopper and Archicad were used in this design for Irina Viner-Usmanova Rhythmic Gymnastics Center (RGC), near Moscow, Russia.

The RGC's roof was designed in Rhino/Grasshopper, from concept through to the production of construction drawings.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Ennoble Enhanced: New Swarovski zirconia gemstone Library

Ennoble is a set of proprietary plugins for Adobe Illustrator and Rhino. The software includes the Swarovski digital component catalogs and is ideal for digital jewelry/fashion/luxury designers and engineers.
With the latest release, Ennoble now provides access to over 1200 cut and size combinations from the Swarovski Crystal and Gemstone catalogs (hottest new addition: Swarovski Zirconia), as well as a new feature set for the creation of component prongs and cutter builders, primarily addressing common challenges of gemstone applications.
Enjoy the following generative design and engineering tools for Swarovski components in Rhino, now available for both Rhino 5 and 6:
  • Drag & Drop Placement of over 1200 geometries (cut and size variations) from the Swarovski digital component catalogs, for NURBS (curves, polysurfaces, solids), subdivision surfaces and polygon meshes
  • Real-time Updates, both in terms of the software (rolling updates for active subscribers) and new Swarovski collections (e.g., seasonal launches)
  • Prongs, both aesthetic as well as functional
  • Pavé for curves and surfaces/mesh geometries, such as spray-on brushes as well as color and texture-based circle packing modifiers
  • Cavity Creation and geometry optimizations for product visualization, rapid prototyping, and metal production
  • Cutter Builder primarily for gemstone settings, e.g., fine jewelry applications
  • Cup Mesh structural creation to transform designs into production-ready, self-sustaining geometric structures with accurate cavity settings, inspired by and ideal for 3D printing
  • Bill of Materials of utilized Swarovski components automatically compiled for export

Release notes now online. New FAQ as well. Download the beta today. Or join the mailing list to receive follow-ups from the recent Total Chaos Master Class in Sofia and Rhino UGM in London, as well as general Ennoble news and release updates.

Ennoble is brought to you by D. Swarovski Distribution GmbH.

Pompano Beach High School’s SeaPerch club ROVs

Pompano Beach High School’s SeaPerch club is an award-winning underwater robotics club. This club was first introduced to the school by Club President Maria Ilonta in 2016. They started out building ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) mostly with 1-inch PVC pipe and pool noodles. As they progressed in their knowledge of Rhino, which was offered in a class at the school, they realized they could design faster, hydrodynamic, lightweight, buoyant models using the software. 

The team started using Rhino to design new models. They’ve built countess parts pieces and even whole models for these underwater ROVs. They customized their models and eventually, 3D printed them. They started placing top in every local competition and qualified to send teams with 3D printed ROVs to nationals in Atlanta, Georgia (2017), internationals in Dartmouth, Massachusetts (2018), and internationals in Washington, D.C. (2019). 

Follow them on Instagram!

For more information, please contact Ronald Holley.

What is a RhinoFabStudio? RhinoFabStudio (fabrication studio) is a small-scale digital workshop, certified by McNeel, with an array of Rhino and Rhino compatible software and computer controlled tools and training. These tools cover the various leading-edge industrial methods and materials needed to design, analyze, and fabricate almost anything.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Camillo De Gaspari (Camdesign) on yacht design workflow

Camillo De Gaspari (Camdesign), Yacht Designer, has been kind enough to share his 3D design workflow with the Rhino community:

"Most of these concepts have been sketched on paper and then made as 3D models, and then redefined, in this case, inspiration came from various sources like a trend in the design world or the shape of an animal. When working starts from some specification or requirements from a customer, we speak of a conventional design spiral.

Rhino and its suite of plugins have been a very effective environment for creating these concepts. It can easily import and read most of the file formats used for the engineering of boats and larger, more complex projects, that require more participants and complementary software. 

YD requires a multi-disciplinary approach and the following is my usual workflow. When 3D modeling with Rhino that is the main part, Naval architecture is already consistent thanks to the use of Orca3D marine plugin. Sometimes after modeling, a mockup of the boat might be sent to a 3D printer. 

Delta-eco (ABS plastic, 2011)

2D drawings can be generated and printed with very little effort from inside Rhino. Then I proceed adding textures for the rendering engine and then I follow two different pipelines if working for an animation or for a still rendering. In the first case, I have utilized both the Bongo plugin for Rhino or external programs like 3ds Max to add the kinematics. Then after rendering, the sequence of frames assembled in a video. Still images (or single frames) instead, allow for more post-production effects like multi-lighting or photo editing with a dedicated and well-known software like Photoshop, but there are also a good number of alternatives to this software especially on Mac. 

I tend to add a good amount of details to 3D models of small crafts and yachts, not only because they look more realistic but because there will be less modifications to be made during the executive phase and the construction of the project."

Monday, June 24, 2019

How to Generate a Thousand Master Plans (by KPF)

How to Generate a Thousand Master Plans:
A Framework for Computational Urban Design
SIMAUD 2019 (Georgia Tech)

The current process for the design of an urban master plan typically involves a team of architects and urban planners that conceive a handful of schemes based on zoning requirements with the help of CAD software. They may intend for the plan to achieve a set of performance goals (economic, environmental, etc.), but quantitative analysis is rarely conducted early and consistently through the design process. This makes it difficult to understand the full range of approaches that are possible on a site, and the relative performance of each scheme. 

To best accommodate rapid urbanization while making cities more sustainable, livable, and equitable, designers must use quantitative tools to make informed decisions about their designs. 

Computational design techniques have been successfully used at the building scale to test numerous designs and quantify their performance. But they are challenging to apply at the urban scale due to increased computational expense, difficulty in limiting inputs, and many more stakeholders involved in the process.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sagrada Familia Nativity facade - 3D modeling from point clouds

Works carried out by Modelical for the Junta Constructora del Templo de Sagrada Familia.

You have probably heard of the basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a project by Antoni Gaudí. Surely you are aware that it is a building begun in 1882 and that it is still being designed and built, with the latest technologies available. What you may not know is that until 2018 the Nativity façade, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, had no reliable documentation describing it, either in two or three dimensions.

On the occasion of the restoration and cleaning works, a topography team was commissioned to survey the entire façade with point clouds and photogrammetry. From this work, Modelical's commission was to 3D model the whole set, both with NURBS surfaces and meshes, and extract 2D documentation of plan layouts and sections describing the facade.

NXT BLD conference London - recorded talks

NXT BLD (Next Build) is a future-looking conference and exhibition which explores emerging technology for the built environment beyond BIM. Topics include digital fabrication, artificial intelligence, robots, generative design, VR, reality modeling, and lots more. 

NXT BLD 2019 took place in London on June 11, with a great set of speakers. Many of them Rhino/Grasshopper users.

If you missed the event, you can register now (scroll the page down) to watch all recorded sessions.

ShapeDiver now supports Kangaroo 2 plugin

One of the most exciting additions to Grasshopper 1.0 is the inclusion of the Kangaroo plugin as a set of native Grasshopper components. Now, by popular demand, ShapeDiver supports Kangaroo 2.

Be aware that some Kangaroo features are not compatible with ShapeDiver due to its nature, and that was the main reason why they have been cautious to start supporting the plugin.

If you want to know more about the precautions to take when using Kangaroo with ShapeDiver, please read their complete article here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

FABRICATE 2020 conference in London - Last day to submit your work

FABRICATE is an international peer-reviewed conference with a supporting publication on the theme of digital fabrication. Discussing the progressive integration of digital design with manufacturing processes, and its impact on design and making in the 21st century, FABRICATE brings together pioneers in design and making within architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, materials technology, and computation.
Discussion on key themes includes: 
  • How digital fabrication technologies are enabling new creative and construction opportunities from component to building scales
  • The difficult gap that exists between digital modeling and its realization
  • Material performance and manipulation
  • Off-site and on-site construction
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Economic and sustainable contexts

FABRICATE 2020 will be co-chaired and co-organised by the Swinburne University of TechnologyCollege of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University and The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

For 2020, FABRICATE is returning to its birthplace, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where substantial transformation in size, scope, and outlook has occurred in recent years including completion of the deep retrofit of its main building at 22 Gordon Street. The project, designed by Hawkins\Brown, doubled the available space. The building now provides over 1,200 students and 400 staff with cutting-edge facilities, including open plan studios, exhibition spaces and the workshop known as Bmade (The Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange).

Archicad + Grasshopper Intensive Summer Course PAZ Academy, Zurich

July 8-12, 2019
PAZ Academy (Parametric Academy Zurich)
Zurich, Switzerland

Join the Archicad-Grasshopper Summer Camp and learn how to connect an early stage design with the Building Information Modeling.

Learn Grasshopper through simple exercises and all the technical steps to make these two software work together.

At the end of the course, you'll be able to understand, edit, and develop your first usable definitions. Optimize your daily work in a fun summer environment!

Monday, June 17, 2019

DR_SoM Design Research Series on Method

DR_SoM Digital Practice TU Graz Oct-24-27-2019
Design Research Series on Method
October 24–26 2019
Graz University of Technology, Austria

The seventh session of Design Research Series on Method (DR_SoM) will take place at Graz University of Technology. This event is also the 5th Annual Conference of the Architectural Research in Europe Network Association (ARENA). For the third time DR_SoM focuses on architectural research in practice, but for the first time with an emphasis on the digital. In particular, DR_SoM wants to hear about projects and practices that see digital technology as a new way to think and conceive of design. For more information on the theme, please go to the online announcement.

If you would like to take part in the session, please send a concise description of the work you want to present. It must be less than 200 words (and any additional graphics material, if required). Send to by June 24, 2019, for consideration by the panel.

Note that full papers are not required as we recognize work in progress. However, participants are invited to write an illustrated paper afterward, for publication in a booklet dedicated to this DR_SoM session.

Form-finding through minimisation

News from the Master's Degree in Parametric Design in Architecture (MPDA): Daniel Piker will lecture and take part in the jury of Studio2 next Thursday, June the 20th, at 14.00h in ETSAV's Assembly Hall in Sant Cugat del Valles, Barcelona.

The course will focus on construction-aware design and conclude with the fabrication of 1:1 models based on novel and experimental building systems. This year students are designing and fabricating hybrid bending-active spherical GFRP elastic gridshells, with a high emphasis in the fabrication feasibility, and extensively relying on both physical and digital models made with Kangaroo and analyzed with K2e. The course has included several seminars and masterclasses with the participation of international field experts including Christoph Gengnagel, Riccardo La Magna and Cecilie Brandt.

Daniel Piker
Form-finding through minimisation

Daniel is involved in the design and realization of complex forms in architecture through both research and practice. Formerly working at Arup's Advanced Geometry Unit, and currently, in the Specialist Modelling Group at Foster+Partners, he is also the developer of the form-finding tool Kangaroo which enables a wide range of interactive physical simulation and optimization within the Rhino 3D CAD software.

Grasshopper - ARCHICAD 23 webinar (in Spanish) - June 26, 2019

ARCHICAD 23 has been announced recently, and the connection with Rhino and Grasshopper is now even stronger.

Come join SIMBIM Solutions webinar on Algorithmic Design (Grasshopper) in ARCHICAD.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Workshop: SortalGI shape grammar interpreter

Rhino / GH Shape Grammars
Taught by Rudi Stouffs, Andrew Li, and Dan Hou
June 22-25
Daejeon, Korea 

Learn how to use the SortalGI shape grammar interpreter in this four-day workshop.

You will explore the development and application of shape rules within the Rhino/Grasshopper environment supported by the SortalGI shape grammar interpreter. This shape grammar interpreter supports both shape rules and description rules, including points, line segments, plane segments, circles, ellipses, circular arcs, and quadratic Bezier curves, in two and three dimensions, both parametric and nonparametric rules, and shape emergence, in both Rhino and Grasshopper.

The workshop will start in Grasshopper, using the SortalGI plugin. The second half of the workshop will switch to Rhino, exploring a graphically interactive interface as well as a scripting interface to the shape grammar interpreter.

Tentative structure for the workshop:
  • Day 1: Nonparametric shape grammars in Grasshopper, shape and description rules, curves—Rudi Stouffs
  • Day 2: Parametric shape grammars in Grasshopper, predicates and directives—Rudi Stouffs and Dan Hou
  • Day 3: Interactive shape grammars interface in Rhino—Andrew Li
  • Day 4: Shape grammars in Rhino, shape attributes, basic scripting—Dan Hou
Each day will include one or more brief presentations on aspects relating to shape grammars and the SortalGI interpreter, more extensive hands-on tutorials to explore shape rules and grammars within Rhino/Grasshopper, and time and support to explore your own shape rules/grammar development and application.

  • Bring your own laptop with Rhino 5 or 6 installed. 
  • Some prior familiarity with Rhino is useful. 
  • Prior knowledge of Grasshopper is not required. 
  • Prior knowledge of shape grammars is not required.

New release of ARCHICAD 23

GRAPHISOFT announced the latest release of its BIM authoring software, ARCHICAD 23. This new release features performance and response improvements, plus some intriguing new Grasshopper-based technology integration.

Rhino-Grasshopper-ARCHICAD live connection—The new Grasshopper Deconstruct Component can be used to extract ARCHICAD element surfaces as a design reference. With the help of this function, changes to the core design scheme in BIM will automatically update all linked design details generated via design algorithms in Grasshopper.

Other new key features in the ARCHICAD 23 include:
  • Re-engineered Column and Beam tools—These tools have been completely redone to create faster and more accurate details and quantity estimates for reinforced concrete, complex steel, timber, and composite beams and columns, including geometrically complex forms of these elements.
  • Void, Niches, and Recesses—A brand new Opening tool dedicated to model and coordinate project design voids, recesses, and niches.
  • Renewed Solibri connection—ARCHICAD 23 enables seamless code and construction checking at any stage of the design. The updated add-on automatically detects and sends only those elements in the BIM that are changed, resulting in a faster round-trip collaboration.
  • Enhanced dRofus connection—Capture and organize client planning requirements and use these to validate and propose design alternatives. 
More details of ARCHICAD 23...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Designers Corner - Marco Traverso interviewed

Designers Corner is a category of ShapeDiver's Blog: A place where parametric designers talk about their work and the story behind their models. In this new episode, they talk to the Italian computational designer Marco Traverso.

Marco Traverso has an academic background in mechanical engineering and has always worked at the crossroads between industrial and transportation design, architecture, 3D modeling & visualization, and software/web development. In 2004, he launched Car Body Design a very popular website amongst car designers and enthusiasts.

Learn a little more about his work, background, and the automotive industry in this interesting interview.

ICERM workshop: Illustrating Number Theory and Algebra

ICERM (The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics)

October 21-25
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

The symbiotic relationship between mathematics illustration and mathematical research is now flowering in algebra and number theory. This workshop will showcase and develop the connections, including the development of new visualization tools for algebra and number theory. Topics are wide-ranging and include Apollonian circle packings and the illustration of the arithmetic of hyperbolic manifolds, the visual exploration of the statistics of integer sequences, and the illustrative geometry of such objects as Gaussian periods and Fourier coefficients of modular forms. Other topics may include expander graphs, abelian sandpiles, and Diophantine approximation on varieties. ICERM will also focus on diagrammatic algebras and categories such as Khovanov-Lauda-Rouquier algebras, Soergel bimodule categories, spider categories, and foam categories. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Essential Mathematics 4th Edition

We're delighted to share the release of the 4th edition of the Essential Mathematics for Computational Design. This publication by McNeel aims to help introduce design professionals to the foundation mathematical concepts that are necessary for effective development of algorithmic and parametric designs using Grasshopper. The text and examples explain, with some depth, concepts such as NURBS geometry, vectors, and transformation, all with visual illustrations and using nearly 100 Grasshopper definitions in Rhino 6. We are now recording the material into short videos (2-4 minutes each). The first set of videos are here, and more will follow.

Download Essential Mathematics text and Grasshopper examples...
View Essential Mathematics videos...

Workshop: Digital Design and Fabrication of Timber Plate Structures

August 15, 2019
University of Sydney

Date: Thursday, August 15, 2019
Location: University of Sydney, The School of Architecture, Design and Planning
148 City Rd, Darlington, NSW 2008
Workshop: 4:00 PM–6:00 PM
Public Lecture: 6:30 PM–7:30 PM

This two-hour continuing professional development course and one-hour public lecture will introduce computational design strategies for cutting-edge timber building technologies, including digital fabrication of integral timber joints and closed-loop digital design workflow for timber plate structures.

Traditional wood joinery techniques have been successfully employed for hundreds of years in the construction of tall timber structures. Due to a resurgence in mass timber construction and a proliferation of CNC fabrication machinery, these integral joints are again an economical and performative way to construct timber buildings.

Appropriately designed, integral joints introduce many structural and constructability benefits. These include greater control over part tolerances and mechanical behaviors, self-aligning and self-locking features for faster assembly, and reduced part production cost through optimization of material use and CNC fabrication time.

Such benefits can only be realized with a high degree of coordination between the designer, fabricator, and builder. In this course, participants develop the skills required to achieve such coordination and deliver cutting-edge, digitally-integrated timber buildings.

Register now

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

3D Printing Stone and Concrete... Explained!

Mass customization through Additive Manufacturing is already widespread for materials such as plastic or metal, but for others like concrete and stone, this process is still too expensive or too complex to be commercially viable.

Thanks to technical developments and a convergence of ideas like ShapeDiver and Concr3de, a company can now publish an algorithm in the form of digital product on their website. Their end users can then customize online and immediately 3D-print a unique design.

This combination of parametric design via Grasshopper and Rhino web-based customization and Additive Manufacturing can allow products to be designed and directly ordered online in a completely new range of materials at affordable prices. The design can go from concept to a real tangible product in a matter of days.

Pegasus on fire for Burning Man

Adrian Landon, metal sculptor and long time Rhino user, first downloaded Rhino when he was 17. He wanted to design cars, so he taught himself how to use Rhino. That was 13 years ago. Then Adrian picked up metal work. He moved from four-wheel designs to four-legged designs—life-size metal mechanical horses.

Now he is creating Wings of Glory-The Mechanical Pegasus, a giant mechanical metal Pegasus sculpture for Burning Man 2019. It has a total wingspan of 40 feet, and most of the mechanics will be visible.

The Pegasus will gallop and fly in slow motion in the air on fire! A propane flame system will shoot out flames while the sculpture is in motion.

Wings of Glory is in its final design and engineering stages. For more details, go to the Kickstarter Campaign.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Rhino UK User Meeting (London, June 12) - Last seats available

SimplyRhino presents the Rhino UK User Group Meeting 2019, taking place on Wednesday, June 12th, at The Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell Close, London.
Join the wider Rhino community and us to watch presentations from expert users and get hands-on with live software demonstrations from exhibiting partners.
The agenda outline is now available. Confirmed speakers are McNeel, Pablo Zamorano (Heatherwick Studio), Lee Simmons, James Woodington (Safran Seats GB), Karl Lenton (Seeds), Oliver Salway (Softroom), Graham Hench (Swarovski Professional), Daniel Piker (Kangaroo), Carlos Bausa & Dirce Medina (Wild Designs) and Chris Johnson (Pentland Brands).
Complete info and registration here...

Creative Campus - Costa Rica

Join us for the inauguration of "Campus Creativo" at Universidad Latina of Costa Rica - Sede Heredia

The Creative Campus is a multidisciplinary educational space that houses many creative disciplines. Its purpose is to launch academic settings that encourage creativity, promote innovative communication integration, and inspire new ways of solving problems and formulating ideas.

During the inauguration days, Andres Gonzalez Posada, RhinoFabStudio worldwide director, will offer Rhino and Grasshopper workshops as well as a presentation on data-driven design and fabrication methods.

Date: June 3-6, 2019
Place: Edificio E, Sede Heredia

For more information, contact Arq. Margherita Valle Pilia
Tel.: (506) 22076004 - email:

What is RhinoFabStudio? RhinoFabStudio (fabrication studio) is a small-scale digital workshop, certified by McNeel, with an array of Rhino and Rhino compatible software and computer-controlled tools and training. These tools cover the various leading-edge industrial methods and materials needed to design, analyze, and fabricate almost anything.

Monday, June 3, 2019

SuperD, a new modeling plugin

SuperD is a high-quality, watertight concept design tool in Rhino. 
It is easy to learn with an industry-standard, control mesh interface. It aims at users who want a recursive subdivision (SubD-like) tool such as the no longer available T-splines. You won't have to deal with any 'extraordinary' or 'star' points because there aren't any. No clusters of patches, and no cracks. Seams are very smooth (Near C2 in tech jargon). SuperD has excellent tools for edge sharpening and smooth dissipation between sharp and round. If the model follows common sense design rules the output will be watertight; it will 3D print without any extra 'healing' work. The B-spline conversion is a button click and fast. It enables any polygon file to be input, smoothed, and output as Rhino B-splines. Check out the tutorial video.
In short, SuperD:
  • Uses the popular SubD interface for existing or original models and easy learning.
  • Yields high quality (C1, near C2) surfaces, no extraordinary points.
  • Generates excellent triangulations: no cracks, no overkill, no clusters, with good Level of Detail (LOD) management.
  • Creates quality, Rhino compatible B-spline outputs. A superb way to convert polygons to B-splines.
  • Has a compact database.
  • Produces watertight models for 3D printing.
  • Employs OBJ input/output.
  • Allows open or closed models with Bezier curve boundaries.