The Grasshopper Primer Third Edition

2.3. Resources

There are many resources available to learn more about Grasshopper and parametric design concepts. There are also over a hundred plugins and add-ons that extend Grasshopper’s functionality. Below are some of our favorites.

Plug-in Communities

IMAGE food4Rhino (WIP) is the new Plug-in Community Service by McNeel. As a user, find the newest Rhino Plug-ins, Grasshopper Add-ons, Textures and Backgrounds, add your comments, discuss about new tools, get in contact with the developers of these applications, share your scripts.

IMAGE Grasshopper add-ons page

Add-ons We Love

IMAGE DIVA-for-Rhino allows users to carry out a series of environmental performance evaluations of individual buildings and urban landscapes.

IMAGE Element is a mesh geometry plugin for Grasshopper, enabling mesh creation, analysis, transformation, subdivision, and smoothing.

IMAGE Firefly offers a set of comprehensive software tools dedicated to bridging the gap between Grasshopper and the Arduino micro-controller.

IMAGE GhPython is the Python interpreter component for Grasshopper that allows you to execute dynamic scripts of any type. Unlike other scripting components, GhPython allows the use of rhinoscriptsyntax to start scripting without needing to be a programmer.

IMAGE HAL is a Grasshopper plugin for industrial robots programming supporting ABB, KUKA and Universal Robots machines.

IMAGE Extends Grasshopper’s ability to create and reference geometry including lights, blocks, and text objects. Also enables access to information about the active Rhino document, pertaining to materials, layers, linetypes, and other settings.

IMAGE Karamba is an interactive, parametric finite element program. It lets you analyze the response of 3-dimensional beam and shell structures under arbitrary loads.

IMAGE Kangaroo is a Live Physics engine for interactive simulation, optimization and form-finding directly within Grasshopper.

IMAGE Fold panels using curved folding and control panel distribution on surfaces with a range of attractor systems.

IMAGE LunchBox is a plug-in for Grasshopper for exploring mathematical shapes, paneling, structures, and workflow.

IMAGE Meshedit is a set of components which extend Grasshopper’s ability to work with meshes.

IMAGE Parametric tools to create and manipulate rectangular grids, attractors and support creative morphing of parametric patterns.

IMAGE Platypus allows Grasshopper authors to stream geometry to the web in real time. It works like a chatroom for parametric geometry, and allows for on-the-fly 3D model mashups in the web browser.

IMAGE TT Toolbox features a range of different tools that we from the Core Studio at Thornton Tomasetti use on a regular basis, and we thought some of you might appreciate these.

IMAGE Weaverbird is a topological modeler that contains many of the known subdivision and transformation operators, readily usable by designers. This plug-in reconstructs the shape, subdivides any mesh, even made by polylines, and helps preparing for fabrication.

Additional Primers

The Firefly Primer This book is intended to teach the basics of electronics (using an Arduino) as well as various digital/physical prototyping techniques to people new to the field. It is not a comprehensive book on electronics (as there are already a number of great resources already dedicated to this topic). Instead, this book focuses on expediting the prototyping process. Written by Andrew Payne.

Essential Mathematics Essential Mathematics uses Grasshopper to introduce design professionals to foundation mathematical concepts that are necessary for effective development of computational methods for 3D modeling and computer graphics. Written by Rajaa Issa.

Generative Algorithms A series of books which is aimed to develop different concepts in the field of Generative Algorithms and Parametric Design. Written by Zubin Khabazi.

Rhino Python Primer This primer is intended to teach programming to absolute beginners, people who have tinkered with programming a bit or expert programmers looking for a quick introduction to the methods in Rhino. Written by Skylar Tibbits.

General References

Wolfram MathWorld is an online mathematics resource., assembled by Eric W. Weisstein with assistance from thousands of contributors. Since its contents first appeared online in 1995, MathWorld has emerged as a nexus of mathematical information in both the mathematics and educational communities. Its entries are extensively referenced in journals and books spanning all educational levels.

Further Reading

Burry, Jane, and Mark Burry. The New Mathematics of Architecture. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010.

Burry, Mark. Scripting Cultures: Architectural Design and Programming. Chichester, UK: Wiley, 2011.

Hensel, Michael, Achim Menges, and Michael Weinstock. Emergent Technologies and Design: Towards a Biological Paradigm for Architecture. Oxon: Routledge, 2010.

Jabi, Wassim. Parametric Design for Architecture. Laurence King, 2013.

Menges, Achim, and Sean Ahlquist. Computational Design Thinking. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

Menges, Achim. Material Computation: Higher Integration in Morphogenetic Design. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012.

Peters, Brady, and Xavier De Kestelier. Computation Works: The Building of Algorithmic Thought. Wiley, 2013.

Peters, Brady. Inside Smartgeometry: Expanding the Architectural Possibilities of Computational Design. Chichester: Wiley, 2013.

Pottmann, Helmut, and Daril Bentley. Architectural Geometry. Exton, PA: Bentley Institute, 2007.

Sakamoto, Tomoko, and Albert Ferré. From Control to Design: Parametric/algorithmic Architecture. Barcelona: Actar-D, 2008.

Woodbury, Robert. Elements of Parametric Design. London: Routledge, 2010.