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Grasshopper Essential Training

via LinkedIn Learning


Create more sophisticated and flexible 3D models with Grasshopper, an algorithmic modeling plugin for Rhino 3D.

Algorithmic modeling is where design and programming intersect. Grasshopper—a plugin for Rhino 3D—is a graphical algorithm editor that allows you to create complex 3D models with less grunt work. The resulting designs are both sophisticated and flexible. In this course, artist and programmer Chris Reilly introduces advanced math techniques and fully-developed hands-on projects that help you understand how to make the most out of the parametric design tools in Grasshopper. See how to build a flexible product design for mass production with a parametric design algorithm. Plus, learn how to use plugins like Ladybug to model big data sets, generate recursive patterns with scripting, and build geometric patterns that auto-tessellate.

By the end of the course, you'll see how even basic literacy in Grasshopper can be applied to developing projects for art, manufacturing, architecture, and design.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know
  • What’s new in Rhino 6
  • Using the exercise files
1. Algorithmic Thinking
  • Introduction to associative design
  • Working with algorithms
  • Iteration and recursion
2. Modeling a Musical Instrument
  • Introduction and file setup
  • Modeling the base profile
  • Modeling the through hole profiles
  • Modeling the top profile
  • Modeling the fret track profiles
  • Extruding the frets
  • Extruding the solid base
  • Extruding the solid top
  • Finishing the algorithm
  • Planning for mass production
  • Estimating materials for mass production
3. Customizing Grasshopper
  • Clusters
  • Custom components with user objects
  • Add-ons and plugins
  • Python scripting
  • Visual Basic .NET scripting
4. Modeling Climate Data with Ladybug
  • Vector review
  • Intro to Ladybug plugin
  • Installing the Ladybug plugin
  • Importing weather data with Ladybug
  • Analyzing wind data with Ladybug
  • Displaying Ladybug wind data with vectors
  • Visualizing wind data over time with Ladybug
  • Sunlight simulation with Ladybug
  • Calculating average sun vectors in Ladybug
  • Optimizing solar panels with Ladybug and vector cross product
  • Shadow study with Ladybug
  • Surface analysis with vector dot product
  • Aligning shapes to vectors
5. Tiling and Tessalation
  • Data tree review
  • Hexagonal tiling introduction
  • Setting up a hexagonal tiling grid
  • Finishing a hexagonal tiling grid
  • Adding offsets for tiling
  • Adding additional tiling parameters
  • Planning for tiling 3D objects
  • Tiling 3D objects
  • Truchet tile fundamentals
  • Planning a parametric hexagonal tile
  • Creating a parametric hexagonal tile
  • Planning a parametric truchet tile
  • Creating a parametric truchet tile
6. Simulation and Form-Finding with Kangaroo
  • What is Kangaroo?
  • Installing Kangaroo
  • Where to get help with Kangaroo
  • Exploring Kangaroo basics
  • Multi-goal simulations
  • Simulating basic tensile structures
  • Simulating tensile meshes
  • What are grid shells?
  • Simulating grid shells
  • Flexible anchor points
  • Measuring tolerances
  • Form-finding with Kangaroo
  • Fine-tuning a physics simulation
  • Next steps

Taught by

Chris Reilly

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