Add hinges to Panelling tool facade triangles

Hello all, I am trying to create a mesh of a triangles sections joined by hinges . These would seem as the image below. Creating a kind of chain cloth. The problem I get when I have to make the unions, and develop the hinge (male and female) of every side of the triangle. Do I have to model it in Rhino and then import it to grasshopper to panel it ? Which would be the best pathway ?
Hope you can help me !

How many different types? ( I see at least 4 in the picture) and what rules govern which one goes where?

I would Model in Rhino to get the logic sorted out before jumping into the deep water of topology in gh.

I remember @HS_Kim did something similar in a thread on the old forum…

Instead of a hinge geometry, there was a disc joining adjacent mesh faces together. The disc was at 90 degrees to the mesh faces and had 2 slots lined up with its mesh faces.

If only I could find the link to the thread!

Although slightly different, it was a great example of managing mesh topology information and applying geometry dependent on adjacent mesh faces, which is what you need to do.

Another approach might use the mesh topology components such as the Sandbox ones to get each edge for each mesh face and apply a standard hinge geometry, tweaked for the length of the edge and either a male or female hinge part according to what is next to it.

When I’ve tried stuff like this I always find managing the mesh data the big challenge.


OK, so if we deconstruct what you’re trying to do, I guess we find two major topics to consider:

The first being the triangulated base mesh, where the mesh faces are interconnected by hinges. This sounds like a folding simulation to me, which could be achieved with Kangaroo. The simulation could be used to experiment with which forms could be produced with a given base mesh, before investing into a physical model. I’d start with a flat, planar base mesh with identical triangular faces, since this would be the simplest case possible. More on this later!

The second part would be modules that are interconnected and derived from the mesh topology. I guess you should reduce the number of modules. Maybe try to do everything with the same module and only introduce a second or third one, if there absolutely is no other way. Having multiple modules makes the production and assembly complex and expensive. For one module, you’d for instance only need a single ABS injection mold, if you’d want to produce your model in high volumes.
In order to make a single module work, you’ll need a base mesh composed of identical triangular faces!! The moment you introduce different sized faces, you introduce more complexity, and thus a greater number of modules.

You’d probably also want physical hinges that snap together for easy assembly and disassembly. Your current model shows some kind of “pin hinge” that wouldn’t we very practical. If you manufacture the modules traditionally, you’d need to insert some kind of metal pin while assembling the modules, which would be very time consuming and cumbersome. If you rely on 3D-printing, you could print the entire model in place, including the pin hinges, however disassembly would be impossible afterwards, which might be inconvenient, especially if you have a rather big model and need to transport it.