eleFront Beta Available now!

We are excited to announced that the Beta version for the next release of eleFront is now available for testing!

This is a WIP release, so please consider that before installing. This version is only compatible with Rhino 7 and later releases. If you intend to test the Beta, we suggest you also install the Legacy version of eleFront until v5.0 is out of the Beta period.

The GHA files are available on food4rhino, and you can find installation instructions here: Test the Beta - eleFront

Below is a list of some of the new features and improvements, with links you can follow for more detailed information. You can also visit here for a more complete list.

New Features!

Work with External Files

One of the biggest new features in eleFront is the ability to work with “external” files. This means working with files outside of your active document. For example:

  • Reference Geometry directly into your Grasshopper definition without having to attach it to your worksession.

  • Bake directly to an external file.

    • Overwrite the file, or simply add to it, allowing you to build large Rhino files incrementally.
  • Merge multiple Rhino files together.

  • Add and Remove items from an external file without having to open it.

Learn more…

"Ghost" Geometry

Sometimes in a Grasshopper script, you don’t necessarily need the geometry of an object - just its attributes. Loading large models with complex geometry can be taxing on your computer’s memory, so for scenarios where all you need is the object’s attributes, we’ve introduced “Ghost” geometry:

  • Maintains all the attributes of the Rhino object, for filtering, sorting, etc.

  • Visualizes a bounding box of the original object, as visual feedback for what object(s) you are acting on

  • The original geometry can still be “manifested” back into the script for geometric operations.

  • “Ghost” geometry can be baked, or added to external files.

Learn more…

Canvas Management

eleFront now comes with a “Data Description” component, that makes it easier to keep track of what data is moving through your script. Hotkeys make it easy to keep your script organized as you build it. If you already use Autograph, this functionality will be familiar to you.

However, we are very excited to introduce “in-line” tree shifting, which allows you to shift your trees directly from the context menu:

Learn more…

Blocks

  • Change a block definition without having to bake it

  • Use all 3 block types: Embedded, Linked, Embedded and Linked

  • Baking blocks is now much faster

  • Improved control for handling different Block Definitions with the same name

  • Block Information (name, transformation, source file) can now be accessed without having to Deconstruct the block

  • Visual feedback in Grasshopper to let you know whether a definition was defined in Grasshopper or in the Rhino document.

Learn more…

And more!

29 Likes

This feels like a big thing for architects, I wish the language was a little less technical so I could understand how to leverage my own projects :grimacing: Looking forward to seeing people use this!

Hi @krahimzadeh , excellent news and thank you for this!

Is this the thread for reporting bugs also - or do you have other means for that?
Because, I had to test right away if you had corrected my known annoyances, but alas no…

  1. When baking onto a layer which has a linetype and colour set → baking defaults the layer linetype to continuous and colour to black
  2. Leaders always bake with the active Annotation style, and not with the Gh-defined one.

Then with Leaders again:
3) Legacy version Leader does not orient (or bake oriented) - the new version Leader does orient. However, the orientation changes are made to the same Leader object (don’t know the terminology?), so the orientation changes propagate downstream.
4) Beta does not preview Leader with the proper Style, but uses active style. In Legacy it is shown correctly.

Elefront.gh (18.0 KB)
Elefront.3dm (53.9 KB)

Hi @Toni_Osterlund we haven’t implemented the all of the content for leaders and annotations yet in the Beta since we did a full re-write. But points noted!

We don’t have a place to report bugs/issues so this thread is a good as any.

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Hi @julian.riise if you haven’t used eleFront before it is a relatively abstract plug-in that is geared towards attributing and structuring data in Rhino. We developed the plug-in to make our lives designing and engineering facades easier, but we see it being used all over the place in Architecture, Product Design, Engineering, Environmental Analysis, Rhino to Revit workflows, etc. We are working on a website show casing examples of our project work that is driven eleFront, but we are slow sometimes and could be definitely be a lot better and showing our work….

The most well documented example of this is a project I ran many years ago now where we designed and produced a fabrication model and drawings for a Zaha Hadid project in Macau, the Morpheus Hotel.

https://wiki.mcneel.com/webinars/morpheus

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That’s the exact video that got me interested! Would love to learn more about how this workflow was set up, the video seems to be too broad for inexperienced users like me.

My teacher tried to show us the Elefront plugin last year, but it got way too technical… I would love to help create use-cases for the plugin on Youtube, just looking for the basics to get started😅

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For Ghost geometry can you convert the edges or the full geometry to Pointcloud to make the preview faster and more precise?
And is it possible to add an Excel component to read and modify the opened sheet?

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@seghierkhaled for now we will stick to the bounding box for the ghost geometry but can look into alternative preview methods in the future and see if they make sense. Its a good idea to explore!

Regarding Excel integration, I am not exactly sure what you are looking for but there are host of other plugins that already handle reading/writing Excel documents quite well and would suggest you employ one of those.

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I would suggest reaching out to the community to se how it is being used. We develop eleFront for our very specific use case and are happy to see others find value in it!

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Thanks again for sharing this plugin and all your efforts. If there is a ‘killer app’ for GH this is it.

3 Likes

Hi y’all

I want to reference specific block from another rhino file but when I plug in the value list component for the Reference Block by Name component, it doesn’t seem to work and show anything. Am I doing something wrong?

It looks like the Value List isn’t getting populated.

use an asterisks to get all the names if need be

image

Thanks @attheeast18! yeah, this is something we need to make sure is re-implemented fully but isn’t quite there yet. But @Japhy’s temp workaround is find. You can enter an “*” to grab all BakeNames or use simply type in the specific BakeName you would like to reference.

Thank you @Japhy @elevelle . Ok , I’m fine with the work around for now since I have no choice :slight_smile: Anyway , amazing plugin, I was just gonna request a way to extract just the Planes of Blocks, then this release came out and solved my problems. Thanks so much for this plugin, you guys are amazing!

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Another option temporarily would be to use Get Blocks from Document, which will list all the block definitions. Then you can filter down that list to the ones you want.

We’ll make a note on the Value List. Thanks for letting us know!

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@attheeast18 good time to try the new “Ghost” feature to load everything and cycle through as needed with dynamic filters downstream. But point noted on fully re-implementing the value-list auto-population!

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Thanks, yes there are many Excel tools but no tool can edit an opened excel file, this feature is useful to control geometries in Ansys discovery live from Grasshopper.
This is an example of Pointcloud with GhPython

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You may want to publish via Rhino’s package manager. Food4rhino supports this and you have more control over which version of Rhino elefront is installed for.

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Hi @stevebaer we have left the stable version on YAK for now and kept the Beta as download only. Does YAK support multiple versions?

Hi @seghierkhaled are you looking for the Excel reader to automatically recognize external changes and retrigger the script? That may be a bit difficult to execute successfully. However, if you are looking to implement something that you can trigger with a Boolean Toggle, you can probably create a simple C# script that does what you are looking to do. See the link below for the “OleDbConnection Class” from Microsoft that should allow you to do this.

We can consider adding this basic functionality to a future version.

1 Like