Energy Chain Simulation?

I was wondering if anyone was using Grasshopper (and Kangaroo?) for simulating cable carriers? I have the CAD for the chain links as well as the parameters for the chain, e.g. bending radius. I was thinking I could use Kangaroos rigid body functionality and simplified representations of the links to setup the assembly, assign a fixed end and moving end, number of links plus the moving and fixed end mounting brackets position and rotation (which may not always be parallel to one another). I’m thinking this could even be simulated using connected line segments with bend radius limits if it really needed to be simplified, then the line segments could be replaced with the energy chain links post simulation. I’m stuck on Rhino 5 due to me really liking VSR. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

This might be a good place to start, although you’ll have to add constraints to achieve link behavior: (41.9 KB)


Ah, just saw that you’re on R5, so some of those components might not work for you.
The collision part is probably not essential if you’re not stacking or looping it.
The key bit is the angle clamping which limits the bending to a different angle depending on which side it is bending towards.


This is great, thank you very much for this. It looks like there were only two errors when I attempted to load the .gh file:


I know a Grab component is present that is available in the Rhino 5 compatible version of Kangaroo, I can place it manually if the older component will work, I’d just need to know where to hook it up. I can’t find any info on the Relay component other than it’s for uncluttering connections? If that’s the case could it be possible to just reconnect the wires or does the Relay provide some additional functionality?

Collision is useful depending on the setup it would also be useful to account for collisions with other parts like chain guides and supports. I’m working under the assumption that once the nodes and connections are made it should be able to be added to and modified.

Are fixing chain ends to other geometry and enabling collisions for other parts as straightforward as using anchors and adding geometry to the Collider component?

Thanks again for doing this, I’ve been searching the web for GH and Kangaroo documentation and reference guides to read and haven’t had much success. Any pointers concerning references what each component does would be appreciated.

The Grab component has to be plugged into 0;1 of the Entwine component

File without relays: (61.6 KB)