General architectural modeling question: are you using Rhino in your 3d workflow mainly because it has grasshopper?

Hi asking an open general question here. I’m wondering, are most architectural people using Rhino because it has grasshopper?

Here is why I’m asking:
I’ve only been using Rhino and Grasshopper full time for about a year now, solely on multi-story commercial architectural design work. Previously I was using SketchUp and other tools for conceptual modeling, and I still use Revit for production work as-needed.

The only issue I’ve had with Rhino is that it’s block system is surprisingly bad to work with. It’s surprising because Rhino is awesome to work with, but editing blocks/nested blocks in large models is almost impossible. For architectural modeling, block/group/component/etc editing and management is probably the most common way of managing complexity.

However, grasshopper is so powerful that it makes the blocks issue almost a non-issue. Algorithmic/Computational modeling is an incredible way to work. Since I’m new to this though, I thought I’d ask here. Thanks for considering.

I do a lot of conceptual architecture so thankfully I don’t have to deal with blocks. I guess the companies that use Rhino maybe have one person who just does blocks all day to get around that frustration?

You would be shooting yourself in the foot not to use Gh for architecture it’s a game changer for that field. I use it for many projects not just architecture it’s not that hard to learn nor that easy, but worth it.

I used Rhino before Gh so no I am not using Rhino because of Gh but that has made designing so much better now and I don’t have to use other programs to evaluate lighting etc. now that the incredible honeybee is in Gh. I use Rhino for architecture because of it’s amazing surfacing abilities and build models first than make them more or less parametric where needed using GH. A lot of stuff still involves hand sketching as ideas before rhino then modeled and about midway brought into Gh.

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I guess it’s all about finding a balance between a parameter-driven, procedural workflow in Grasshopper and a drawing, modeling workflow in Rhino.
Many Grasshopper beginners (and pros) see it as the proverbial egg-laying woolly milk sow - which it also is in some respects -, but many things are still faster, doing them by hand.
Even-though, Grasshopper may have spawned many architectural designs in the last decade or so, I still don’t believe that it’s a great general design tool, but this has more to do with how it is used than the add-on itself. I guess a general “good” workflow would be to come up with a quick idea and then turn to Grasshopper to flesh out the details and make life easier. It’s more about a back and fourth for me at least nowadays.

My workflow is often as follows:

  • sketching ideas on paper
  • rough 3d model in Rhino
  • maybe more sketching
  • Grasshopper (if necessary, which for me is always because I’ve so many definitions that I use daily for processes that I don’t even know how to do by hand anymore) :smiley:
  • more sketching
  • Revit (or AutoCAD) :cold_face:

In my opinion, there is simply nothing else out there that offers such a feature rich environment for architects than Rhino with Grasshopper with an affordable, non-subscription-model. Revit costs a couple of thousand Euros a year and frankly is shit tool that miraculously found its way into many practices. Only few people master it, and that’s one of the reasons - I recon - why only boxes are build nowadays? :rofl:

Furthermore, there are many ways to structure data and geometry (for large projects), especially with Grasshopper! Only because blocks seemed like a good idea in AutoCAD 1994 (I don’t even know if that version ever existed), doesn’t mean that they are for 3D nowadays. When working with Rhino I mostly don’t use blocks (rather layers), but I also mainly do plans and such in Revit (which I detest), especially for large projects.

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