This post is a bit long, so just to bring the essential first, I am a civil engineer working for a 1000 people engineering company (https://www.setec.fr/en/). We are designing bridges, towers, and power plants.
I am working for our scientific direction, where I am in charge of developping new tools between engineering softwares (finte elements) and 3D / BIM softwares. From my own experinece with Rhino, I think it is the perfect environment to develop “software bridges”. But as I said I am just a civil engineer, and I need good advice here. Lukilly you’re here ! Here above I briefly describe what I’ve been doing with scripts so far, what I need to do now, and what kind of help I really need.
What I have been doing so far
I have been using RhinoScript for a couple of years, and so far I’ve been quite happy with it. From drawing a parametric bridge (200 lines) to more recent applications (1000 lines), my scripts became a bit more complex, using .TXT files to store a database describing civil engineering structures for example.
What I need to do now
Now I have a more complex project. I need to develop a “toolbox” for an engineer to start from its calculation results (.TXT files) and create with rhino a parametric reinforcement model of a building, and then export it to TEKLA, for draftsmen to take over detailed drawings. See above for more details.
What kind of help do I need
I want to make sure I use an appropriate dev environment. In other words, can I just stay with separate scripts that I load one by one, or should I move to real dev environments, using Visual Studio for example.
I have never used Visual Studio but I looked at what other people did with it and it looks good :
However, I am bit afraid of loosing time on learning new langages (other than RS and Python) that would slow my dev, and I really need advice from experienced people Here. Is it worth it ?
I should also mention that the ideal for me and my company would be to contract a specific assistance with McNeel to have someone giving me advice on my coding environment and general code organization. I don’t know if this is feasable. But I would be happy to talk about it.
A hint of how I could start my project
I am not a professional dev, and here is how I think I could do it (and where I really need advice)
- write a script for each function of my toolbox
- each script store and retrieve information in/from Rhino custom Object properties (in order to avoid maintaining a separate database using objects identidiers, which would add significant functionalities I think).
Here above are the first scripts, just to give you a hint :
This is just .TXT files containing a mesh and calculation results at mesh node points.
Script 1/ INPUT VISUALIZATION
Visualise the mesh and the results in Rhino. This is fine with RS or Python.
Script 2/ CREATING PARAMETRIC REINFOCEMENT ZONES
This is creating series of bars. For example you create a polygon on your mesh in rhino, and then the script asks you a few parameters (bars spacing and diameter) and creates a layer with your serie of bars.
Script N : Many other functionalities, ending with reinforcement export to TEKLA
Well, if you got so far, thank you, and many thanks for your help.
Structural and Civil Engineer