Mapping parts of a bookcase onto plywood sheets. Should I use blocks?

Hi there,

I have been designing some bookcases in Rhino. I wish to take the individual parts of my model and map them onto 96x48 plywood sheets in my model so that I have a cut plan and so that I know how much wood I need.

I have succeeded in doing this by making each part of the bookcase a block, making a second instance, and arranging that instance on a plywood sheet.

This works fairly well, but having each part of the model as its own block makes subsequent editing tedious, as I need to apply transformations one-block-at-a-time.

Is there a better way to map parts onto plywood sheets than using blocks?

Peter Godman

This might be helpful: OpenNest | Food4Rhino

However, if you’re not sure about the size of your raw material, it might not make sense to spend too much time optimizing the nesting…

I’m using the Orient command in Grasshopper to orient geometry from a 3D object to a XY plane. Blocks aren’t necessariliy required. Depends a bit if you’re planning on sending the parts to a woodshop with some other software than Rhino.

Thanks for the response! I’ll check out opennest. I think you’re saying that I should avoid using blocks because of the editing challenges I described above?

I don’t see a benefit in using blocks unless you maybe export everything to another software where you need local CPlanes and part names and Rhino object names aren’t always saved with an object….

Hi @pgodman @martinsiegrist ,
for similar purposes, I have been thinking this out-of-the-box solution for referencing fabrication objects, without them being encased inside a block. The idea came some time ago through a similar need. Idea - Block for referencing objects

I have not done anything about it in a while, but your post reminded me about it. And also, some updates on the software allow it to be handled better nowadays.

It is utilising VisualARQ and Elefront (I see you might be using a mac, so don’t know how well this applies there), and especially VisualARQ’s Gh-generated styles. They are basically small independent Grasshopper scripts encased inside geometry and running directly in Rhino.

Here I am using the Annotation style, because it allows to input the position as a plane, instead of just a point. The small script selects the geometry base on name or layer and orients it from its location to the point. You can freely edit the original, and update the reference when needed.

I made a video about it (sharing via Youtube).

The script:
Testing (13.7 KB)

I’m using Elefront components almost every day and wish the functionality was added as native Grasshopper components.

I have never looked at VisualARQ, looks interesting…