Paneling tool causes file size to be too big

Hi, I have created several objects using paneling tool in rhino and realise the file size turns out to be extremely big. It is currently 1.85 GB. It causes my file to be very lag and often have to wait for a long time to open and close.
I have also constantly purge to clean the file but it is not helping. Is there any ways to reduce the file size?

I guess it depends of how complex are the shapes you are using with paneling tools, maybe you can use Blocks on some of them

@rajaa maybe PT could watch for cases where this would make sense and do it automatically on the fly?

maybe PT could watch for cases where this would make sense

This check would make PT dramatically slower.

The “watching” would be done at the command parsing level in those commands that can be specified to generate large numbers of identical objects distributed throughout the model space. I don’t think that would slow anything in any noticeable way. Care would need to be taken to make sure the block-based method wouldn’t be significantly slower than the multi-object method. A slight slowdown would probably be OK as a tradeoff for major model size reduction. I suspect a reasonable switch point might be around 50-100 objects.

Hi, sorry, I don’t understand what do you mean by PT?

PT => Paneling Tools

Hi All,
Indeed, if you use polysurfaces and populate to dense grids, then you end up with very big files. Here are few general rules to help:

  • If you are populating a rigid module that does not deform, then using blocks is best option.
  • Use meshes when possible as a module.
  • Use curves when possible as a module.
  • Start concepts on 2D grids using curves when possible.
  • Start with low resolution grids while still in design phase to develop your concepts.
    Once your concept and module is developed, you can switch to polysurface module and denser grids for final production.
    Does this help?

Hi, thanks for the tips. I shall try it out. May I know how to set the settings to low resolution grids?

How do you create your grids? Just use less points.

Alright, thank you. I will try it out

Hi Rajaa, is there any progress with instancing? I tried using a Block instance as an input but doesn’t seem to work.


  1. Solution exception:Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
  2. Data conversion failed from RhinoBlock to Geometry

Hi Can you please share your definition?

Hi rajaa, here are the files. Thanks

Paneling Tools Roof.3dm (65.9 KB) Paneling Tools Roof (10.5 KB)

I see that you are using a plugin for referencing block instances (Instance manager/Heteroptera). I installed the plugin, and ran your definition and can see the problem. PanelingTools does not recognize block types. It only takes geometry in GH.
Perhaps I do not know how to work with Heteroptera, but I tested with other component in GH like Move, I got the same error.

Hi Rajaa, I did that too and it seems on my end Paneling tools really doesn’t work with blocks in grasshopper? I also tried elefront and the same issue persists. I think block instances only work for Paneling tools in the rhino workspace. Can you guys implement block instances for paneling tools in grasshopper? It would be really helpful. Can I request some more functionalities in future releases too? For example being able to trim panels via clipping spline or some geometry. Something like that and more.

Hi -

None of the native components in Grasshopper work with blocks.
I’m sure that’s on the list for Grasshopper 2.

Please start new threads for feature requests and, if those apply to Grasshopper, create those threads in the Grasshopper 2 category.

Hi Wim, I am aware that grasshopper does not support Blocks yet. It would’ve been nice if Paneling Tools could support blocks in grasshopper via Elefront and the like. I’m surprised that it’s not. Also, I commented about block clipping in a request thread, I bumped it up so people would see, unfortunately it has yet to receive a response from Mcneel.