Shapediver Limits

I love Shapediver, but…
These limitations are sooo frustrating!!
Limitations regarding definition outputs – ShapeDiver - Documentation and Support

I know many others have mentioned this:
Limits of output size - Grasshopper / ShapeDiver - McNeel Forum
Limitations regarding textures - Grasshopper / ShapeDiver - McNeel Forum

Overall, I am curious about a few things regarding these limits:
-Do these limitations apply to all account types? Seems like they do, but I can’t tell.
-Why are these in place? Is it a result of what can be displayed on the web, or is it to designed to limit computation on the servers?
-Will these limitations ever go away? Or at least increase? Is this on the roadmap?

Basically, I make lots of grasshopper definitions that work really well and I would love to share with the world, but when I think about uploading them to Shapediver, I usually have to fundamentally change the way they are set up.

This is the specific example that I’m dealing with right now: (64.1 KB)

I wanted to set this up with a color gradient where users could adjust 2 colors and the geometry would be colored accordingly. Because of this, I exploded the mesh and applied one material per face according to those colors. Works great and very fast in GH. Obviously, this went over the limit though. I will have to set this up in some fundamentally different way, like users inputting a gradient image or something, but it’s just not as good.

Finally, if these limits are here to stay, I wish they were built into the grasshopper components. It wouldn’t be hard to have a little warning pop up telling you that you are over the limit. Instead, you have to upload to the site to find out.

An update:
I figured I could do this with gradient images and some components from Human. But it’s not exactly clear which version is supported, which is also frustrating.


The latest version on food4Rhino was released almost 2 years ago, but it’s still not supported on shapediver?! Even if I download that legacy version there (which I would rather not!) Will that be the right version? Not sure what’s going on here.

Another update. Got it to work with the previous version of human.


Not too bad.

Thank you very much for your feedback. Great to hear that you love ShapeDiver and you got your model to work.

I hear you, the limitations can be frustrating and at times completely unexpected. ShapeDiver strives to provide the best service for sharing amazing Grasshopper models to thousands of users but for that, output limits are necessary evil.

Rendering of interactive models in a web browser is a challenging task and you can’t expect the same as in Rhino on your desktop for two reasons:

  1. ShapeDiver sends meshes over the network and they have to be spit in manageable chunks so they travel fast and the web browser can handle them quickly.
  2. WebGL rendering doesn’t perform as good as rendering in desktop applications due to the technical limitations of a web browser.

You can learn more about what is behind the scenes in following articles:

We are currently working on major plugin and platform upgrades and we will have more information about account types in coming months. When it comes to the errors, ShapeDiver plugin components will give more meaningful messages and you will be able to troubleshoot in Grasshopper. Also, upload errors will be clearer.

With growing number of supported plugins, keeping them all up to date is a challenging task as you can imagine. However, don’t hesitate to give us a shout if we are far behind.

Explode components can behave unpredictably because the order of objects they produce varies between computers due to the tolerances and other factors. See this Forum post for more:

Last but not least, we are committed to continuously improve our service and we appreciate your feedback. Let us know if you have any ideas:

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Hi Pavol, Thanks so much for the detailed, quick response. The references are very helpful and I understand better why the limitations are in place. I also appreciate the upvote page- I added paneling tools there and may continue to add a few things. Looking forward to the plugin & platform updates. Overall, shapediver is a super cool platform- keep up the great work!

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