Spreadsheet for Rhino?

Hi, Rhino newbie here. Rhino lacks an inbuilt spreadsheet Rhino Discourse. How difficult would it be for someone (much cleverer than me) to write one?  I realise it’s been done in Grasshopper, but haven’t found a way to call or get Rhino objects into GH. I’ve included an outline of basic spreadsheet requirements:

I’d be using it to count block instances and perform calcs on closed polyline areas (representing single plants and plant mixtures respectively).

Essentials are in body text (nice to have non-essential in brackets).

  • Need up to 15 fields. Fields able to hold text, integers and decimal data (sorting would be nice).
  • Functions: read and count block instances, read and display surface areas and object perimeters.
  • Calculations: ability to do multiply, divide, add and subtract between cells.
  • Cell formatting: font selection, size, bold, italics (underline, conditional font colour e.g. for Block instance status).
  • (Worksheet linking to link to other Rhino spreadsheets (plus from Rhino to Excel - two-way would be nice for block instances to read data in from Excel)).

Update 20140416 (putting here so I can find again)
There seems to be some call for Excel im/export and a few possible tools - I’ll go off and see where I get:

wishlist for v6 - 1st paragraph only
parts list excel export discussion
an old BOM tool from peter harris
Cut list discussion - has script link

Sounds like a ambitious project, but one that might have value to others.

Yes , revive this topic, I also thought about this and in a bit different way. On internet some spreadsheet projects/source can be found and that is quite a big workload. Making a spreadsheet is complex, besides this many excist already.
Maybe this spreadsheet is possible in a different simple way: not make a 2D spreadsheet but 3D spreadcells/spreadblocks, eg sizable solids which can be put piled up in 3D , it’s properties/values text sstrings can be linked in formula’s. These blocks can label on 6 sides different value’s/info, colours / formatting and show easy to follow workflow by eg arrows, in 3D not in 2D , much better. Complete different workenvironment with other possibilities and it can be integrated with the 3D model itself, so 1 file, good for filing.
A bit like Grasshopper but than not on Grashopper canvas but in Rhino 3D workspace. This will be inbetween grasshopper and Rhino and is easy to setup small calculation for those not used to grasshopper.
A seperate spreadsheet is not usefull because Excel is easy to link bidirectional with Rhino.
Something to think about, or not.


Sounds like BIM. If so that would be most interesting, even though the add on VisualARQ has there own. That is a little pricey.

I think this could be implemented directly in excel without too much trouble. You could have a helper thread/UI running in Rhino which would make calls to an open instance of Excel to push/pull data when necessary. I’m not sure how easy it would be to notify Rhino when something is manually changed in Excel, but it almost certainly wouldn’t be as hard as building all your desired functionality from scratch, as its already included in Excel (with a much more polished interface :slight_smile: )

If the dataflow is only going in one direction (Rhino—>Excel), its cake I think.

@jan_tje, the volumetric spreadsheet is certainly an interesting idea, though i can’t think of a good use case.

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@delfterGoose, one goes with the other, good use is related or more follows to the available functionality, the best spreadsheet programm is still to come. At the moment many developments are realised on the field of human interface, this is a bit in between the human interface and the old fashioned 2D spreadsheet.
In general, a cad system has good view functions and fast spacial navigation, quick zooms in 3D and a 2D spreadsheet lacks this.
A 3D information model is very compact and easy to follow compared to 2D information model.
The combination of a spreadsheet and 3D CAD (only the needed cell-blocks are drawn with data wires like grasshopper) gives quick navigation (try to find your way in a big 2d spreadsheet) , the best view functions, CAD functionality for make up, a 3D spreadsheet is 10 x compacter. 3 axis visual data flow, in space grouped calculations , symbolic explanation and offset generated models, big arrows to show the flow, how much more clear can it get. Maybe manual update of model is preferred to auto update, to keep programming simple.
Also an issue for lots of companies, it is for others better to follow so a way of improving communication (these models will be used by several people). Explanation using dead CAD geometry around the calculation part and flow is easy.
The canvas of Grasshopper if 3D makes also very compact models. To be clear I think Grasshopper is huge step forward , very innovative environment.
For me, my brain is limited, if the calculation model is more clear my brain is relaxed, my memory is not so good, if the navigation and access to formulas is fast I make little mistakes. Or in other words, I am lazy, need an environment which suits this.
And besides this, when math modelling is more fun, technology is promoted widely so when this 3D programming blocks can eg create games inside Rhino 3D, like space invaders, many youngsters will learn from this and create their own math based stuff. LEGO did similar in plastic.

Coming back to this after ages. This is exactly how most open cast mining software works e.g. minesight but Minesight is $$$ and some small operators would like to be able to work with these models.

Like this ?

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Hi Juny, Exactly like that - is this a publicly available script? This would make Rhino worth buying for me as so much of my output is based on counting things and areas, and presenting in spreadsheet form for clients - and for my own design costing.