Structural simulation tools for GH?

Dear experts,

Besides Karamba (30 € for educational purposes), what other Grasshopper plugins are able to perform structural simulations (static, buckling, or modal analyses)? Any free?

I want to integrate their results into parametric optimisation of truss cross-sections and/or topology using Galapagos or Direct (included in Goat).

Any (other) recommendations are welcome!

@Vigardo Check :white_check_mark: Food4Rhino here
APPS search page direct link

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If you want to display multiple solutions and having plenty of feedback from optimisation, I suggest Wallacei
If you are hunting the best solution, I’d go for Opossum.

But it always depends on the case strudy… So I’m actually just pointing out two good solvers.
Plenty of documentation on both, so I hope you’ll find what suits you best !

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Hi, Fred_C I already know food4rhino. I not wanted to bias responses, but I´ll summarise my previous research here. I checked nearly all of the Analysis & Simulation tools in food4rhino (link).

Other FEA simulation tools (besides of Karamba):
tOpos: My GPU is not compliant with it. Only for solids.
Scan&SolvePro: Only intended for solids (not free and just 7-days trial license).
Scan&Solve2014: Old version with reduced functionalities… but I seems not available anymore.
Millipede: Besides its own optimisation tools, it can be used in combination with Galapagos. I will try to install it in my Rhino6. At this moment, this seems the best free choice. What do you think?

In addition, I have tested Peregrine. It is a truss topology optimiser (free until July 2020), that automatically defines the structure (you can´t optimise your truss design, e.g. generated in Lunchbox plugin) and lacks a good buckling analysis (it just performs members Euler buckling check in the last stage).

But what I need is a simulation plugin to design my own fitness function and include global buckling analysis in the optimisation workflow.

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Hi Antoine, I didn´t see your post before replying the previous one.

Thanks for your contribution, I will take a look to Wallacei and Opossum tools soon. They seem good alternatives to Galapagos.

Any structural analysis/simulation tool recommendation for GH? Have you experience with Millipede? Is Karamba so good that no other must be considered?

I had no way of knowing where you checked; you didn’t say.
Good luck. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Some not mentioned so far:

Kiwi: .
K2Eng is also pretty good in some specific situations:

Finally, there are several structural FEA packages that offer a way to link up to Grasshopper, those might be worth a look. Though none of those would be free. You could also code up a way to call an external FEA tool. Here’s an example I coded in Python to make GH call Ansys to run an optimization process in Opossum.

With that said, for the sort of analysis you’re looking at doing, Karamba is the only one I would trust to look at an entire structure. If you’re a student strapped for cash, I think it’s 30 € well invested as many professional practices are using it so it’s a great tool to learn. The quality of the tool is also very good.

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I was about to mention Kiwi but also Concha.

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Thanks for your contributions!

I would rather go only to the Python coding option as last resource. It´s great having a link to an example here, thanks!

Kiwi!3D and Concha look great, but they seem intended for shells analysis so I think they won´t work with trusses.

By the way, Kiwi directly uses NURBS as basis functions for the Finite Elements. Hence, meshing of CAD models for analysis is avoided. Scan&Solve also avoids meshing stage for solids, but using a different strategy.

K2Engineering is the only one (besides Karamba) that considers buckling. However, it obtains the buckling load factor from a nonlinear load-displacement analysis (it should be slow but accurate). In any case, it is free and has beam elements, so I will try!

I´ve already tried Karamba, and it is a really good plugin. Definitively, I will invest the 30 € in the educational version as soon as possible. Only cross-section optimisation and buckling calculations (mainly) require buy. The free version is not restricted at all for most static and modal analyses.

Any other FEA tool intended for trusses and buckling?

After trying Karamba and its forum support for a few weeks, I have to say that it is the best simulation tool I´ve tried so far. Fast software and rapid support, highly recommendable.

Regarding optimization plug-ins for GH, I´ve found today one paper that compares all available tools: Galapagos, Goat, Silvereye, Opossum, Dodo, Nelder-Mead, and Optimus. You can find it here: “OPTIMUS: Self-Adaptive Differential Evolution with Ensemble of Mutation Strategies for Grasshopper Algorithmic Modeling.” Cubukcuoglu et al. 2019.

Another paper comparing said tools: “Genetic evolution vs function approximation - Benchmarking algorithms for architectural design optimization.” Wortmann 2018. (you can either request it to the author or try sci-hub)

Here you can find some other structural analysis tools for GH.

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Thanks for sharing your findings! It’d be great if you could keep us posted, I’m sure many people are going to come across this thread as they’re looking for info on structural analysis and optimization tools.

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I´ve found two interesting optimization plug-ins more for GH that I want to share here:

Nelder-Mead´s optimization algorithm, perhaps more commonly known as Simplex optimization.

TT Toolbox. Up to version 1.6, it includes a Brute Force search component (I´ve tested that it works in Rhino6). It works as Galapagos, you just have to connect the sliders and the component will exhaustively test all possible configurations. This may be very useful to assess how optimal any other optimization tool is as long as the number of dimensions is low enough.

I´ve found a couple of FEA tools for Rhino/GH more that offer some free trial licenses:

(this latter is cloud based)

Millipede link above seems broken, here you have a couple of them either form a web with examples or from here.

Any advice for solid FEA within GH are highly appreciated :wink:

Scan and Solve also runs in Rhino. Not sure where they are on GH yet:

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Ixcube fea Is a Hybrid solution, it’s fully integrated in gh but you have also a full ui .
Linear analysis is free


Super nice:

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Might want to look into:

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Here is a nice survey of structural engineering software. Rhino and Grasshopper is #2 in the top 5:

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