Time Frame for Learning Grasshopper Basics

I’d like to estimate how much time (let’s say a range, something like “between 12 hours and 3 weeks” or “2 months to 6 months of 8 hour days”) to develop a Grasshopper skill set suitable to create parametrically-adjustable environments in 1) modern, 2) historical, and 3) free-form environments in a professional Interior Design context. I can’t tell if this is something that takes a few days, a week or a year.

I’m extremely experienced in Interior Design and Architecture, and have a good working knowledge of Rhino and Visual Arq (tutorials for which may cover requirement 1. I’ve put a post the VisualArq forum).

I welcome any particular tutorial links (though I think I’ve tracked down most of them) but what I really need to know is how much time to set aside to become good at this.

With a lot of practice (mostly understanding data trees) Safe to say a year to really be comfortable, although you can probably get some stuff going much sooner.

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Thanks Michael. That’s a long time. What if a person were to work at it 8 hours a day. Surely it wouldn’t take a year?

To clarify, by year I mean comfortable enough to know whats going on well and not have to look at tutorials etc. Although you could find specific tutorials and probably cobble together some working thing, the question is will you understand why it works? A year isn’t so long. Anyway these questions are a bit weird, everyone takes dif times to learn things, if you want to learn it just go for it and it will take as long as it takes.

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Thanks for your answers, Michael! It’s helpful for me to hear about this from anyone.

i would say a year too . if you start working with gh, in 2-3 months you will understand what Michael means by “comfortable enough to know whats going on”. its that point you start doing things, but you can not yet tackle or troubleshoot problem with ease (or even do complicated scenarios from scratch).

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Grasshopper at its core is fundamentally programming - after you’ve figured out a design and your variables, figuring out how to parametrize it is often a matter of working with geometric properties, expressing and maintaining constraints and relationships, etc. To be truly effective you’ll have to be somewhat familiar in the underlying representations of your data, and to know the different ways available to you to transform and manipulate it.

If you have a background in that kind of thing, it won’t take very long, but you’d still have to get used to Grasshopper’s model of doing things. If you don’t - no worries! Tutorials tend to illustrate a particular approach to solving a problem in Grasshopper, which may or may not be the best approach for your particular problem - but after going through enough of them you start to build an internal dictionary of what is going on. I have no idea how fast that would happen if you went at it for 8 hours a day. I would imagine that after a relatively short time you’d switch to tackling mini-projects of your own and looking up (or asking here!) help when you get stuck. I’d say that after twenty or thirty reasonably-sized (and ideally, quite different) projects you’ll probably have a decent grasp of Grasshopper.


Thanks Alex and Dan. Very helpful.

I’d love to keep hearing from anybody willing to share opinions about this.

I’d love to keep hearing from anybody willing to share opinions about this.

While you’re waiting, have you started learning yet? :smiley:


Regardless how long it takes it’s totally worth it. I’ve been at it 2 yrs and continue to grow weekly. Which equates to more efficiency for my employer. This is without coding knowledge, which is mycurrent goal.

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I’ve been at it for 9 years and still learn something new everyday :D.


I wanted to answer because I am familiar with this back-and-forth - we deal with more than one ‘environment’ in our office and grasshopper becomes an applicable tool across all our needs which also involve industrial design and steel fabrication. Many times the problems we solve in the shop with grasshopper do not even deal with accomplishing a 3D model, but they do deal with geometric properties or some data sets in forms of lists we at least visualize and manipulate.

I guess the premise here is that gh is a language - and as with any language you must learn, the time it takes you to be ‘fluent’ is influenced by your passion, practice, and the style/method of such practice - plus the level of immersion.

My recommendation is to attain your ‘3D model goals’ at work using hacks and examples already available online. You’ll be more than taken care of with the existing community and collections of examples/tutorials! Once you are off work then learn ‘for real’ - from a completely different angle - as in learning ‘to speak’ rather than ‘use’ the software. As if playing rather than working. Haha this recommendation might be useless if that’s not how you usually learn though.

And how to tell?! Perhaps the level of ‘skill’ you desire must be defined precisely - So the question becomes both broad and narrow: How much do you want to know and why? Do you need to ‘specialize’? A time frame for acquiring grasshopper skills can be as short as one day, one week, one month, etc…if your goal is simple, and all you must do is replicate from existing examples. A time frame for developing and exercising a ‘parametric thinking’ is defined rather individually I believe. If you’re already a problem-solver at heart it won’t matter, you’ll love the process!

haha reminded me of this oldie from


Or this from the old forums also :smiley:


Sorry I think I flagged the post instead of liking lol :joy: sorry…

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It probably deserves to be flagged :smiley:


Lol mate tbf… It’s given me a kick up the behind lol :joy:

I suppose I should be asking how long I have to spend with grasshopper before I have any idea what’s funny about those pictures! :slight_smile:


pretty much :joy:

I guess I’ll throw in my 2 cents as well because I came from a more formal programming language background and had to twist my thinking around to learn gh. But I’m glad I embraced it and it gives me abilities that I did not have before in playing with design ideas. I think you should give it a try and realize that if you start with relatively simple things you will get going quickly. Anytime I have run up against things I couldn’t figure out on my own, this forum has rescued me. It isn’t an all or nothing thing. You will continue to learn for a long time. I’ve only been using it for about a year now, but I’ve done some cool things with it already.

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I have been playing with it off and on for over 4 years. As a “traditional” CAD user I found it very counter intuitive and it took a long time to get comfortable, but also didn’t really have a real application that I needed to use it for. I still basically search for something close in the forums and example files then modify for my needs which usually works well. When I have a snag the community almost always helps quickly fix my mistakes. Took me a long time to realize just how powerful it is and how deep the rabbit hole goes. Given all the different applications and 3rd party stuff continuously getting added I would say 1 year is a very conservative. I would consider it more “lifetime learning of a constantly evolving process” Really depends on your particular background and field and what you intend to use it for. I personally use it as a supplement to create shapes and structures that SW, Fusion, etc. can’t replicate.

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