Thanks everyone. Those are all good suggestions.
From the looks of most all the learning material out there, grasshopper is Heavily focused on architecture. And that’s really cool, but I wanted to explore it a bit in terms of what it could do for product design, but in the Middle of the design workflow.
What I mean by that, is often we are given a design with fairly large constraints already. The overall shape is mostly defined. We can’t change the mounting points to the part that we are changing to make a product look more aesthetically pleasing, so we want to explore what we can do with the A-surfacing.
I wanted to see what could be accomplished here with patterning, but immediately got frustrated as most tutorials either started from grasshopper, making Everything parametrically without referencing anything in a scene, or skipping the part that showed how to actually get geometry into grasshopper.
I found a few things that taught me enough to get that far, and I can bake a result at the end. I’m not sure if that’s a good workflow or not, but I don’t see many people talking about workflow. But I am already getting grasshopper to crash often enough, I don’t think I’d be working in a “working” rhino file anyway. I’d probably just export the part I’m looking at, maybe block instance reference other parts if needed, and have that as a separate file.
Trying to do much with already existing geometry with multiple trimmed surfaces joined together to create a solid doesn’t seem to be the easiest place to start, and that’s about all we get unless we design something from scratch ourselves. I’m not finding much in terms of examples for how to treat things like that.
That’s a good, but very simple, example. We might be given something like that. But lets say it’s split into to "parts because the two halves are to be a 2-shot mold, and the surfaces that are there might be split into multiple surfaces joined together. That seems to make grasshopper complicated, as I haven’t found anything that gives a good idea of how to deal with that outside of just remodeling it so that it’s a single surface, or using SubDiv maybe.
Is there anything in Grasshopper to join surfaces together and define them as a single entity, while keeping their shape? So, somewhat like that handlebar grip, if I have a scallopped shape, like the subtle cuttout on a mac keyboard with a sharp edge, but then a large soft radius, I don’t see a way to pattern something across surfaces like that. In that particular example you could just project them straight down, sure, but if that was also a curved object then what, you bend your curves and use a pull command? And that would get the curves to the object, but then I wouldn’t see how you could do much more than basic extrudes in there.