WISH: Curated collection of practical, ready-to-use definitions

This is less of a wish directed at developers and more directed at McNeel in general:

When Grasshopper 2 is released, I would love to see it come with a substantial currated collection of some of the best definitions around, chosen for their efficiency, and for their real-world usability for designers and builders in various fields -definitions ranging from very basic to moderately complex.

Simple 3d text, bossed or recessed in a surface, scaled to fit, with depth and font selection sliders.

A dogbone maker for CNC with options for T bones, D bones, End-bones, and maybe even two-tool options for blind endbones on machines with auto-tool changers.

Parts label and layout.

Image/heightfield mapping.

Multi-point pipe junctions with variable blends.

These are just a few I can think of off the top of my head, surely other people in other fields can think of others. And I realize there are tutorials for some of my suggestions already. I’m more suggesting that these kinds of everyday, utility parametric tools be made available as a standard part of Rhino/Grasshopper, kinda like “wizards” in many other programs, but with grasshopper there would be the advantage of being able to see and modify the entire process.

I’ve found a lot of useful stuff by searching forums, some worked as-build, some needed tweaking, but to have a collection of well-made, real-world-useful definitions with McNeel’s stamp of approval on them would, I think, be a way of enticing more people who’re primarily explicit modelling users to cross over to parametric.

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Professor, your lectures are awesome and so useful. Do you mind writing several variants of the essay you will want from us at the exam. Some for A+ some for B+, some C. We will choose from them according to our desires and copy it to give you at the final exam.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Is the point of parametric CAD to teach people programming or is the point of parametric CAD to help people design and build things?

the point of parametric CAD is to make an engineering object abide by standards easier. (that varies by engineering field)

Nothing to do with programming.

GH purpose is to make it easier for engineers to program without code. Visually.

I’m very much in agreement with this. This is one of the pillars of the code, the reuse.

Just as there is a folder of compiled components or user objects, there should be one of documents.
I myself have tried to do this in several plugins, still unsuccessful. My best attempt has been Brickbox, but it’s not so nice to use as to use it as often as I need.

So I’m designing a new system for Peacock1, because I really need to offer a lot of definitions that are not worth making components, they must be definitions.

Something like this should be native. In addition, the GH document already has the properties for this (author, description, revisions, dates, necessary plugins…), you only need an agile file manager and be able to link it to a Rhino store (if they decide to do it someday).

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I wonder what is the difference that makes a component not worth making and better to be a definition?

As for your plugins, it makes sense for a 3rd party plugins to create a lot of examples to show off what it can do, but also to help users understand how to use it. Otherwise the user will simply avoid using it when all of his trials fail.


He is asking about the default components:

Rhino is cheap software, I understand a lot of the income must come from offering trainings. Imagine all of these examples from trainings are provided for free?


GH didn’t help me learn programming at all. GhPython did.

The utility domain of the functions can be divided into several levels, for better intuition. Creating objects, extracting or modifying properties, and some more, make sense to be components, when you don’t need to access the inside of the black box and when you’re going to use them relatively often. On the other hand, processes that perform specific tasks for specific problems that need to be slightly modified,or that are rarely used frequently, make more sense if they are documents.

Most of Peacock’s life time was supported by the training I gave to learn how to use it. So someone who needs this tells you that I prefer to share the basic knowledge and get paided for tutorials of a higher level, because the problem that GH has as software is that it is a niche software, because it is too difficult or tedious to learn for the general public (3d modelers). So having a basic knowledge available helps to alleviate this problem.

It helped me a lot, for something I learned to program so fast and enjoying it so much, because GH made me wonder many things you need to solve to understand how to program.


Yes, it made me wonder so I went learning programming, to repeat some of the results using ghpython. But by itself (GH) didn’t teach me antything. Only limited my capabilities to implement my ideas, because some McNeel emplyees refused to provide code examples for python. Things impossible to do with GH alone.

Correction, GH taught me that the more accessible the tools are, the lazier the people become, or new even lazier people are attracted to it. :smiley:

Provide more examples for free and less and less people will actually develop new defintions, but rather use these basic examples. The few that will look into extending them don’t really need them.

If you think some people will avoid 3rd party plugins if they don’t come with a lot of examples, why would you not think some people will avoid grasshopper altogether if it doesn’t come with a lot of examples?

I’m not talking about examples that do anything particularly dazzling, I’m talking about examples that both accomplish useful basic design tasks and illustrate how a good definition is put together.

Does McNeel make a significant amount of it’s revenue from teaching courses? I don’t know.

I do know that if someone who wants to make, for example, a gear for CNC milling or laser cutting, and there’s a parametric gear definition that’s easy to use in a library that comes with rhino, that makes rhino a much more attractive piece of software package all together.

I’m not talking about giving away the Morpheus Hotel, here.

I’m more talking about my recent personal experience. I’m an experience rhino user with no programming experience at all. I’m learning grasshopper, but a lot of that learning comes from searching forums to find solutions to basic tasks that other people have already done.

Like, should I have to search and dig for “Sort vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines”, and then make my own newbie version of a cluster that does that task comprehensively (I think), or should that cluster be in a folder full of other useful geometry-sorting definitions that comes with Rhino.

It’s super basic (again, maybe it’s also flawed, I’m a newb).
Sort Lines Ortho Diag.gh (32.4 KB)

But I see how an optimized version of this and other sorters could be both useful for making bigger definitions, and useful for teaching basics.

In general, I don’t see any point in someone who makes a tool not sharing information about how to use it.

But that’s good. Tools should be accessible, and easy to use. That’s like the entire point of tools, going all the way back to the stone hand axe.

It won’t be too much of a loss, if you can’t figure out how to use the basic GH components, then GH is not for you.

One has to at least try. No one can pour knowledge in your head. Having these examples or not, if you cannot understand them or lack the will or intelligence to do so, what is the point in them being created? Someone has to spend money and time creating them, you know.

Bottom line, before I am being bashed again for expressing my opinion on the matter.

I would agree such demands from McNeel if a package of examples is worth another 1000 euro (or more for advanced definitions). Otherwise I prefer them to focus on more important stuff fixing issues and developing new stuff, like they already do.

I’m not “bashing”, but I fundamentally disagree with the idea that any tool that can be made easier to learn and use should not be made easier to learn and use.

I’ll even go further and say that Rhino users should not need to learn grasshopper to take advantage of some of the simpler things grasshopper can do.

And further, we can expect autodesk to do more and more of exactly what I’m talking about, which could easily syphon off young designers who might otherwise become McNeel customers.

Protecting one’s own special knowledge as a professional user of tools can make sense. Protecting one’s own special knowledge of how to use tools that one manufactures doesn’t make sense.

People like you and I use GH (also) because we enjoy it, and I understand what you’re saying from that side. But most people instead use it as a working tool, they want to make money to live in this fucking system. This is a commercial software, not a toy to solve puzzles (which for me it is too). For you, as an advanced user in GH, it is convenient that it becomes more popular because a profile like yours will be more demanded. And to make it more popular you have to make it easier to learn, even if you suppose that those assumptions are true (which I do not believe, from my point of view there will be more lazy people but also more advanced, because if it is easier to learn, more people will use it, the more people will be on both sides).

That’s how we’ve all learned.

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I realize that’s how we’re all learning.

I’m an application oriented person, the application matters more to me than the minutae of putting together the substructures of a definition, so if some of that stuff is already made to cut and paste together, I see that as a huge upside.

Look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fFH_TcI-9U

It’s free. I love McNeel and find Autodesk products inferior in many ways. And that’s why the out of the box usability that’s shown in this video scares me. It has the potential to syphon off McNeel users.

I’m not even asking for McNeel to create and market something this slick, it’d be enough to stay within the existing framework of grasshopper but maintain a library of ready-to-use definitions.

:smile:, no it does not.

I’m gonna use the cliche:
It is easy to learn, difficult to master. Making it easier, will flood the forums with stupid questions.

I totally agree, I would like to use GH to make money too but, alas. Not very applicable when Rhino is not integrated into other professional software. Hopefully this is getting developed soon (with RhinoInside). Also popularity is not the issue. Grasshopper is very popular, just no so useful, unless you want to take already developed definitions to do nothing and get paid for it. :wink:

Here we should consider the IQ Bell curve.

I wasn’t sure what kind of responses I’d get to
this post but if someone has asked me to guess ahead of time “seemingly favorable reference to Charles Murray” would not have been on my list.

I don’t know what that is, let me check. :thinking:

Uhm, no! A book written about American society when I was 10 years old. No way I can reference this book. This was a time in my country when no one cared about literature of any kind, let alone foreign.

I was referencing the actual bell curve, because as Dani agreed that more lazy people will emerge he also said that more advanced users will emerge.
By that reference I am saying that to a single advanced user that emerges there will be thousands if not tens of thousands lazy ones.
Sorry to disappoint. I am no racist. I do detest stupidity though.

It’s a good idea and certainly worth looking in to. Only problem is “usability”. Who decides what is useful?

We plan to have example files with the GH2 documentation, but those examples are not particularly likely to have “real-world usability”.

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