23rd September 2023

Your Grasshopper Interoperability Options

Your Grasshopper Interoperability Options

Grasshopper is widely recognised as the tool architects use to create complex geometry. But this association with complex geometry often intimidates people. There is a belief that Grasshopper is only for the advanced and complex. They may say, "It's not for me" or "I only have simple problems." The peddling of only complex tasks with Grasshopper dissuades more people from using it in their daily lives.

Unfortunately, complex geometry is what gets peddled by social media and it only serves to scare more users away. And because of that, it might feel “wrong” to use Grasshopper for simple problems. In reality, Grasshopper can and should be used to solve any pain points you have, no matter how simple or complex.

One of the most “simple” but effective features of Grasshopper is it’s ability to interact with various programs. Because of it’s visual programming nature, it let’s you transfer your data between programs with minimal manual effort. In fact, there is a vast open source community of Grasshopper plugins for this very purpose. These is likely a plugin that connects Grasshopper with a program that you work with.

So, in this post, I am going to show you a list of commonly used interoperability Grasshopper plugins. Interoperability, is a simple way of leveraging Grasshopper in your day to day live. I hope through the series of examples, it inspires you to use Grasshopper more.

The Speckle Platform

One of the most popular interoperability plugins out there is Speckle. More than just a Grasshopper plugin, they are trying to be a platform for all 3D data. Being open-sourced and cloud-based, you can upload your model’s data and they handle the translation of that data to other programs.

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Speckle connects other programs to their platform through “adapters”. This includes Grasshopper, they provide a set of components that let you upload your geometry and other metadata to their platform.

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Then when it’s time to download that data from another program, you just have to download that data from their platform.

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As you get started, Speckle l