Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Making Grasshopper to Revit Easier

I was very fortunate last week to be able to attend the McNeel event for Rhino Resellers and Developers.  It was an amazing event and fantastic to be able to meet in person so many of the Rhino3d community in person for the first time.  It was also great to see many others that I have met before again.  I'd like to publically thank McNeel Europe for arranging such a wonderful meeting, and can only hope it happens again in the near future.

I took the opportunity during this very brief venture back to Europe to meet with a couple of clients (apologies to those that I missed) and the feedback had one common thread.  The IFC functionality for OpenBIM export from Grasshopper has great functionality, but was confusing to new (and experienced) users as to how to put together the components.

Given that the vast majority of the users are transferring Grasshopper to Revit, I've decided to develop a new front end for the plugin using Revit phrases, terms, conventions and relationships.  This should make it a lot more intuitive for new and experienced users alike.  In the back, it's still doing the same as the existing components.  It's just I can condense 2 or 3 IFC components into 1 specific revit version, and a lot of the "optional" or additional features of IFC that don't really relate to Revit can be masked.

Here's a screen capture of the initial components I've got working in the past 3 days.  A lot more should quickly follow.

If you'd like to be involved in the early testing, or request particular functionality, then please get in touch.  Any feedback welcome.  Initially these components will be included into the existing IFC plugin, but I plan to spin it out into it's own file some time soon.

It should be noted that the IFC generated can still potentially be used with other software (although I advise to use IFC4 for it's new features and this has barely been implemented by anyone).  I will also consider other application specific components if there is sufficient demand.

One other strong theme of the meeting was Rhino for Mac, which will be available "soon".  After the session by Steve Baer about developing plugins for Rhino Mac, we sat and tested with a compiled version of the IFC importer.  It loaded and the commands were available (but not quite executing with some user input not collected) but we can be confident it might be something users can start testing very "soon" (even if not officially supported initially).


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