This tutorial will walk you through the basic workflow from setting up your Rhino model to export to the web app for Daylight and Energy analysis using the Rhino/Grasshopper plugin v4.0.0.
Version 4.0.0 Updates!
Error feedback/flagging for seamless upload experience (NEW).
Simplified geometry referencing and upload from existing projects (NEW).
Separately dedicated workflows for Single-Use and Mixed-Use projects facilitating easy project upload (NEW).
Secure Login to ensure user privacy (NEW).
Auto-find cove.tool projects through text search using the project URL.
Added an area threshold to remove surfaces under 1 SF (improves performance).
Bug fixes for more accurate and faster solution time.
Auto-calculate the building height.
Simplified user instructions and feedback panels.
Exporting your Rhino project to cove.tool with the Grasshopper v4.0.0 plugin has been optimized with more efficient computational operations and an easy one-step geometry upload. This updated workflow allows for a seamless project data upload, processing of geometry throughout the design phases and streamlines the exporting process. These changes also drastically improve the ease at which users can model and export large, complex, or mixed-use projects.
Before you begin make sure to have the plugin downloaded, a cove.tool project created in the app, and a Rhino model ready for export.
To retrieve a copy of the latest plugin, go to cove.tool's Plugin App Store.
Next, make sure to have a cove.tool project created before you begin the export process. A pre-created project is necessary as the new plugin requires the project's URL to reference for export.
Last, the export process requires single surfaces and polysurfaces geometry (no curved geometry, groups, or meshes) for export and analysis. For curved or NURBS surfaces, geometry will need to be simplified to successfully export as shown in this article about exporting parametric models. Other steps to prepare your model for export are discussed in this article. Once these steps are complete your project is ready to be processed using the Grasshopper plugin.
Get started by using the command “Grasshopper” to launch the Rhino plugin, and open the covetool.gh file (single use or multi-use, based on your project requirement) you previously downloaded. The definition will open, and you should see the overview as the image below.
Depending on your project's building use - you can select the single-use or the multi-use workflows from the plugin folder. Learn more about what defines a mixed-use project here. The workflow only requires a user to interact with two steps of the plugin, Step 1 for Login and Step 3 for Geometry Upload. The remaining steps are operations for the analysis and exporting process requiring a quick check from the user that the information is correct, and the components are functioning properly. Follow the instructions as outlined below and in the Grasshopper plugin to set up your Rhino project and export it to cove.tool.
Step 1 – As the GH file is launched, a window prompting your cove.tool password will appear. Provide your password in the dialog box. Next, enter your username in the text panel. Finally, paste the URL from your project's project page in the text panel (first page in the project). If you forget your password, go to the cove.tool web app to reset it. If you need to re-enter your password, hit F5 to re-calculate or right-click on the grasshopper canvas and click the option "Recompute".
Step 2 – Verify the correct project is selected in group 2 "Check Project." Your project name with the building template you selected will appear in the "Current Project selected" text box. If your project name is incorrect, or you have an error message, double-check that your login and password are correct and recalculate by pressing F5.
Step 3 – In this step, geometry will be selected for export. Begin by right-clicking the component labeled with one of cove.tool's geometry categories (Roofs, Floors, etc.). Click the 'select multiple breps' option, and select rhino building geometry that corresponds to the grasshoppers component label. To see the elements referenced in a particular building component, simply right-click on the component and select 'Preview'. The blue dialog box will indicate any running errors in the geometry upload. Please make sure to clear all errors before reviewing the energy use results in Step 4. Once all the required building elements have been populated with geometry, the dialog box will indicate 'All good!'.
Step 4 – Once all your building components have been referenced, the energy results will automatically be updated in the 4th section.
Step 5 – After verifying the geometry is being referenced correctly, your geometry will automatically be processed. Verify whether the building height box is correct, the unit's system value is "feet," and that there are no red components. If there are any red components, double-click on the components and you will need to troubleshoot before moving to export. Reach out to the cove.tool support team if you are not able to resolve the error. Sending a screenshot of the model and the error will help the support team identify the issue.
Step 6 – Return to the Building Geometry page for your cove.tool project and refresh the page. The appropriate area fields will now be populated, and you can now select 3D Mode to continue with the next steps.