V.4.1.0 is the latest version of cove.tool's Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin for uploading geometry to cove.tool for Daylight and Energy analysis.

Version 4.1.0 Updates!

  • Visualize Daylight meshes and analyze results in the Rhino environment, including floor-wise sDA and ASE breakdown (NEW).

  • Total triangle Count and Triangle count breakdown for Geometry categories to help with the geometry upload process (NEW).

  • Additional geometry categories including Outdoor Floors, Below-grade Walls, and Spandrels (NEW).

  • Error feedback/flagging for seamless upload experience.

  • Simplified geometry referencing and upload from existing projects.

  • Separately dedicated workflows for Single-Use and Mixed-Use projects facilitating easy project upload.

  • Secure Login to ensure user privacy.

  • 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.

This written tutorial will walk you through the workflow of exporting your Rhino geometry to cove.tool's web app, and FAQs for Daylight and Energy analysis.

Written Guide

Exporting your Rhino project to cove.tool with the Grasshopper v4.1.0 plugin is an updated version of cove.tool's Grasshopper script.

It 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 and geometry processing throughout the design phases and streamlines the exporting process. These changes also drastically improve the ease with which you can model and export large, complex, or mixed-use projects.


Check This Space for a Video Tutorial!


Get Started

Before you begin, make sure to have the plugin folder downloaded, a cove.tool project created in the app, and a Rhino model ready for export.

  1. To retrieve a copy of the latest plugin, go to cove.tool's Plugin App Store.

  2. 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 for exporting the geometry to.

Lastly, the export process requires single-surface geometry (no curved geometry, groups, or meshes) for export and analysis. For curved polysurfaces or meshes, the geometry will need to be simplified 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.

Grasshopper Workflow

Get started by typing the command “Grasshopper” in the Rhino Command-Line, and opening cove.tool's .gh file (single-use or multi-use, based on your project requirement) that you have already downloaded. The grasshopper definition will open, and you should see its overview in 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 three steps of the plugin, Step 1 for Login, Step 2 for Geometry Upload and Step 3 is optional, for viewing daylight results on Rhino. 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 – After you open the single- or multi-use Grasshopper file, a pop-up window prompting you to enter your cove.tool username and password will appear. Provide your cove.tool login credentials in these fields. Finally, paste the URL from the project page from cove.tool (URL of the first page in the project/ topmost icon on the left) in the text panel. If you forget your password, go to the cove.tool web app to reset it. If you need to re-enter your email/ password, click the "Renew Login" button (Note that this will re-initiate the Geometry Upload Process)

Verify whether the correct project is selected in the first step. 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 (renew login if needed) and recalculate by pressing F5.

Step 2 – In this step, you will be selecting and referencing the building elements from Rhino that need to be exported to the web app. 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 3. Once all the required building elements have been populated with geometry, the dialog box will indicate 'All good!'.

Step 3 – Once all your building components have been referenced, the energy results will automatically be updated in the 3rd section.

Step 4.1 – After the geometry is referenced correctly, it will automatically be processed and exported to the web app. 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 4.2 – 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. On the 3D analysis page, make sure the daylight results are complete there before you can preview them on Rhino.

View Daylight Analysis Results on Rhino

New updates to the grasshopper script include the ability to visualize Daylight analysis results within your Rhino model - including sDA and ASE. This is a part of Section 4 of the grasshopper script. Before you begin, make sure the daylight run for the project is complete on the web app.

Step 5 – In this section, you will be able to preview the daylight results within your Rhino model, and view the total daylight and glare as well as their floor-wise breakdown.

If you are unable to view daylight results in Rhino, check whether:

  • The daylight results are complete on the web app,

  • If the daylight run is complete and you still cannot see your results on Rhino, check whether you have chosen the analysis type in this step, or recompute the Daylight Analysis component.

Make sure to double-check the grid size and the rotation angle, and update these fields in step 4, if you made any changes on the web app.

FAQs:

  • The Rhino model must be set to Feet. If you have modeled your project in metric, get your model to a stage where it's ready to be exported, and change the Rhino units to Feet as the last step.

  • After you enter the project URL and before you reference your geometry, lock the solver by clicking the middle mouse button or by right-clicking on the grasshopper canvas.

  • When you reference furniture from the Rhino model, only the bounding boxes representing the furniture will be exported to the web app.

  • If you have changed the orientation of your building on the web app, enter the rotation angle in step 4 in the grasshopper plugin.

Related Articles:

Manual Mode vs. 3D Mode

Preparing Rhino projects for the Grasshopper Plugin

Guide to your first cove.tool project

Installing the Plugins

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