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Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin - v.4.1.0 and later - Workflow for 3D Mode, Daylight, and Energy
Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin - v.4.1.0 and later - Workflow for 3D Mode, Daylight, and Energy
Rhino, Grasshopper, Plug-in, import, daylight, energy, troubleshooting
Nilesh avatar
Written by Nilesh
Updated over a week ago
  • 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.

  • Prebuilt script for uploading single and multi-use projects using a 3 Step Workflow.

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 include Outdoor Floors, Below-grade Walls, and Spandrels (NEW).

  • Error feedback/flagging for a 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 goes over FAQs about integrating cove.tool in your Rhino/Grasshopper workflow.

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 3-step geometry upload.

This updated workflow allows for a seamless project data upload to cove.tool throughout all design phases and streamlines the export process for energy and daylight calculations. 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 download 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 can be simplified as shown in this article that talks about exporting parametric models. Other quick steps to prepare your model for export are discussed in this article. Once these steps are complete your project is ready for export using the prebuilt Grasshopper script.

How to access the grasshopper script and get started:

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.

Tip: Lock the solver before opening the grasshopper script, as mentioned here.

  • Depending on your project's building use type - you can select the single-use or the multi-use script from the downloaded folder. Learn more about what defines a mixed-use project here.

  • The geometry upload workflow only requires you to interact with three steps of the plugin, Step 1 for Login, Step 2 for Geometry Upload, and Step 3,4 for viewing energy and 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 – Login and Select Project

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.

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 your username and password (renew login if needed).

Enter Your Username and Password
Step1: Login and Select Project in cove.tool's grasshopper script

Step 2 – Connect your Geometry

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.) from the grasshopper script. Click the 'select multiple breps' option, and select the rhino building geometry that corresponds to the appropriate building category. 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 be sure to clear all errors before reviewing the energy use or daylighting results. Once all the required building elements have been populated with geometry, the dialog box will indicate 'All good!'.

Step 2: Connect Your Rhino Geometry for uploading to cove.tool

Step 3 – View Energy and Daylighting Results

Once all your building components have been referenced, the energy results will automatically be updated on the grasshopper script.

Note: These are preliminary energy results, you should check the Baseline Energy Page on the web app for Energy Results.

  • After the geometry is connected correctly, it will automatically be exported to the web app. 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 on grasshopper will help the support team identify the issue.

  • 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 'Continue to 3D analysis' and 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.

  • Recent 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.

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.

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

  1. The daylight results are complete on the web app,

  2. 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.

Note: 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.


  1. 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.

  2. Before opening the Single/Multi-Use script, lock the solver by clicking the middle mouse button or by right-clicking on the grasshopper canvas. Unlock the solver after you have entered your project URL, connected your building geometry, and click Renew Login to enter your cove.tool login credentials.

  3. When furniture is referenced from the Rhino model, only the bounding boxes representing the furniture are exported to the web app.

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

Happy Modeling!

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