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Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin - v.4.2.1 - Workflow for 3D Mode, Daylight, and Energy
Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin - v.4.2.1 - Workflow for 3D Mode, Daylight, and Energy

Rhino, Grasshopper, 4.2.1, plugin, geometry, import

Christopher Riddell avatar
Written by Christopher Riddell
Updated over a week ago

V.4.2.1 is the latest version of cove.tool's Rhino/Grasshopper Plugin for uploading geometry to cove.tool for Daylight and Energy analysis.

Version 4.2.1 Updates!

  • "Click to Upload" option removes the need to lock the solver and makes the upload process more seamless.

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

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

  • Upload Single- or Multi-use projects from the same script.

  • Significant performance improvements.

  • Enhanced error feedback/flagging for seamless upload experience.

  • Simplified geometry referencing and upload from existing projects.

  • Secure Login to ensure user privacy.

  • Auto-find cove.tool projects through text search using the project URL or Project ID.

  • Added an area threshold to remove surfaces under 1 SF (improves performance).

  • Added geometry parsing for malformed, corrupted, and unexpected geometries.

  • Bug fixes and more!

Written Guide

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.

Exporting your Rhino project to cove.tool with the Grasshopper v4.2.0 plugin uses 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.

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 open cove.tool's .gh file that you have already downloaded. The grasshopper definition will open, and you should see its overview in the image below.

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 Grasshopper file, paste the URL from the project page from cove.tool (URL of the first page in the project/ topmost icon on the left) or the Project ID in the text panel.

Next, click on the "Refresh Login" button to log in. 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, 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).

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. Alternatively, select the elements in Rhino, then right-click on the component in Grasshopper and select "Set Multiple Breps."

To see the elements referenced in a particular building component, simply right-click on the component and select 'Preview'.

Once you have connected all geometry elements into the Grasshopper script, click the upload button for each use type.

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

Happy Modeling!

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