domingo, 17 de julio de 2011

Programming FEM with Grasshopper(R) for Rhino(R)

In the past year a powerful design tool called Rhinoceros has come into my sphere of activity.
After several attempts of programming the necessary code to experiment with numerical methods using OGRE and C++, I have come to the conclusion that I need some more productive tools. The problem with C++ is that is good for final products and optimized code, but the available libraries for my purposes are normally too specific and complicated, and even simple debugging processes become a nightmare of libraries and strange variables.

Rhinoceros has an IDE plugin called Grasshopper that allows for visually programming with an object-oriented approach, which is very close to what we are intending now.
The next step in the research is to study the differences that appear when combining different methods in order to assess an optimum path for different applications. When studied with object-oriented mind, the numerical methods can easily be composed into GH components that afterwards we just need to link.

Arrangement of possible components with different integration concepts

One of my main concerns when developing with proprietary non-opensource IDEs and codes comes with the fact that there is always the chance of having to pay fees at some point, not to mention that they are opaque and not always supported by a community willing to help when there is trouble.
However,  the case of Grasshopper seems quite strange as there is a strong and dynamic community of researchers and developers also often supported by excellent professionals (at least as far as I have researched, we'll see..).

Well, lets hope I have made the right decision and GH boosts my research results in the near future.

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