Thursday, November 29, 2012


I had a great time 3 weeks ago on Vasari Talk with Zach Kron & Lilli Smith from Autodesk.  You can watch the session on youtube if you missed it.  Follow the link here : Spring Onion.  Also, if you want to download the "square onion" file that I was playing with towards the end of the session you can find it here :  Repeater File.

During the discussions, Zach noted that most of my vegetables were based on the idea of a scalable rectangle, & asked if I had tried using a scalable cube.  My answer was basically that I like to keep things simple, hence the focus on a 2d rig.  But since then I have begun to explore the idea of a cube, just to see if there is any potential there which can be exploited without getting too deep into the realms of complexity.

So my first trial scales up by typing in a length value & has factors for varying the proportions of the cuboid (relation of height & width to length)  The first think that came to mind for this was to host a 3 point adaptive component into it as a repeater.  So I made up a simple prototype roof truss.

This worked out fine.  You can adjust the cube parameters so that you type in a length and width, then use a height factor to control the roof pitch.  Probably with a bit of trigonometry revision I could get it to respond to an angle parameter.

This was promising enough to encourage me to flesh out the truss some more.  Looks OK.  Very easy to parametise the repeater number so you can specify the number of trusses.  Again this could be reverse engineered to let you type in a spacing and have Revit work out the number of trusses.

Also it's very easy to control the position of the ridge line so as to create assymetrical trusses.  So I think this is definitely one valid use for the cube rig. 

You can work up different types of 3 point adaptive also to vary the truss style (King Post, Queen Post, Fink etc)  Easy enough to extend the rafters to create an eaves overhang also.  Would be interesting to push this a bit further and create the framing for more complex roofs using this approach.

But this time around I left it there and went on to explore using the cube rig for other types of scalable shape.  This series of explorations was less successful (in my view)  I started off by placing a couple of 3 point adaptive components, just triangles made with model lines.  Select these and create form.  Play around with the size and proportions of different instances

Next I tried dividing up the cube into slices, much the same way as I place horizontals in my rectangular rigs.  Then I used these to host splines, again much like the spring onion, or the sweet potato, etc.  These splines can then be used to define a surface. 

You can adjust the surface manually by nudging points around, then when you get something you like, loat it into a project and scale it up and down.  Also vary the proportions of the bounding box.  No idea what this might be though.

To create a solid form, I made the 3 splines into repeaters and hosted a 3 point adaptive component.  Select all these and create form.  I played around for a while with these, hoping that something interesting would shape up, but mostly I just ended up with wierd shapes that can be scaled up and pushed & pulled into different proportions.

Probably some ideas for exploiting this idea will come to me later on, but at the moment I am not greatly impressed so I decided to change the rules slightly.  The next set of explorations was more interesting & I will share them in a separate post.  For the moment here's a little teaser,



  1. Hi there, I know this might sound a bit daft, but any chance of posting a vid on the adaptive component trusses?

  2. Not daft at all. Just have to get around to it. I'm hoping to do more videos in future having enjoyed the Vasari Talk so much.


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