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GreenSpider is a little piece of code developed to narrow the gap between computational concept design, terrestrial laser scanning and Building Information Modeling. Even if it’s still very primitive, GreenSpider is a free Autodesk Revit plugin developed by Simone Garagnani, taking advantage of Revit API, .NET libraries and C# programming language. GreenSpider conveniently parses ASCII text files representing 3D vertexes, whether generated by computational modeling software or terrestrial laser scanning equipment.
Once installed through this installer package on Windows-based pc's, GreenSpider 2.1 can be accessed in Revit mass modeling environment.
In order to import geometries, especially in form of decimated point clouds, some files called points.gsp (GreenSpiderPoints extension) have to be prepared: gsp format is basically an ASCII text file format where XYZ numerical values, in form of array, represent geometric vertexes dinamically sorted and separated by semicolons, while commas are used for decimal marks. Correct .GSP files are arranged by GreenSpider Translator 1.2, a module which now can be directly invoked inside Revit. The Translator opens XYZ plain files with no normals, recognizes and parses them in correct format. Importing different set of point clouds is now easier since the Translator can be initialized each time through the Reset button, erasing previous .GSP and temp files already acquired in Revit.
GreenSpider 2.1 is way much easier to use than any other previous release! Now users can choose where to store .GSP files, which are to be prepared for single translations no more. Now file can be browsed allowing multiple translations with different names for different slices.
GreenSpider is still a prototype, even if it reached its 2.1 release; it allows to run two commands identified by two different drop-down icons in Revit add-ins menu: GSpoints and GScurves. The first one simply imports vertex point cloud as reference points in mass modeling environment, while the second traces a spline interpolation among imported points sorted through a TSP process, in order to build surfaces after recursive .GSP imports.
GreenSpider Translator r1.2 can now perform two different kinds of point sorting, along X and Y axis, in order to allow a better tracing for GScurves command.
GreenSpider was first introduced on May 2012 and extensively described by this scientific paper, in which some case studies are presented. The math behind its sorting algorithm is mostly based on TSP, the travel salesman problem, a well-known case in combinatorial optimization studied in operations research and theoretical computer science.
In fact, since Revit API's NewCurveByPoints(ReferencePointArray) instruction works only with properly consecutive traced reference points, some generic XYZ point clouds are translated into a text file in which sections are represented by values sorted by the nearest neighbor method, along the x-axis and y-axis, as it proved to be effective in TSP solution.
Decimated laser scanner point clouds are imported this way in Revit as many times as needed (using a reset function every time in Translator module), and generated curves can be used to originate surfaces very close to their real geometry. For this achievement, pages on Jeremy Tammik's blog were fundamentals.
However, GreenSpider has to be considered as a concept tool useful to import existing buildings morphologies inside the BIM process, since Revit splines are, as clearly exposed in this illuminating post by Nathan Miller, NURBS with specific knots management, not fully compatible with discrete poligonal modeling influenced by laser scanner devices.
GreenSpider 2.0 (old release) in action.
The brand new installer is more sophisticated than its predecessors. Since the plugin was written taking advantage of RevitAPI2013, it works on both Revit 2013 and 2014. Please choose the right version during the install process.
Warning: Some WinXP/7/8 machines running under DSA or remote login authentication could fail during the install process; in this case, if any error should occur, warning messages from the installer can be safely ignored and this file can be copied in Windows home directory called C:\Users\USER\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2013 or C:\Users\USER\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2014.
GreenSpider releases timeline:
GreenSpider 2.1 (May 25, 2013)
GreenSpider 2.0 (February 15, 2013)
GreenSpider Translator 1.0 (Novembre 26, 2012)
GreenSpider 1.0.2 (May 22, 2012)
GreenSpider intro (April 30, 2012)
GreenSpider Revit plugin by Simone Garagnani is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Condividi allo stesso modo 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.tcproject.net/pivotx/?e=146
Curate da Simone Garagnani, queste pagine presentano più di nove anni di lavori e ricerche dei TC Labs, i laboratori di sperimentazione digitale dello studio di ingegneria ed architettura TC Project. TC Project è presente anche sul social network Facebook.
Edited by Simone Garagnani, for almost nine years these web pages have introduced works and studies by TC Labs, the TC Project professional firm's research and development unit. They are mainly focused on computer graphics applied to architecture and engineering. TC Project is also on Facebook.
Ultimi commentiSimone (GreenSpider - Gra…): Hi Erik, GS Translator accepts only .XYZ files in standard format, so try these checks, as indicated …
Erik Tremain (GreenSpider - Gra…): Very, Very exciting. I would like to use this tool, but after the file has been imported and I begin…
Giuseppe P. (TC Wedding!): Leggo con vero coinvolgimento il tuo pensiero da sentirlo completamente mio. Sei stato in grado di es…
Guido (GreenSpider - Gra…): Well done! :)
Guido (Day 35 - Research…): Thanks for the whistle! Much appreciated :D
Teocomi (Web site back on-…): Argh! Aruba noooo! ;)