Geodesic Dome Creation with Rhino Grasshopper and Weaverbird | DCO Graphicstudio | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Geodesic Dome Creation with Rhino Grasshopper and Weaverbird

teacher avatar DCO Graphicstudio

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. 01 INTRO

    • 2. 02 BASE GEOMETRY



    • 5. 05 COMPLETE DOME

    • 6. 06 CONCLUSION

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class you will learn how to create a Geodesic Dome with Rhino, Grasshopper and Weaverbird. Grasshopper is a bit intimidating at first, but with some experience it can become one of the most useful tools. These tutorials are great for students who are trying to expand their design arsenal.  They will allow you to create some impressive geometries in a quick amount of time.  The tools here are just the start of what is possible to create with Parametric design.  Make sure to follow me for future lessons. 

All of these software programs are available for free.



Welcome to DCO Graphicstudio

Here you will learn everything related to Architecture, Design, 3D modeling, 3D printing.

Anything related to digital media and digital fabrication.  If you have any questions, Ideas or concerns contact me directly here or at [email protected]



Rhino 3D


Other free Plugins

 Class skills:


Rhino 3D

Parametric Design


Links for free software



all plugins





Rhino 5:

download free for trial




Meet Your Teacher

Check out my website for more Parametric Courses and Scripts

Here you will learn about Architecture and Parametric design along with other 3D modeling tools   


See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. 01 INTRO: I everyone, My name's David Camm Petty. And into these video, I'll be going over. The steps were creating a geodesic dome with minimal effort. This is using right now three D and grasshopper plug in, and these are plug ins that you can download for free on the website Fruitful Rhino or if you check out the links below in the description. If you enjoyed the content, make sure to like comment and subscribe and stay tuned for other videos similar to these. So it's it started and have some fun. 2. 02 BASE GEOMETRY: we're gonna start with, um, one of these divine here and then we're going to go with Weaver birds Mush. I caused the heat. And what this is is Ah, the starting shape or a geodesic dome. Now what you're gonna notice is that this weaver bird Tavernier, you might not have it. And that's because it's not a typical plug in that. Comes, comes within Grasshopper the Deep all the grasshopper program. So when you download grasshopper, you'll have a bunch of tabs, but this one will be in there. So make sure to go to the description and take a look because you can download it for free and you'll just be able to have this to have to create all the things that you'll see in this video self once you bring this in. So it's basically a, uh I cosa Hadron. So it's called We revert Smash. It was a heated, um, weaken doing one of these. So I just wanted to show you that. And, um, depending on the units that you have here on right now, So it's good units. I have it in millimeters right now, so I'm gonna change it. Two inches and feet and inches because that's the typical units that I am used to. Um but, I mean, you could put it in meters or in millimeters if you know what you're doing, so I'll just change this. Go, You know, go here. Ah, let's do you like the tooth? 20 radius. So it's a fairly large, um, shape that impeding here, but that's not gonna be the final shape. What we're gonna do is take this shape and subdivided further. That way we can create like a nice geodesic dome shape, because right now, if we just take the edges So let's go, judges mash, adjust and we take a look. What we have is basically this kind of like simple spear made out of triangles, and that's the base geometry for geodesic dome. So if you don't really know how geodesic domes work, uh, there's a lot of videos out there that will kind of help you visualize how to create one. But this is the basic platonic shape that, uh, makes a geodesic dome. So, uh, that's what I'm showing you here. And what we're gonna do is we want to Actually, it's called truncation, where you subdivide these curves and then you connect them and you're able to subdivided for their self. With this weaver bird time. Here we have all these different ways that we could subdivide this mesh, and so that's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna go ahead and hide this and show you with all of these different types of subdivisions that we have here, the different results that come out from itself. We have the cat mole. We have the constant quad split subdivision. We have this and so I'm just grabbing them. I'm not even telling you what they are. And that's because that's one of the best ways to learns to kind of take everything, put it out there and see how it works. So to show you all the different results that it kind of it can create. So I'm gonna go ahead and select all of those space bar and disabled a preview. That way, when I plug in the mess here and I put a Slater, let's say of three for now, we'll keep it simple to one. We could see that if we put that there and we actually bring all of these mush curves out here and we preview that you see that we have a further subdivision, then what we had originally which waas take this, slide it over and hold Ault to make a copy. So that's what we had before. That's highlighted in green, and that's this is what we have now that's highlighted in green. So when a height UN preview that one just show you it actually creates some interesting subdivisions using this, um called cat mole Dash Clark subdivision and we can go from one to use e three and so that the it actually only goes to three levels. So it goes 12 to 3. So one is, uh, kind of like a simple seven division. And then you got final results as you go to three and so we'll go ahead and hide. He hit that one. We're gonna go here and plug in the same level. What you going to see is that it's going to create this like it's just gonna basically subdivide each panel into, um, into a mesh like this. So it's ah, it's an interesting thing if you wanted to subdivide just the panels, um, so it's and put the Mecir. And now here we have another way in which we are subdividing, which is just using the triangles in the middle. We can also, by changing the level here, you can see that we can go toe finer, smaller, bigger so we can go ahead and move on to this one. And now we are back to more of a geodesic dome type of subdivision. So this blue on that's called Weaver Birds Loop Subdivision. It's more the geodesic dome type and which, when you go to two or three now we're getting that typical shape that you get into Geodesic Dome. Um and so let's move on to the next. That's just subdividing the triangles. So I just hit those and same here we can. We can see that these were just subdivided by 37 divided by three third's and then one in the middle through the same thing for the last one, just to see the final result. And so there were back at one then, too, and then three. So actually, the best ones for geodesic domes are, um, the Loop Subdivision and the Cat meow. And so we'll focus on those two for this video. And so we'll go ahead and hide these, and we'll actually use this. Top one will actually just focus on that top one. That way we can go back here to, and we can possibly take this and subdivided in a way to create an interesting structure. So that's what we're gonna do next. 3. 03 FRAME THICKNESS: Okay, so I'm gonna delete these curves and preview, uh, the mislead, the mesh. And what we're gonna be doing now is creating a frame around each one of those triangles that we had just looked at. So we'll bring this component called Weaver birds. Picture praying, and we'll plug in that mesh right into there and go ahead and un preview that original match to get the wire frame. Frank? Yeah, the basic frame outside of the outside of each mesh kind of subdivision. So we have this and we can play around with, um, the basic, uh, dimensions of how big wanted to be. So go to three. Or we could go to 10. Um, but for now, we'll leave it at six. So that would be six inches. How, uh, mesh coming out and then to make it a three dimensional object who wanted that actually pops up. Um, we're gonna use the weaver birds mesh chicken, which is, um, this component here that you Kenbrell this mesh right into this one and give it it also another distance that will give it some of the thickness. So these are some of the tricks that I've learned from another youtuber called Parametric House. So make sure to go and subscribe to him because he has some good stuff for Grasshopper. So make sure to look at his stuff. But for now, that's UN. Preview this and take a look at what we have. So that's the basic shape in the basic structure that that I want to create for, uh, for this design. And I think it's going to look pretty cool. But as you can see, we just have the outside structure and I actually want to create the panels on the inside. So for that, we're gonna have to go right in here to were Birds mash Window, which, as you can see here, it's actually the opposite of this. This does the outside and this is the inside. So if we plug in that mesh and we do the same distance, then as you can see here now we have the inner panels. And so if I do a quick select here, it's elect heared space bar big. We see that you have not just, um, the frame, which looks really, really clean. With these connections, we actually have the perfect mesh. Um, would you call it is the mesh panel here. So we can assign even a glass to To that. Um And so let's select this, mister, uh, deleted, actually. So we could go back here and see that we have both the inside and the outside once, and let's actually give it some thickness to the to the windows. But not so much a six. Let's give it more of, uh ah, one that the one inch window. So now we go here. Now we see that this is natural thickened Nash, and so Okay, so we can move on. Do you eat this? The fact is, now we know that that's exactly what we want. But as you can see, we have a perfect sphere. And that's I mean, if that's what you want to make a let's see, like a that creation for three D prints or a sculpture, that's that. That would be interesting. But what I was thinking, this being is more like enclosed structure. So what I would want to do is to cut this in half. That way I can just use half of it as a dome, and that's what I'm gonna be doing next 4. 04 DESIGN VARIATIONS: Okay, so we have this fear and we want to cut it. But if we do, go ahead and cut it here in Grasshopper. It'll give us a lot of issues, and it'll actually take a lot longer than what we're trying to do here. So, um, what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna play around with some of this parent parameters. As you can see, 10 is good, but, um, I want to see, uh let's see. 20. How would you like a 12 12 inch outer? Actually, let's let's go out eight. And let's go to a distance of make it 10. So this is the outer distance that we're going out that's actually go to a 12. So that's one foot, Uh, bring thickness on the outside and we have this mesh outside, and we also have the inner planes. Now, we can actually just go ahead and, uh, go to a layer here, call this frame and called his glass and will make this current. We'll make that frame, will bake it and will frame the glass. So space bar B and I am going to go ahead and move everything to the right and so we'll start creating some more variations. And Aiken, I'll go ahead and change the color here to something that looks nicer. Um, and so that's interesting shape. And there's actually other tricks that we can use here on Weaver Bird. As you can see, there's a lot of different variations of things we can use. But one of the ones that subdivide sit further so we have that one. That sub sub divides this fear and this one that actually can take this mash. And if we going to like a higher level mesh to a Level three, you can go ahead and hide the preview on this one. And if I bake this one, you'll see that we'll have a more circular circular, um, circles kind of happening around so it softens the edges on the outside. So that's your kind of some variations that I can go ahead and and we can go ahead and do. But when we try to come here to this mash, and if we do the same thing to the circles, it actually offsets a little bit, and so we you might want to go to a lower level subdivision for where for the glass, and you might actually not want to do it at all just so you can keep that mesh on the inside and then the other mush on the outside. So how many go to frame? Go here to this one space bar, Bake good a glass, select this one space bar bake and now we can go ahead and start creating art collection of various designs. Um, we'll go ahead and actually bring in this other blue one here, which is the the loops of division, and we'll do the same thing, will take that. Bring it in, and we'll put three and we'll see some of the variations we have. So we'll bake this one and we'll go to glass and, well, go ahead and take that one also. So in the end will have a few these that we can go ahead and look at to see which one's kind of the coolest one that that we want to use. So I'm gonna go ahead and try to this one as the last as the last one, and we'll go to the frame baked and we go to the glass and bake here also. So Now we have these four different kinds of geodesic domes. And of course, we can actually go back here And you see the level three looking actually level one and see that it actually gives us a bit of a different something different. Both. I'm gonna go ahead and make the glass first, then go here to frame big the frame. And so I think that should be enough. 1234 and five different types of domes. 5. 05 COMPLETE DOME: that we have here. And don't forget to, uh, go here to save save your documents. Just so that way you have it for the future and go ahead and play around with itself. Um, so I call it Weaver Bird. Yeo Dome. Dear one, I'll do the same thing for the model. And so that is the way that I created knees. I will go ahead and go back to this on premium, You know, go ahead and hide it. And if we go into the three d space here, could do a shaded you. No, it's good rendered you. We have here the different results. So as you can see, this one's kind of cool. It creates it more, more of a rigid edges. This one does more curved at this. This one does also very rigid edges. And then here, lastly, we have soft edges, but still defined. And so what? We want to dio it's now create a plane which is gonna cut all of these. So we're just gonna throw it here and for geodesic domes. I like it when this is just personal preference. I guess not. Just when it cuts exactly in the middle and starts in. But when it cuts, you know, a little bit down here, so we'll bring it down here. We'll keep the originals slide over a copy of these, and we'll go ahead and we can go ahead and actually split, uh, the mesh. But be careful because this might might be a big split for everything. So you might want to do it one by one, so it's go split, Um, mashed mesh split. Select the spear on the cutting object and you'll see you will get some issues. Um, with this, you might have to go ahead and and hide the frame. Change this to a different layer. When you're here, you need to explode all the meshes When you go Here you go to mash smash Split will select the objects to sweat the cutting object. And so now we have these measures that are are split So let's explode. Well, do something with this Explode explode, you mesh split select objects to split all of these. So, like the cutting object This one and now we can actually go ahead go to the side view because they're all lined up and as long as you know, we're not selecting the first ones. You can actually go ahead and select just the bottomless and delete him. And these were some of the issues that would have come up in Grasshopper. So that's why I like to kind of do it out here. And I joined all these machines into one. So actually not into one that's join these individually. So I joined that one, joined this one, joined this one and joined that one. So you bring these back so we can now hide the bottom ones and see what we have. We have one that we were missing. So we'll go ahead and take all of these frames split match split national cut cutting objects here. And as you can see, it's gonna be a really heavy heavy cut and sew. That's why you might want to do it one at a time. So it successfully split them. Um, I'm happy. It kind of worked out, So I'm gonna go ahead, go to the side here again. You know that those air solid objects at the bottom so you can just delete them. And now we have, um, successfully created the geodesic domes with um, with everything that we're looking for, we got one of these, so I got ahead and clean that up, and I will show you how Teoh set up a render and get some of these really clean renders So you can share these with you know what? If you're if you're in school or whether you wanted to do it for a job or just for find some, I hope you learned something. I'll stay tuned for the for the render. 6. 06 CONCLUSION: for the render. I will be using very poor I know. But some of these steps would be the same for other render engines, even the default one here and right now. So I'm gonna go ahead and pick this 1st 1 to use for my render and take all of this. And I'm actually gonna move this over. This will make a copy, holding Ault and dragging it with the gumbo, and then it can hide all of this stuff. And in zoos, Zs seems selected to start creating the scene. So what I'm gonna do is first thing I always do in this psycho courage. And make sure I purge everything out just to make sure that, uh, you know, we don't have anything messing around with us. So we're going to create a ground plane in this ground plane. Well, I'm gonna do is create a bounding box around this object, and I'm gonna explode it and keep the middle. So I'm gonna select the bottom one and delete everything else. What that's going to do is create a plane at the exact bottom of this, uh, this shape. You know, what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna go ahead and scale it up. Really Big big plane. Um, that's gonna serve as the the ground the ground plane for for our render. So go ahead and lock it, zoom selected. And now we have the ground plane. And at this point, we can go ahead and bring in our the rate acid editor. And, um what, we want to go here in the settings as we want to go to environment, set up on environment and for the file. I'm actually going to go to one, uh, here and I'm gonna make sure to slink it below, so you can even use the exact same one. So let's it's gonna be this hdr, which is kind of like a sunset, and we'll just go had put it here with all the defaults. Go back, leave it at medium. But we do want, uh, the output to be more, more or less to match the view port. And then right here will do, like, 1920 which is the width of the screen. So let's see. Now we have that and we can go ahead and take a look at her basic renders. See what we what we get Just with this just by putting in a sky. And as you can see, it kind of creates this, uh, this environment that kind of lights a little bit of your model And to get a cleaner view of your render, one of the good things to do is to go to properties here than London Lens length. And you want to put it around 30 to get get a wider viewing angle. And so I do have a three D amounts to Sometimes that helps kind of adjust the view a little bit better. But you also want to adjusted to the render will look cleaner if you have kind of the son in the back, uh, coming out. So let me do it again when you go this way. So I'm adjusting the view depending on kind of where the sun is, because that creates a cleaner kind of render. So let's feel like this and actually want to make it a little bit brighter. So for that, you got a camera and you go to 10 will go to nine, see if that lane lightened set up a little bit. So that does make it a little bit lighter and make it a little bit cleaner, and I kind of like having this this light flare in the back. But we do want to toned down a tiny bit of the background, just so, um, it's not so contrast id in the background. So let's take a look that's looking really good. And so, yeah, let's do not here again. Go to layers and undo the ground. And let's make sure that that some of this some of this ground is a little bit bigger than what we have it here because we're getting a lot of, um, we're still getting some ground in the render. So there we go. Here we are. You can get the render again when I would blow the cutting plane. And so I'm just rendering and doing some views here from the top just to see why, um, my previous fights scaling it up didn't didn't really work. So, um, go ahead and do it again and see it. We're back on track here, So, yeah, Now we've got the plane at the bottom again so we can go ahead and start adding some materials. Um, and these were materials that are defaults here and the race. So I would like to go to car pains. The yellow one is pretty bright, and I like the way it looks. And we could go to glass and make it more, uh, which some of this like tempered glass type of look, um, beginning to do like a dark tent just to try it out and then, ultimately, for the ground we want. It's shining simple, shiny ground, so we'll get a plastic simple, shiny gray and will change that to a white. So the recent, uh, we wanted basically, when I use the default CNN, we can rename them as ground. So is quest and then car paint. So we can rename this structure and then that's for glass. And then we can go here. So one of the things that we can go ahead and do is go to perspective but rendered view. And now, once we start applying these, these materials to each layer will start seeing the update happen. Life So a bit of brows and we'll go to the structure and hit OK, we'll get a glass, a sign material by beer A and then browse down to a let's see Tempered will do the black tent and then we'll go to the ground floor, which is gonna be the the ground here. And so now we have successfully kind of created that feel and sometimes it forgets. Even if I have the three d malice he still forget to you since sometimes. But I'm gonna move the acid editor out of the way. Zoom si ze s resume selected. I'm gonna go toe low kind of you here and then do ah, quick under to see where we're at. And as you can see, it creates a really interesting, cool looking lender with a cool structure that will impress kind of a lot of people that I have a hard time coming up with shapes, that air kind of free form and more organic, kind of like like these. Thank you very much for watching. Make sure to like if you enjoyed the content and subscribe from future videos, stay tuned and look forward to seeing you in the next video. But