Categories: PN3+DC3 | Tutorials

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In recent years, bamboo structures have gained significant attention in architectural and engineering circles due to their sustainability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. Bamboo, known for its rapid growth and renewability, offers an eco-friendly alternative to conventional building materials. One particular application of bamboo in architectural design is the creation of gridshell structures, which utilize the inherent flexibility of bamboo to form elegant and efficient curved surfaces.

The Arc by IBUKU

In this tutorial, we will explore the fundamentals of designing a bamboo gridshell structure using Grasshopper with Rhino. Through a series of step-by-step instructions, I will guide you in creating a simple yet captivating bamboo gridshell, demonstrating the potential of parametric design in architectural exploration and ecological innovation.

STEP 1: Polygon

Objective: Create the base plan for the gridshell using a polygon shape.

Constructing the Base Polygon:

Step 2: Transform Polygon

Objective: Rotate and scale the base polygon to further refine its shape.

Rotating the Polygon:

Scaling the Polygon:

STEP 3: Refine Mesh

Objective: Refine the geometry of the polygon shape by converting it into a mesh and adjusting its density.

Creating Boundary Surfaces:

Meshing the Surface:

Quad Remeshing:

Deconstructing the Mesh:

STEP 4: Anchors

Objective: Define anchor points on the refined mesh to establish fixed positions for the gridshell structure.

Exploding the Mesh:

Selecting Anchor Points:

Evaluating Curve Parameters:

Finding Closest Points:

STEP 5: Kangaroo

Objective: Implement the Kangaroo physics engine to simulate the behavior of the gridshell structure under various loads and constraints.

Mesh Preparation:

Extracting Mesh Features:

Merging Mesh Features:

Kangaroo Physics Simulation Setup:

Mesh Cleaning:

Offsetting Mesh with WeaveBirds:

STEP 6: Foundation

Objective: Create a foundation for the gridshell structure by cutting a spherical volume from the ground surface.

Creating a Spherical Volume:

Cutting the Ground Surface:


Extracting the Cut Surface:

STEP 7: Lidi Bundles

Objective: Generate lidi bundles along the edges of the mesh structure to enhance its structural integrity.

Extracting Mesh Edges:

Creating Curves Along Edges:

Generating Perpendicular Frames:

Creating Circles at Frame Points:

Dividing Curves:

Creating Interpolated Curves:

STEP 8: Bamboo Visualization

Objective: Visualize the bamboo poles within the gridshell structure using an internet-ready script. There are many of them, you can choose the one that you desire.

Connecting Inner Bamboo Grid:

Connecting Outer Bamboo Grid:

Executing the Visualization Script:

STEP 9: Bake

Objective: Export the finalized geometry for further processing or visualization in external software.


Offset Mesh:

Baking Outer Bamboo Grid:

Baking Inner Bamboo Grid:

The weaknesses and benefits of the Grasshopper script for creating a bamboo gridshell structure:


Depending on the complexity of the structure and the computational power of the system, running the script might be resource-intensive and time-consuming. While the script allows for some customization through parameters and sliders, it may not accommodate all design variations or specific requirements. Certain functionalities of the script, such as offsetting meshes or mesh manipulation, rely on third-party plugins like WeaverBirds, which may not be available or compatible with all versions of Grasshopper.


The script offers a high degree of design flexibility, allowing users to create intricate gridshell structures with parametric controls. By automating the design and generation process, the script can significantly reduce the time and effort required to create complex gridshell structures compared to manual methods. The script facilitates visualization of the design in real-time, enabling designers to iteratively refine and optimize the structure based on visual feedback.

With increasing awareness of environmental concerns and the push towards sustainable development, the adoption of bamboo gridshell structures is expected to rise, paving the way for innovative and sustainable architectural designs worldwide.