Bentley Systems and McNeel and Associates both recently announced new modelling tools which are primarily designed for architects. This wouldn’t normally be of interest to DEVELOP3D, but there’s increasing trend of cross pollination between the product development and architectural sectors.
While major architectural firms are looking to product development technology to help generate complex models, generative parametric systems which are used for architectural form generation and dynamic conceptual modelling, are also being sought out by product designers.
With generative technology, the user scripts a framework or description of a complex shape, and the computer then generates it. Using variables and sliders, it’s also possible to drive the underlying framework to create the form.
Bentley Systems has led the field with Generative Components, which is built on top of MicroStation. However, the company has just released a Discovery Subscription that allows access to the current shipping version at a very low cost of $250.
Meanwhile Robert McNeel and Associates has also launched Grasshopper, a highly innovative visual-programming system for generating parametric, dynamic geometry which runs in its popular Rhino modelling too. Grasshopper is free to Rhino users.
Bentley recently lost its Chief Scientist and father of Generative Components to Autodesk, so expect another Generative product at some point in the future.