At the moment, ShapeDiver only supports two file formats: .gh and .ghx. Both formats have the same contents, ghx being the human-readable version (that can be opened with a text editor) and gh is the compressed, binary version. For this reason, we recommend using the .gh format when possible, as it will come with much smaller files to upload.
Grasshopper definitions are a type of parametric 3d models created using the CAD software Rhino 3d along with its parametric add-on Grasshopper. In contrast to standard static CAD models, Grasshopper definitions define geometry up to certain parameters, therefore defining not only a single output but a whole space of possible solutions. This technology is at the core of ShapeDiver's online customizable models.
What about other parametric formats?
Grasshopper is not the only parametric design tool out there. There is a wide range of similar and not so similar software options to define parametric models. If you are familiar with CAD technologies, you might be thinking of Dynamo, Revit, Inventor or Solidworks, depending on your background. At the moment, Grasshopper is the only parametric tool compatible with ShapeDiver, for two reasons:
- It is the mostly widely used parametric tool among CAD designers, thanks to its intuitive visual programming interface and the strong organic community that supports it.
- In contrast with most of the alternatives, Rhino and Grasshopper come with flexible and affordable licensing.
However, it is in our plans to start supporting other parametric languages in the future, with Dynamo being the next on the list.
Static 3d models
If you have an existing 3d model that you would like to upload and use on ShapeDiver, it's also possible. We don't support the upload of static 3d models at the moment, but we will in the future. For now, you can internalize your 3d assets in a simple Grasshopper definition and upload them as a Grasshopper file. A bit of a detour, but it does the job!