Complex pattern from Simple Tiles – Example 3.5

05_DYou don’t need to produce all your geometry in Grasshopper as in the previous examples. It is often more productive to draw things statically in Rhino and then have them processed in Grasshopper. A simple module can be endlessly deformed in Grasshopper which is the basis of many designs you see coming out of people’s computers these days, although the issue of constructibility is another one…

But this is something I think would be very easy to build, since it depends on arranging a simple series of tiles (in this case 6) in a random way to create variation.

Step One – Setup a grid. Flatten the cells and at each cell put a “Bounding Box” component. these will be like cubby boxes at a post office.

Step Two – This is new process worth remembering, which is importing groups of geometry into Grasshopper. The basic concept is you put the geometry into another wrapped Bounding Box (with the Union Box Option at the bottom activated). This is like wrapping a present. This wrapped geometry is then mapped onto the bounding boxes created from our rectangular grid. We are putting the package into each of the cubby’s. For this we use the Rec Map component. Note the geometry inside the original geometry will deform to fit its new container. In this case, all the new containers are the same size, but if you had a warped or deformed surface, this would not be the case.

Step Three – Copy the Mapping process (everything in the Group labelled Option 01 in the screenshot) once for every paver variation you want. In this case 6. Put each of the six unique geometries you drew in Rhino into the seperate geometry containers.

Step Four – Now we are going to use a handy component called “Pick n Choose” In this example, we have 6 possible packages for each of the cells on the grid. We only want one variation to go in each cell, however, randomly distributed across the grid. So on the “P’n’C” component we should add up to six slots (0 – 5), and plug the geometry from each option into one of the slots.

To finish we put a random number generator to generate random integers between 0 and 5. To do this notice the domain goes between -.49 and 5.49. This is to account for rounding. Once this is put into an “Int” container, we will have a list of numbers between 0 and 5. how many random numbers do we need? as many cells as we have on the rectangular grid…. the resulting list goes into P on the Pick n Choose Generator. So this selects one of the six options for each cell and shows that option, and only that option in the final.

In the variations below, the first six examples use the same geometry. The first 3 only have the random seed changing. In 4-6 I changed the proportions of the grid to create rectangles. These were my favorite outputs.

In the last 3 variations I went back to a square grid, but changed the geometry slightly.


Here is a screenshot of the script (I showed the process for the box mapping only once, but you need this to happen six times. Just copy and paste!