In this course, we will examine one of Grasshopper’s most powerful plugins: the Kangaroo 2 physics simulator. Kangaroo comes with a collection of tools that allow us to run animations and simulations made from a collection of geometry goals, such as point loads, angles, edge lengths, anchors and more. The plugin also comes with a collection of powerful geometry manipulation tools that allow us to draw large data out of inputs we can specify.

We will begin the course by examining how mesh geometries work in Grasshopper, before applying our first Kangaroo physics simulation to create a minimal edge length mesh surface. The course will then examine how we might apply a series of complex patterns to the surface using some of Kangaroo’s geometry manipulation tools.

The course will then examine more powerful simulations available to us, such as sphere packing algorithms, rigid body simulations and wind cloth physics simulations.

In this lesson we will introduce the data type mesh geometries in Grasshopper and discuss the difference between polygonal and NURBS geometries. We will examine how we can dissect mesh geometries to manipulate them parametrically.

In this lesson we will examine the Kangaroo 2.0 physics engine in Grasshopper and create our first simulation. We will input a mesh geometry and attempt to create a minimal surface by controlling the edge lengths of the mesh geometry in Kangaroo.

In this lesson we will examine some of the pattern making components for mesh geometries available to us with the simple mesh tools available in the Kangaroo 2.0. We will examine how to create striped patterns, checkerboard patterns and pinstripe overlays onto our mesh geometries.

In this lesson we will examine how to create complex star patterns from our mesh geometries using the re-parametrization tools in Grasshopper. We will build on the knowledge from the earlier lessons to create an advanced iteration of the designs from our Kangaroo simulations.

The sphere packing algorithm is one of the most easiest to setup in Kangaroo, and can be applied in many different scenarios to create a variety of nature-inspired patterns. We will examine a few different ways we can apply this algorithm in this lesson.

In this tutorial, we’re going to look specifically at Conway’s Game of Life, developed by British mathematician John Horton Conway. It’s a zero player game, meaning the evolution of the patterns are determined by the initial input. Conway’s Game of Life is built on a series of rules that dictate the current state (alive or dead) of each cell in the system. We can translate these rules directly into Grasshopper and simulate this system using the Anemone plugin.

Kangaroo is at its most powerful when a collection of goals are combined together to work in tandem against one another to create an outcome. In this lesson we will create a physics simulation of a cloth flowing in the wind by combining goals such as gravity loads, rigid body collision systems, point anchors and wind forces to simulate a cloth draped over an object flowing in the wind.

What are the learning objectives for the course?

Setup your own Kangaroo Physics simualtions

Understand how a balance of different physics goals affect an overall simulation

Understand how to use and manipulate mesh geometries inside Grasshopper

Understand how to create patterns over mesh geometries in Grasshopper