1) What is Grasshopper?
An algorithm is a method of calculating a function based on a list of Parameters / input info.
Each parameter effects the outcome of the algortihm and when one changes one or several parameters, the outcome will change.
This is also the way generative/parametric design works.
is a plug-in for Rhinoceros that can create generative/parametric design. Grasshopper does not demand the user to be a programmer but he or she must be able to understand the basics of scripting and, above all; be skilled in using Rhinoceros.
Grasshopper visually answers the question “why” rather than the question “how”, even though the latter can be explored if needed.
The algorithm extends the human mind with a calculation that we could never perform. In design, it helps us in the same way and acts as a robot that automates geometrical structures. The role of the human is to manage and manipulate its parameters and in that way, be creative.
In comparison to other parametric tools, Grasshopper presents a visual interface that is relatively easy to use for designers.
Grasshopper is a freeware, but old versions are hard to find. For educational purposes I have a saved older versions available for download here:
Version 6.0012: www.skatar.com/lth/grasshopper_wip_060059.exe
Version 6.0059: www.skatar.com/lth/grasshopper_wip_20090410.exe
Version 8.0052:(for Rhino 4 SR 8): www.skatar.com/lth/grasshopper_wip_20110926.exe
If your version of Rhino is prior to Rhino 4 SR8, the two first links will be relevant for you.
Direct download from Grasshopper (latest build): http://www.grasshopper3d.com/page/download-1
! - FOR MAC/APPLE USERS
Grasshopper only exists for Bootcamp.
You will have to download Windows files, - the links above
Grasshopper will work for your Rhino 4 for Windows - NOT for Rhino 5 for Apple
Here are more info about installing Windows on your Apple computer: http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/
If that is not possible for you, you will have to work in the computer room