Tuesday, May 28, 2013

GreenSpider - The Free Point Clouds Plugin for Revit

GreenSpider is a little piece of code developed to narrow the gap between computational concept design, terrestrial laser scanning and Building Information Modeling. Even if it’s still very primitive, GreenSpider is a free Autodesk Revit plugin developed by Simone Garagnani, taking advantage of Revit API, .NET libraries and C# programming language. GreenSpider conveniently parses ASCII text files representing 3D vertexes, whether generated by computational modeling software or terrestrial laser scanning equipment.

Once installed through this installer package on Windows-based pc's, GreenSpider 2.1 can be accessed in Revit mass modeling environment.

In order to import geometries, especially in form of decimated point clouds, some files called points.gsp (GreenSpiderPoints extension) have to be prepared: gsp format is basically an ASCII text file format where XYZ numerical values, in form of array, represent geometric vertexes dinamically sorted and separated by semicolons, while commas are used for decimal marks. Correct .GSP files are arranged by GreenSpider Translator 1.2, a module which now can be directly invoked inside Revit. The Translator opens XYZ plain files with no normals, recognizes and parses them in correct format. Importing different set of point clouds is now easier since the Translator can be initialized each time through the Reset button, erasing previous .GSP and temp files already acquired in Revit.

GreenSpider 2.1 is way much easier to use than any other previous release! Now users can choose where to store .GSP files, which are to be prepared for single translations no more. Now file can be browsed allowing multiple translations with different names for different slices.

GreenSpider 2.1 icons

GreenSpider is still a prototype, even if it reached its 2.1 release; it allows to run two commands identified by two different drop-down icons in Revit add-ins menu: GSpoints and GScurves. The first one simply imports vertex point cloud as reference points in mass modeling environment, while the second traces a spline interpolation among imported points sorted through a TSP process, in order to build surfaces after recursive .GSP imports.

GreenSpider Translator r1.2 can now perform two different kinds of point sorting, along X and Y axis, in order to allow a better tracing for GScurves command.

There's more information available on GreenSpider on the TCProject website.

Credit: Luke Johnson's What Revit Wants blog.


  1. Thank you for your interest in my plugin! GreenSpider is still a prototype but I hope it will grow up as an useful tool in the future.

  2. You're welcome Simone. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Revit community.