Quokka is a software tool written by Geoff Kimm and Suleiman Alhadidi in 2011 for connecting Microsoft Kinect with Grasshopper in Rhino . Quokka gives the ability to use the Kinect as a 3D scanner. This will help architects, designers, engineers, students and anyone who is interested in working in Rhino to parametrically manipulate physical data. The project was part of a research project led by Dr. AnnMarie Brennan at the University of Melbourne.
The plugin can be downloaded through this link http://www.food4rhino.com/app/quokka Demonstration video is displayed at the bottom of this page
Designing in a dynamic cloud
Within the history of design computing, architects, designers, and engineers have investigated ways to create a seamless interface between reality and the virtual world. Recently design generation has increasingly migrated from the tangibility of the physical model toward the digital realm. While this sea change has added significant benefits to the design process, and the differences have significantly decreased, there still seems to be a gap for architects who are attempting to smoothly mediate between these two states.
One method of alleviating this disparity between the physical and the digital during the design process has been the introduction of 3D scanning. This method, which assists in gathering existing site conditions and site context, has developed quickly in the last decade with the use of portable 3D scanners. Land surveyors are using these to scan terrains and regenerating them digitally as point clouds, and preservationists are implementing their use to reconstruct historical facades.
The problem of introducing scanners into routine practice for both the professional architect and student are twofold; they are cost prohibitive, and, more importantly, they require additional knowledge of specific programs and procedures which are not directly connected with traditional design programs that architects are familiar with. Designers need to use special plug-ins to import the
point cloud into a design program such as AutoCad and Rhino.
Recently, Autodesk has bridged this gap by enabling designers to import point clouds in Building Information Modelling (e.g. Revit 2013), allowing architects to import point clouds and re-mesh the surface generated from surveyor scanners into the design program.
However these solutions simply provide a literal snapshot of a site or
object within one moment in time. As a result, the ability of using point clouds is still limited by the static nature of the previous processes. Real time scanning, used in a generative design process, can allow for innovation applications such as vector motion design driven by surface curvature. This will result in achieving a closed real time design feedback loop.