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External Display

The External Display component displays static meshes stored in a publicly accessible URL without running them through Grasshopper. This is ideal for optimization purposes when the definition needs to display several times the same identical geometry or when you want to enhance the scene of your definition without compromising the performance.

File Settings

In order to be able to use this component, the requirements of your file and the URL where it gets stored are:

  1. The file must use the binary glTF format. All glTF v2.0 files are compatible (using the .gltf extension), but not all advanced features are supported. You can also export gltf files directly from Rhino using the exporter that is included in the ShapeDiver plugin. Read more about the exporter here.

  2. The URL must be publicly accessible. You can dynamically change this URL by using our ShapeDiverTextInput component.

  3. You must add the correct metadata to your URL file with Content-Type = application/octet-stream and if the file is compressed Content-Encoding = gzip.

  4. Make sure the CORS configuration of the bucket allows access. An example of CORS configuration would be:


File storage
We recommend using a service such as Amazon S3 to store your external geometry. Most online storage services don't provide the flexibility to define MIME types and CORS configurations. Read more about it here.

Geometry Placeholder

The geometry placeholder gets displayed in the Rhinoceros viewport as a visual guide to position and orient the external geometry in the ShapeDiver viewer. Ideally, this geometry should be the same one that is stored in the URL so that you can accurately know how the final result will look in the ShapeDiver viewer.

Delete Placeholders
If your GH file size is over the limit of your ShapeDiver Plan (Check the limits here), you can bring down your file size by deleting the placeholders as they are not used to compute your definition.


For now, the External Display component is only compatible with ShapeDiver materials defined with the Preset Material and the ShapeDiver Material component.. If your external geometry has texture coordinates, the material will be applied accordingly.

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