It’s called the Ladybug plugin for Blender and provides a bridge between Blender and the Ladybug Tools via Sverchok. The first question is what the Ladybug Tools are. These are python libraries and data that are used in academia as well as architecture and engineering offices worldwide. It contains the tools Ladybug, Honeybee, Butterfly and Dragonfly. Mind that the later 3 are not included yet. With this, we will get more nodes in Sverchok that are provided by Ladybug. So we can link this data to parametric design. Note that the Ladybug Tools is the underlying 3th party platform and the Ladybug addon is the plugin for Blender.

To describe in another way what Ladybug is, probably this quote from Mostapha (developer of the platform) will make it clear:

I couldn’t stand the repetitive, simplified and disconnected workflows that I had to use on a daily basis as well as the overall lack of knowledge about environmental building design. I wanted educate more people about the principles of environmental building design and that happened to be through Ladybug!”

Mostapha

Overview of the Ladybug Tools

Ladybug

Ladybug is related to climate data and weather analysis.

  • Climate Data Plots
  • Sun patch graphics
  • Shadow Studies
  • View from Sun
  • Solar access studies
  • And Solar envelope
  • Solar fan
  • Radiation studies
  • View studies
  • Psychometric chards
  • Adaptive comfort chards
  • Outdoor comfort studies
  • Local thermal comfort studies
  • Shade benefit analysis
  • Generative shade design
  • Raytracing
  • Shadow Masks
  • Renewables

Honeybee (Not included yet)

Honeybee is related to daylight, energy models and heat flow.

  • Illuminance studies
  • Annual daylight studies
  • Anual sun exposure (ASE)
  • Glare analysis
  • Advanced solar radiation
  • Electric light modeling
  • Heating energy usage
  • Cooling energy usage
  • HVAC sizing
  • Color zones w/ energy results
  • Energy balance visualization
  • Indoor thermal comfort
  • Microclimate mapping
  • Passive strategies
  • Active strategies
  • Energy shade benefit
  • Envelope heat flow modeling
  • Condensation risk studies

Dragonfly (Not included yet)

is related to large-scale climate phenomena, climate change and local climate factors.

  • Urban heat island modeling
  • Climate change projections
  • Actual Met Year (AMY) creation
  • Thermal satellite images
  • Hourly precipitation
  • Urban district energy models

Butterfly (Not included yet)

Related to computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations.

  • Indoor Airflow
  • Outdoor Airflow
  • Buoyancy
  • Indoor comfort
  • Outdoor comfort
  • HVAC system

Where to download the Ladybug Addon?

Best is to follow the installations steps at: Ladybug Tools for Sverchok and Blender (Scroll down to the botton). Addon is released September 28, 2020. Another, but less useful link is this.

How the Ladybug addon works

The addon is released just today (28 september), and at the moment there is not yet mcuh up-to-date documentation of all the nodes that comes with ladybug. So for now it’s experimenting and see what error messages you get in the system console. If you get the error message: geometry <…> not yet supported in Sverchok, you can ignore it. But if you get the error message:  WARNING: geometry <...> not yet supported in Blender, then you could report the issue.

So it’s not easy to start, but there are some older video which help you to understand how ladybug works. In detail it won’t be the same, but you will get an overall idea. Here is the playlist:

So it seems that we always need an EPW file, which is a weather file which you can download on the EnergyPlus.net website. Don’t mind about the ladybug_ladybug node, which is for grasshopper specifically. If you find your location and click on download all, you download a .zip file with an .epw file, a .ddy file, .stat file and license.txt. You can open all of the files in notepad, in case you are curious and want to see the structure or what is inside.

More will follow as I get more familiar with Ladybug in Sverchok.

Relevant addons

Mesh Source

Mesh Source

Convert mesh into Python source code