Hello world of Dynamo,

Amid the falling leaves and drop in temperature of late fall in New England, we welcome to the world the fresh, warm, and new Dynamo Core 2.9 release! This release continues our steady improvement of performance, expansion of geometry tools, as well as introduces an experimental feature for feedback.  

 

TL:DR

Experimental features to provide Dynamo users a faster, more precise method for placing nodes that work together, 64bit int support for integer sliders, more flexibility when using the Dynamo right side panel, targeted performance improvements to Geometry nodes, as well as a few new geometry nodes to better work with Dynamo PolyCurves and Solids.

 

But what is Dynamo and its flavors?

What is Dynamo Core?

Dynamo Core is a collection of bundled components that consist of the graphical interface, the compute engine, the scripting language DesignScript and the out-of-the-box nodes that are not specific to another program like Revit or Civil 3d.

What is Dynamo for <INSERT HOST HERE>?

Dynamo for [Revit, Civil 3d, FormIt, Advance Steel, or Alias] is a collection of host specific nodes that work with Dynamo Core and runs inside of said host.

What is Dynamo Sandbox?

Dynamo Sandbox is for package developers and other folks working with Dynamo code who want to stay up to date with the latest and greatest stuff coming out. Sandbox is Dynamo’s “Core” functionality distributed in a way that doesn’t interfere with other Dynamo installations and doesn’t require any other applications (except for a few windows components and some optional extras). You can read more about this distinction here.

What’s fresh in Dynamo 2.9?

We are very proud to introduce you a new experimental feature in Dynamo, Node AutoComplete. This capability is being introduced to lower the barrier to entry for new users, and to help advanced users construct Dynamo workflows faster. Dynamo users can follow the these steps to access it:

  • [ 1 ] Enable Enable Node Auto Complete setting from the Settings -> Experimental Menu

  • [2] Place a node which you know will be part of your target workflow, e.g. a geometry node
  • [3] Now use node autocomplete feature by pressing Alt + Left mouse click on any input port to open the node autocomplete UI and look for suggestions to use.

  • [4] Once a node is picked, Dynamo will connect the two nodes together with matching ports and place the new node to the left of the target node.

  • [5] You can filter the node suggestions provided by Node AutoComplete dialog by using search. The UI here is similar to right click search but the search behind algorithm behind is purely node string name comparison for now as opposed to searching both node names and node descriptions in right click search.

  • [6] When the default algorithm fails to provide a suggestion for user, Dynamo will provide built-in inputs as suggestions.

Some known issues for Node AutoComplete:

  • Node Autocomplete can not applied to output ports for now.
  • Node Autocomplete can not be used inside custom node workspaces, and activating it inside a custom node workspace can stop the functionality from working for a session.
  • Nodes placed from the Node Autocomplete UI may be misplaced because of DPI scale value.
  • Primitive types are excluded from Node Autocomplete for now because too many results are returned. These include numbers, booleans, strings as input ports.

 

We have been hard at work continuing to improve performance of targeted geometry nodes – the Point.PruneDuplicates node and Curve.ParameterAtPoint now perform much faster than previous Dynamo releases, up to a whopping 35 times faster in our test graph! Do note that the execution times will vary a little depending upon machine specifications and data passing through the graph, but overall these are massive performance boosts.

Execution time variance between Dynamo 2.7 and Dynamo 2.9

 

We have provided more flexibility in the Extensions Sidebar so Dynamo developers can use more display space. There is still a minimum space kept for the node workspace so that it is not lost, but you can now use the vast majority of the available screen real-estate for documentation, data display, visualizations . . .

  • [7] Users can drag right side view extension area to a larger width than Dynamo 2.8.0

We have added int 64 support for integer sliders. Previously in Dynamo 2.8.0, if you try to input a large int64 number into integer slider, it will be rounded down to int 32 to prevent number overflow. What this means is if you type in 45643212342 to a integer slider in Dynamo 2.8.0, it will be rounded down to 2147483647, but in Dynamo 2.9.0, the number remain the same. The reason we made such change is that for all nodes accepting int or returning int, all these int types are in fact marshaled as int64 already in Dynamo 2.8.0, so our team made the effort to ensure the experience leveraging int64 is consistent across Dynamo.

  • [8] Users can type or drag to create an int64 number and use it as part of Dynamo workflow.

We have introduced three new geometry nodes for users to work with geometry to enable new workflows, including PolyCurve.ByThickeningCurveNormalSolid.ByRuledLoft and Solid.Separate.

  • [9] Solid.Separate example

 

  • [10] Solid.ByRuledLoft example

  • [11] PolyCurve.ByThickeningCurveNormal example

 

So Dynamo 2.9 looks super cool – where can I get?

Dynamo 2.9 will be made available in our host integrations at a future date and can be explored right now through the dynamobuilds.com website or the Github build page – available in the Sandbox version of Dynamo.

 

If you’re curious, you can also read our ‘Release Notes’

In order to keep a semblance of propriety to this blog post we’ve skipped a few things! For more information on other minor features, bug fixes, and known issues in Dynamo 2.9, go check out our release notes and is always worth a read!

A big shout-out to everyone who contributed to the release and the entire Dynamo community for continuing to support our work. As always, please let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions!

 

The Dynamo Team