(by iboisepfl)
Cockroach is a tool for PointCloud processing. Authors: Petras Vestartas, Andrea Settimi.
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Cockroach is a tool for PointCloud processing.
Authors: Petras Vestartas, Andrea Settimi.

Cockroach is a plugin developed to introduce various commands for point cloud post-processing and meshing into Rhinoceros® [4] environment based on reference functions already existing in the open-source library Open3D [1], CGAL [2], Cilantro [3]. 

Source code:

The pointcloud processing tools focus on:

  • fast and easy-to-use geometric manipulation, characterization and decomposition of point clouds directly in Rhinoceros6 and 7®.
  • improving the link between CAD modelling software (Rhinoceros®) and point-cloud processing.
  • focus on the integration of point-cloud processing with other frameworks such as easy-to-use .NET programming languages (C#, IronPython, VB) using the interface of Grasshopper, Rhinoceros® [4].

This plug-in is open-source to help researchers working for PointCloud processing in .NET. At IBOIS - EPFL, among other research lines, we have also been focusing on structures with unpredictable geometries such as raw wood and mineral scraps. These construction elements are scanned and post-processed into low-poly meshes or NURBS for design, i.e. 3D timber joinery representation and fabrication tool-paths for 5-axis CNC, 6-axis robot and XR manufacture.

We want to thank Dale Fugier (McNeel) for his help during C++ plugin development into Rhinoceros®.

[1] Zhou, Park, and Koltun, Open3D: A Modern Library for 3D Data Processing.

[2] CGAL, Computational Geometry Algorithms Library.

[3] Zampogiannis, Konstantinos and Fermuller, Cornelia and Aloimonos, Yiannis, Cilantro: A Lean, Versatile, and Efficient Library for Point Cloud Data Processing, Proceedings of the 26th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, 2018.



Recent build and example files will be stored in Build directory. The method are run in two ways: a) Rhino plugin command-lines starting as Cockroach_CommandName, b) Grasshopper plugin. You will need to download the necessary dependencies to run the algorithms in Rhinoceros®. The dependencies could be acquired in two ways:

Download Cockroach from

Compile Open3D as a Dynamic Library from: Open3D repository: Compile Cilantro and CGAL 5.2 .


Please use this citation if you use Cockroach in published work. Also, please also cite the third-party libraries we used: Open3D ( , CGAL ( ), Cilantro ( ).

Bibitex citation: @misc{IBOIS2020, author = {Petras Vestartas and Andrea Settimi}, title = {{Cockroach}: {A} plug-in for point cloud post-processing and meshing in {Rhino} environment}, journal = {EPFL ENAC ICC IBOIS}, url = {}, year = {2020} }

Citation (no Bibtex): Petras Vestartas and Andrea Settimi, Cockroach: A Plug-in for Point Cloud Post-Processing and Meshing in Rhino Environment, EPFL ENAC ICC IBOIS, 2020,


For code request or chat, i.e. open GitHub issue or contact us by email. Some data, models or generated code using our research are available from the corresponding authors by request: Petras Vestartas, Andrea Settimi,


The laboratory for Timber Construction (IBOIS) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) financially supports the authors contribution to the current research and version 1.0.0 development of the .NET PointCloud processing tool.


Cockroach is released under LGPL. If you use Cockroach in published work, please also cite the third-party libraries we used: Open3D, CGAL, Open3D. The code is fully open, complying with CGAL (LGPL license). We encourage use for research purposes, as long as proper attribution is given. Feel free to send us an email and let us know how Cockroach has been useful to you and how it can be improved.

What to Contribute?

There are several ways how to use and contribute to Cockroach library: a) Compile C++ all or one of the 3rd party libraries (Open3D, CGAL, Cilantro) and use the project as it is. The libraries are divided into separate projects. Therefore, you can each project individually or together. The full project is called PInvoke. Individual C++ projects are PInvokeCGAL, PInvokeOpen3D, PInvokeCilantro. b) Use only .NET C# project – PinvokeCSharp, that wraps C++ libraries. Here you can write C# PointCloud processing algorithms too without 3rd party libraries. c) Use CockroachGH project to develop code for Rhino and Grasshopper.

If you have a valid contribution or bug fix, open an issue with the source code to merge it with the current project.


The installation follows standard Rhinoceros and Grasshopper plugin installation process. All the files are placed in the Build directory. Following steps requires:

Download Build folder

  • Place all the files in the Grasshopper libraries folder and unblock all .dll files, .gha, and .rhp if needed.
  • For Rhino plugin simply drag and drop .rhp file to Rhino canvas.
  • For Grasshopper, you will find the Cockroach tab after you restart Rhino.