Non-manifold Topology


Much of my work on integrating DesignScript with EnergyPlus relied on the fact that I was able to use the non-manifold topology in DesignScript. I cannot seem to find an equivalent in Dynamo. Does it still exist? and if so, can someone clue me in on how to use it? Thanks.

Hi Wassim, thanks for your query. Unfortunately non-manifold topology has not been ported to Dynamo’s geometry library yet. It appears that there aren’t very many users who are familiar with these terminologies or forms of modelling yet. It would be great however if you could share some of your ideas using non-manifold topology and its applications in EnergyPlus for instance. It would be great to push for it in Dynamo!

Hi Aparajit,

Thanks for your reply. I published a paper at SIMAUD 2014 on my DSOS system ( that I had running for DesignScript and it relied heavily on non-manifold topology. DSOS integrated DesignScript and EnergyPlus without the need for import and export. I then ported it and co-erced 3DS Max to use non-manifold topology even though the software (like all CAD systems) consider it an error :wink: My DSOS .dll and its link to EnergyPlus is ready to go (using zero-touch). I just cannot create the geometry and the cells I need for it. It would be great if you guys bring it back. It can also be used for structural analysis. It is quite a powerful concept. I have a Youtube video on it at:

Thanks Wassim for sharing this information. This looks exciting! I have created a wish list item to track in our internal tracking system: and will propose this to the team.

I would like to have the non-manifold topology tools too. They were quite interesting in ACAD DS Studio for some approaches of panelizations an spatial frames. Specifically for joining multiple solids, and maintaining the inner divisions, without duplicating shared edges and vertex. And accessing at any time to which edges are going to a vertex, or how many faces are related to an edge, for example.

Thanks Eduardo for asking for non-manifold topology. It was a very unique and strong feature of DS Studio and I think Dynamo would benefit from it. Anyone reading this, please post a reply here if you think we should have that feature back in Dynamo. One of the features that I also needed in conjunction with non-manifold is to allow surface, and lines to have ‘children’ (sub-surfaces and sub-lines). This becomes extremely useful for glazing ratios in thermal simulation and in determining linear thermal bridging using different materials along the edge.

I don’t think it matters if not many people know about it. In fact, just a few years back, not many knew about many of the concepts in DS and Dynamo. But once they see the features, they will use them.

For now, I am using non-manifold in 3DS Max to conduct EnergyPlus Simulations! (See below) Would love to port my work back to Dynamo.
Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 21.47.31

I was very disappointed to hear from the Dynamo team recently that non-manifold topology will not be included in Dynamo. I am not sure if the team realises how revolutionary it is when it comes to representing space and its ability to solve many of the problems with having BIM models converted into BEM (energy) models. Non-manifold topology is used in medical imaging to represent complex organisms and the problems they solved have an uncanny resemblance to the problems we face in architecture. There are numerous publications explaining the benefits of using non-manifold topology including one that I have published. I also do not see the reason to remove it. It can simply be a feature that is there if users want it, but ignored if they do not.

It is a shame that this is available in one Autodesk product (3ds Max), but not in another (Dynamo).

I wouldn’t give up so quickly Wassim, there’s a few big differences between 3ds max and Dynamo. Maturity and money comes to mind. I’d give it some times and if the demand is there i’m quite confident that the Dynamo team will do they’re best to include it, they are that good :slight_smile: