Install compas_cem in only three simple steps.


We assume you have Anaconda installed in your machine. If not, please download and install it before continuing.

1. Create a virtual environment

First, create a new anaconda environment from the Anaconda Command Prompt if you are on Windows, or from your Terminal if you are on MacOS or Linux.

The only dependency is compas. Here we chose the name of the environment to be cem, but you can call it spacecowboy if you prefer.

conda create -n cem COMPAS

2. Activate the virtual environment

Next, activate the cem environment. Anaconda environments are like bubbles that keep installations and dependencies isolated from other parts in your machine. In other words, what happens in cem stays in cem! ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿป

conda activate cem

3. Install compas_cem via pip

Finally, install compas_cem with a one-liner:

pip install compas-cem

To double-check that everything is up and running, type the following in the command line and hit enter:

python -c "import compas_cem"

If no errors show up, celebrate ๐ŸŽ‰! You have a working installation of compas_cem.

Grasshopper Plugin

There will be times when modeling a complex structure is easier to do with a few mouse-clicks instead of a hundred lines of code. The Grasshopper version of compas_cem allows you to use all the important bits of our constrained form-finding engine in a (familiar) visual programming environment.

To additionally install compas_cem as a grasshopper plugin, close Rhino, go to the command line and follow the next three steps:


Make sure that the cem anaconda environment is active and that compas_cem has been already installed from the command line before proceeding.

1. Remove any leftovers

In case there was an older COMPAS or compas_cem version linked to Rhino.

python -m compas_rhino.uninstall -v 7.0


The flag -v 7.0 indicates that we will be uninstalling compas_cem and company from Rhino 7. If you are working with Rhino 6, replace that last bit with -v 6.0.

3. Check your Grasshopper installation

Launch grasshopper and start dropping compas_cem components onto the canvas! Send pictures! ๐Ÿ–


The compas_cem plugin for grasshopper is a collection of .ghuser objects. As such, they have one important limitation: once used in a document, they forget who they are. The donโ€™t know they were created out of a ghuser component, they will be simple GHPython components. This has an important consequence: if you update compas_cem, those components already in use will NOT be automatically updated.