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Script-based modeling with OpenSCAD


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Bart, I love OpenSCAD. It is the tool that "opened the door" for me at Shapeways. When I tried other tools, I was constantly getting the "Maniifold" and "Model is not watertight" errors. I have since learned how to use other tools effectively, but OpenSCAD is still the simplest (for a programmer like me). About a third of the models in my shop were built with OpenSCAD.

Here's a few examples:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/162855/40_foot_chassis___set_of_4___zscale.html?gid=ug4375

http://www.shapeways.com/model/148488/propeller_load_for_flat_car___z_scale.html?gid=ug4375

http://www.shapeways.com/model/83643/cbr_section_foreman_house___z_scale.html?gid=ug4375
#1 Stony Smith on 2011-01-12 13:48 (Reply)
I started using openSCAD fairly recently; it is really good for doing more mathematical models, since you get to specify things precisely. I made my Meissner Tetrahedra with it. It sometimes seems to do weird things and freeze up my system in ways I would not have expected of an app; not exactly sure why that happens. It's also useful for intersections and differences, since I've found that Blender's boolean operations (in 2.49 at least) are sometimes buggy.
#2 Mark Shoulson on 2011-01-12 16:04 (Reply)
Uhm, yeah, I'll give this one a miss! Years (and years!) ago I started in ray-tracing using POVRay's text-based programme. Oh, the fond memories of spending hours and hours and hours writing code to produce images that I could do in minutes, now! To have to go back to this would make me pull my hair out!

Glenn
#3 Glenn Slingsby (Homepage) on 2011-01-13 18:16 (Reply)
Ah, yeah, I've used POVRay too. It's kind of a shame you can't convert POVRay into STL or something Shapeways can print. OpenSCAD may not be as powerful as POVRay, and doesn't have any support for all its color and texture and lighting... OpenSCAD builds shapes; POVRay makes pictures. There isn't much basis to compare them.

And certainly, scripted shapes can be infuriating when you're trying to make something semi-real. But conversely, if what you're doing is purely mathematical, it can be helpful to work by scripting (whether in OpenSCAD or Blender, etc) instead of moving points by hand.
#4 Mark Shoulson on 2011-01-13 19:02 (Reply)
I agree with you about the mathematical side of this programme - I have to admit that does intrigue me but not enough to have to learn programming all over again :-)
... and yes, I know the two prog's achieve different ends, I was just referring to having to do coding again.

Glenn
#5 Glenn Slingsby on 2011-01-13 22:01 (Reply)
I started learning programming a couple of times, but unfortunately ended up getting bored. I'll agree with those who mentioned how many things can be done much faster in other programs.

I love the program I already use (Rhinoceros), and still have to find the time to use the add-on I purchased for organic modeling (T-Splines).

About 1/4 of my friends are programmers, I'll leave it to them and perhaps refer them to that software.
#6 Christina Westbrook on 2011-01-14 00:02 (Reply)

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