OpenSCAD – programmers solid 3D CAD modeller

OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling for creating computer-animated movies but instead focuses on the CAD aspects when you are planning to create 3D models of e.g. machine parts.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file. This gives users (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters.

It uses Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) as the basic Computational Solid Geometry engine, taking care of details such as intersection, difference and minkowski sums. The results can be rendered into 3D STL files.

Features include:

  • Two main modelling techniques:
    • Constructive solid geometry – uses advanced OpenGL features (2.0) like the Z buffer. This method produces instantaneous results, but has low frame rates when working with highly nonconvex objects.
    • Extrusion of 2D outlines.
  • Create 3D models in DXF, STL, and OFF file formats.
  • STL Import and Export.
  • View options:
    • Show Edges.
    • Show Axes.
    • Show Crosshairs.
  • Animation.

Support: Manual
Developer: Marius Kintel, Clifford Wolf
License: GNU GPL v2

OpenSCAD is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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