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Port of the week: OpenSCAD

Written by Solène, on 04 July 2016.
Tags: #portoftheweek

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

OpenSCAD is a software for creating 3D objects like a programming language, with the possibility to preview your creation.

I am personaly interested in 3D things, I have been playing with 3ds Max and Blender for creating 3d objects but I never felt really comfortable with them. I discovered pov-ray a few years ago which is used to create rendered pictures instead of creating objects. Pov-ray use its own “programming language” to describe the scene and make the render. Now, I have a 3D printer and I would like to create things to print, but I don’t like the GUI stuff of Blender and Pov-ray don’t create objects, so… OpenSCAD ! This is the pov-ray of objects !

Here is a simple example that create an empty box (difference of 2 cubes) and a screw propeller:

width = 3;
height = 3;
depth = 6;
thickness = 0.2;
    
difference() {
    cube( [width,depth,height], true);
    
translate( [0,0,thickness] )
    cube( [width-thickness, depth-thickness, height], true);
}
    
translate( [ width , 0 , 0 ])
    linear_extrude(twist = 400, height = height*2)
        square(2,true);

The following picture is made from the code above:

openscad
openscad

There are scad-mode and scad-preview for emacs for editing OpenSCAD files. scad-mode will check the coloration/syntax and scad-preview will create the OpenScad render inside a Emacs pane. Personaly, I use OpenSCAD opened in some corner of the screen with option set to render on file change, and I edit with emacs. Of course you can use any editor, or the embedded editor which is a Scintilla one which is pretty usable.

OpenSCAD website

OpenSCAD gallery