On Tuesday 27 March 2007 15:42, Janis Klava wrote:
The BRL-CAD package is a powerful Constructive Solid
Geometry (CSG) solid
modeling system with over 20 years development and production use by the
U.S. military. BRL-CAD includes an interactive geometry editor, parallel
ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for
realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support,
image-processing and signal-processing tools. The entire package is
distributed in source code form.
Might something not be done with this as a basis for an opensource CAD
The source code might be ideal, I wouldn't know not being a developer, but the
interface is so unfriendly I've never got far enough in to discover how it
Anyone interested in this needs to see SolidWorks, AutoCAD Inventor, (neither
available for Linux) and VariCAD (which is OK on Linux and what I use at the
moment) Then look at BRL CAD.
SolidWorks and Inventor are pro level CAD for mech engineers, VariCAD is
intended for pro's too, but in smaller companies making simpler things, as
such it is pretty good for school use - but not OSS and not cheap enough. The
2D side of it is clunky to use too, though the 3D is simpler. Maybe with more
effort on my part and clearer documentation it would be OK.
For a good 2D app for schools see TechSoft 2D Design (Windows only but OK
under WINE). It's been around for years, has developed VERY slowly, but has
stayed true to the idea of doing what school students need to do and not got
too clever for it's core market. 2D is an ideal place to learn CAD basics.
All the stuff like geometry, using snaps and grids and working accurately.
Some apps make this too hard and the students just guess. OK for artwork
(sometimes) but not for CAD. Unfortunately TechSoft don't have the staff to
develop a 3D package for schools and now sell SolidWorks.
My ideal would be a 2D/3D app with the 2D side as simple and clear as
TechSoft's, and the 3D side as good as VariCAD.
Would be nice if some sponsor appeared and bought TechSoft and VariCAD to open
source them, but that's unlikely to happen. Plan B, Edubuntu, OpenSuSE Edu,
etc etc really need an EduCAD project. Count me in on specifying it,
trialling it, and documenting it, but I'm not a coder!
Penycoed Road (off Brook St)
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