3D Modeling Software

X Motor Mount for Ashtar K 3D Printer designed in OpenSCAD
  • OpenSCAD.org, CAD done with a programming language, my favorite approach
    • modules take variables: parametric pieces
    • quick preview while designing, slow and memory intensive export to STL
    • limited multi-material/color export support
    • limited language
    • no vertices access of the solids
    • notable projects:
  • TinkerCAD, cloud CAD (online only), if things need to be designed quickly
    • best to use if you have a complex STL, designed by someone else, to change for your own needs
  • FreeCAD, many ways to model, Open Source CAD
  • Curated Code CAD, lesser known programmatic CAD approaches
  • Blender, powerful Open Source CAD / Modeler
  • Fusion 360, by Autodesk cloud CAD solution ($500/yr)

The past years I have developed and/or contributed to and use:

  • OpenJSCAD.org: OpenSCAD alike JavaScript framework, I mostly gave it a modern GUI and documented it properly
    • full JavaScript use support
    • slow rendering of changes (no quick preview)
  • Discrete OpenSCAD, a small library implemented in OpenSCAD to provide low-level access to vertices of 3D primitives
  • ScriptCAD.org: a new take on 3D + JavaScript environment (launched 2019/11), developed from scratch, very early alpha (partial documentation yet, API subject of changes)
    • full JavaScript use support (with all its short comings)
    • scene computation and scene rendering separated
    • multi-material/color export supported (AMF, 3MJ)
    • slow CSG operations (no quick preview)
ScriptCAD.org Screenshot (2019/11)

Parametric Design

One way to save time is to design a part in a parametric or variable manner: overall functionality stays the same, but certain aspect are parametric, as example Parametric Part Cooler as used for 3D printers to cool the molten plastic:

The result of multiple use-cases of the same design:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is part-cooler-selection2-3.jpg

That’s it.