OpenSCAD User Manual/Print version Table of Contents

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OpenSCAD User Manual/Print version
Table of Contents
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Introduction
First Steps
The OpenSCAD User Interface
The OpenSCAD Language
1. General
2. Mathematical Operators
3. Mathematical Functions
4. String Functions
5. Primitive Solids
6. Transformations
7. Conditional and Iterator Functions
8. CSG Modelling
9. Modifier Characters
10. Modules
11. Include Statement
12. Other Language Feature
Using the 2D Subsystem
1. 2D Primitives
2. 3D to 2D Projection
3. 2D to 2D Extrusion
4. DXF Extrusion
5. Other 2D formats
STL Import and Export
1. STL Import
2. STL Export
Commented Example Projects
Using OpenSCAD in a command line environment
Building OpenSCAD from Sources
1. Building on Linux/UNIX
2. Cross-compiling for Windows on Linux or Mac OS X
3. Building on Windows
4. Building on Mac OS X
Libraries
Glossary
Index
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Introduction
OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects.
It is free software (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html) and available for
GNU/Linux (http://www.gnu.org/), MS Windows and Apple OS X.
Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as the well-known application
Blender (http://www.blender.org/)), OpenSCAD does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D
modelling, but instead focuses on the CAD aspects. So it might be the application you are
looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts, but probably is
not what you are looking for when you are more interested in creating computer-animated
movies.
OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D interpreter that
reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from the script file.
This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to
easily change any step in the modelling process, or even to produce designs that are
defined by configurable parameters.
OpenSCAD provides two main modelling techniques: First, constructive solid geometry
(CSG) and second, extrusion of 2D outlines. Autocad DXF files are used as the data exchange
format for the 2D outlines. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion, it is also possible to read
design parameters from DXF files. In addition to reading DXF files, OpenSCAD can also read
and create 3D models in the STL and OFF file formats.
OpenSCAD can be downloaded from http://openscad.org/. You may find extra information
in the mailing list (http://rocklinux.net/mailman/listinfo/openscad).
People who don't want to (or can't) install new software on their computer may be able to
use OpenJSCAD ( http://OpenJSCAD.org/ ), a port of OpenSCAD that runs in a web browser.
A pt_BR translation of this document is avaliable on GitHub repository (not completed/on
development) [1] (http://www.github.com/ubb3rsith/OpenSCAD_doc_ptBR)
First Stepsen:OpenSCAD User Manual/Introduction
First Steps
For our first model we will create a simple 2 x 3 x 4 cuboid. In the openSCAD editor, type
the following one line command:
Usage example 1 - simple cuboid:
cube([2,3,4]);
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OpenSCAD Simple Cuboid
Compiling and rendering our first model
The cuboid can now be compiled and rendered by pressing F6 while the openSCAD editor
has focus.
See also
Positioning an object
Open one of the many examples that come with
OpenSCAD (File, Examples, e.g. example004.scad). Or you
can copy and paste this simple example into the
OpenSCAD window:
OpenSCAD after starting
Usage example 1 - example004.scad:
difference() {
cube(30, center=true);
sphere(20);
}
translate([0, 0, 30]) {
cylinder(h=40, r=10);
}
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OpenSCAD after pasting the
example code and pressing F5
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Then press F5 to get a graphical preview of what you typed (or press F6 to get a graphical
view).
You get three types of movement in the preview frame:
1. Drag with left mouse button to rotate the view. The bottom line will change the rotate
values.
2. Drag with an other mouse button (or control-drag under OSX) to translate (move) the
view. The bottom line will change translate values.
3. Use the mouse scroll to zoom in and out. Alternatively you can use the + and - keys, or
right-drag with the mouse while pressing a shift key (or control-shift-drag under OSX).
The Viewport line at the bottom of the window will show a change in the distance
value.
We have already seen how to create a simple cuboid. Our next task is to attempt to use the
translate positioning command to place an identical cuboid next to the existing cuboid:
Usage example 1 - positioning an object:
cube([2,3,4]);
translate([3,0,0]) {
cube([2,3,4]);
}
OpenSCAD positioning an
object
There is no semicolon following the translate command
Notice that there is no semicolon following the translate command. This is because the
translate command relates to the following object. If the semicolon was not omitted, then
the effect of the position translation would end, and the second cuboid would be placed at
the same position as the first cuboid. We can change the color of an object by giving it RGB
values. Instead of the traditional RGB values from 0 to 255 floating point values are used
from 0.0 to 1.0.
Usage example 1 - changing the color of an object:
color([1,0,0]) cube([2,3,4]);
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translate([3,0,0])
color([0,1,0]) cube([2,3,4]);
translate([6,0,0])
color([0,0,1]) cube([2,3,4]);
OpenSCAD changing the color
of an object
Color names can be used in the 2011.12 version (and newer). The names are the same used
for Web colors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors). For example: color("red") cube();
If you think of the entire command as a sentence, then color() is an "adjective" that
describes the "object" of the sentence (which is a "noun"). In this case, the object is the
cube() to be created. The adjective is placed before the noun in the sentence, like so: color()
cube();. In the same way, translate() can be thought of as a "verb" that acts upon the object,
and is placed like this: translate() color() cube();. The following code will produce the same
result:
translate([6,0,0])
{
color([0,0,1])
cube([2,3,4]);
}
// notice that there is NO semicolon
// notice the semicolon is at the end of all related commands
Changing the colors only works in Preview mode (F5). Render mode (F6) does not currently
support color.
The openscad model view window provides a variety of view options.
CGAL Surfaces
The surface view is the initial model view that appears when the model code is first
rendered.
CGAL Grid Only
The Grid Only view presents only the "scaffolding" beneath the surface, also known as a
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wireframe. Think of the Eiffel Tower.
A wire frame is a visual presentation of a three dimensional or physical object. Using a wire
frame model allows visualization of the underlying design structure of a 3D model. Since
wireframe renderings are relatively simple and fast to calculate, they are often used in
cases where a high screen frame rate is needed (for instance, when working with a
particularly complex 3D model, or in real-time systems that model exterior phenomena).
When greater graphical detail is desired, surface textures can be added automatically after
completion of the initial rendering of the wireframe. This allows the designer to quickly
review changes or rotate the object to new desired views without long delays associated
with more realistic rendering. The wire frame format is also well suited and widely used in
programming tool paths for DNC (Direct Numerical Control) machine tools. Wireframe
models are also used as the input for CAM(computer-aided manufacturing). Wireframe is
the most abstract and least realistic of the three main CAD models. This method of
modelling consists only of lines, points and curves defining the edges of an object. (From
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire-frame_model)
The OpenCSG View
This view mode utilizes the open constructive solid geometry library to generate the model
view utilizing OpenGL. If the OpenCSG library is not available or the video card or drivers
do not support OpenGL, then this view will produce no visible output.
The thrown together view
The thrown together view provides all the previous views, in the same screen.
The OpenSCAD User Interface
View navigation
The viewing area is navigated primarily using the mouse:
Dragging with the left mouse button rotates the view along the axes of the viewing
area. It preserves the vertical axis' direction.
Dragging with the left mouse button when the shift key is pressed rotates the view
along the vertical axis and the axis pointing towards the user.
Dragging with the right mouse button moves the viewing area.
For zooming, there are four ways:
using the scroll wheel
dragging with the middle mouse button
dragging with the right or middle mouse button and the shift key pressed
the keys + and -
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Rotation can be reset using the shortcut Ctrl+0. Movement can be reset using the shortcut
Ctrl+P.
View setup
The viewing area can be configured to use different rendering methods and other options
using the View menu. Most of the options described here are available using shortcuts as
well.
Render modes
OpenCSG (F9)
This method produces instantaneous results, but has low frame rates when working with
highly nonconvex objects.
Note that selecting the OpenCSG mode using F9 will switch to the last generated OpenCSG
view, but will not re-evaluate the source code. You may want to use the Compile function
(F5, found in the Design menu) to re-evaluate the source code, build the OpenCSG objects
and then switch to OpenCSG view.
Implementation Details
In OpenCSG mode, the OpenCSG library (http://opencsg.org/) is used for generating the
visible model. This library uses advanced OpenGL features (2.0) like the Z buffer and does
not require an explicit description of the resulting mesh – instead, it tracks how objects are
to be combined. For example, when rendering a spherical dent in a cube, it will first render
the cube on the graphics card and then render the sphere, but instead of using the Z buffer
to hide the parts of the sphere that are covered by the cube, it will render only those parts
of the sphere, visually resulting in a cube with a spherical dent.
CGAL (Surfaces and Grid, F10 and F11)
This method might need some time when first used with a new program, but will then have
higher framerates.
As before with OpenCSG, F10 and F11 only enable CGAL display mode and don't update the
underlying objects; for that, use the Compile and Render function (F6, found in the Design
menu).
To combine the benefits of those two display methods, you can selectively wrap parts of
your program in a render function and force them to be baken into a mesh even with
OpenCSG mode enabled.
Implementation Details
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The acronym CGAL refers to The Open Source Computational Geometry Algorithms
Library.
In CGAL mode, the CGAL library is used to compute the mesh of the root object, which is
then displayed using simple OpenGL.
View options
Show Edges (Ctrl+1)
If Show Edges is enabled, both OpenCSG and
CGAL mode will render edges as well as faces,
CGAL will even show vertices. In CGAL grid
mode, this option has no effect.
Enabling this option shows the difference
between OpenCSG and CGAL quite clearly:
While in CGAL mode you see an edge drawn
everywhere it "belongs", OpenCSG will not
show edges resulting from boolean operations –
this is because they were never explicitly
calculated but are just where one object's Z
clipping begins or ends.
Show Axes (Ctrl+2)
The difference between the CGAL and
OpenSCAD approaches can be seen at edges
created by boolean operations.
If Show Axes is enabled, the origin of the global coordinate system will be indicated by an
orthogonal axes indicator. Additionally, a smaller axes indicator with axes names will be
shown in the lower left corner of the viewing area. The smaller axes indicator is marked x,
y, z and coloured red, green, blue respectively.
Show Crosshairs (Ctrl+3)
If Show Crosshairs is enabled, the center of the viewport will be indicated by four lines
pointing in the room diagonal directions of the global coordinate system. This is useful
when aligning the viewing area to a particular point in the model to keep it centered on
screen during rotation.
Animation
The Animate option adds an animation bar to the lower edge of the screen. As soon as FPS
and Steps are set (reasonable values to begin with are 10 and 100, respectively), the current
Time is incremented by 1/Steps, FPS times per second, until it reaches 1, when it wraps back
to 0.
Every time Time is changed, the program is re-evaluated with the variable $t set to the
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current time. Read more about how $t is used in section Other_Language_Features
View alignment
The menu items Top, Bottom, …, Diagonal and Center (Ctrl+4, Ctrl+5, …, Ctrl+0, Ctrl+P) align
the view to the global coordinate system.
Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front and Back align it in parallel to the axes, the Diagonal option
aligns it diagonally as it is aligned when OpenSCAD starts.
The Center option will put the coordinate center in the middle of the screen (but not rotate
the view).
By default, the view is in Perspective mode, meaning that distances far away from the
viewer will look shorter, as it is common with eyes or cameras. When the view mode is
changed to Orthogonal, visible distances will not depend on the camera distance (the view
will simulate a camera in infinite distance with infinite focal length). This is especially
useful in combination with the Top etc. options described above, as this will result in a 2D
image similar to what one would see in an engineering drawing.
The OpenSCAD Language
Comments
OpenSCAD uses a programming language to create the models that are later displayed on
the screen. Comments are a way of leaving notes within the code (either to yourself or to
future programmers) describing how the code works, or what it does. Comments are not
evaluated by the compiler, and should not be used to describe self-evident code.
OpenSCAD uses C++-style comments:
// This is a comment
myvar = 10; // The rest of the line is a comment
/*
Multi-line comments
can span multiple lines.
*/
Variables
Variables in OpenSCAD are simply a name followed by an assignment via an expression
(but see below for an important note about variables!)
Example:
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myvar = 5 + 4;
Currently it's not possible to do assignments at any place (the only places are file top-level
and module top-level). If you need it inside the for loop, for example, you need to use the
assign() module.
Undefined variable
A non assigned variable has a special value undef. It could be tested in conditional
expression, and returned by a function. Example
echo("Variable a is ", a); // output 'Variable a is undef'
if (a==undef) {
echo("Variable a is tested undefined");
}
function not_useful() = undef; // not really useful...
echo("Function returns ", not_useful()); // output 'Function returns undef'
Output Variable a is undef Variable a is tested undefined Function returns undef
Numeric
A variable could be a numerical value: integer, float...
Vectors
Variables can be grouped together into Vectors by using brackets. Vectors are useful when
dealing with X, Y, and Z coordinates or sizes.
Example
deck = [64, 89, 18];
cube(deck);
Output A cube with the sizes: X = 64, Y = 89, Z = 18.
Vectors selection
You can also refer to individual values in a vector with vector[number]. number starts
from 0.
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Example
deck = [64, 89, 18];
translate([0,0,deck[2]]) cube(deck);
Output The same cube as the previous example would be raised by 18 on the Z axis, since
vector indices are numbered [0,1,2] for [X,Y,Z] respectively.
Matrix
A matrix is a vector of vectors.
Example
mr = [
[cos(angle), -sin(angle)],
[sin(angle), cos(angle)]
];
Output Define a 2D rotation matrix.
Strings
Explicit double quotes or backslashes need to be escaped (\" and \\ respectively). Other
escaped special characters are newlines (\n), tabs (\t) and carriage returns (\r).
NB! This behavior is new since OpenSCAD-2011.04. You can upgrade old files using the
following sed command: sed 's/\\/\\\\/' non-escaped.scad > escaped.scad
Example:
echo("The quick brown fox \tjumps \"over\" the lazy dog.\rThe quick brown fox.\nThe \\lazy\\ dog.");
Output:
ECHO: "The quick brown fox jumps "over" the lazy dog.
The quick brown fox.
The \lazy\ dog."
Output: in OpenSCAD version 2013.02.28
ECHO: "The quick brown fox \tjumps \"over\" the lazy dog.
The quick brown fox.\nThe \\lazy\\ dog."
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Variables are set at compile-time, not run-time
Because OpenSCAD calculates its variable values at compile-time, not run-time, the last
variable assignment will apply everywhere the variable is used (with some exceptions,
mentioned below). It may be helpful to think of them as override-able constants rather
than as variables.
Example:
// The value of 'a' reflects only the last set value
a = 0;
echo(a);
a = 5;
echo(a);
Output
ECHO: 5
ECHO: 5
This also means that you can not reassign a variable inside an "if" block:
Example:
a=0;
if (a==0)
{
a=1; // <- this line will generate an error.
}
Output Compile Error
Exception #1
This behavior is scoped to either the root or to a specific call to a module, meaning you can
re-define a variable within a module without affecting its value outside of it. However, all
instances within that call will behave as described above with the last-set value being used
throughout.
Example:
p = 4;
test(5);
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echo(p);
/*
* we start with p = 4. We step to the next command 'test(5)', which calls the 'test' module.
* The 'test' module calculates two values for 'p', but the program will ONLY display the final value.
* There will be two executions of echo(p) inside 'test' module, but BOTH will display '9' because it is the FINAL
* calculated value inside the module. ECHO: 9
ECHO: 9
*
* Even though the 'test' module calculated value changes for 'p', those values remained inside the module.
* Those values did not continue outside the 'test' module. The program has now finished 'test(5)' and moves to the nex
* The call 'echo(p)' would normally display the original value of 'p'=4.
* Remember that the program will only show the FINAL values. It is the next set of commands that produce the final val
*/
p = 6;
test(8);
echo(p);
/*
* We now see 'p=6', which is a change from earlier. We step to the next command 'test(8)', which calls the 'test' modu
* Again, the 'test' module calculates two values for 'p', but the program will ONLY display the final value.
* There will be two executions of echo(p) inside 'test' module, but BOTH will display '12' because it is the FINAL
* compiled value that was calculated inside the module.
* Therefore, both echo(p) statements will show the final value of '12' ;
* Remember that the 'test' module final values for 'p' will remain inside the module. They do not continue outside the
* ECHO:12
ECHO: 12
*
* The program has now finished 'test(8)' and moves to the next command 'echo(p)'.
* Remember at compile that the pgm will show the FINAL values. The first value of 'echo(p)' would have showed a value
* However, at compile time the final value of 'echo(p)' was actually '6'. Therefore, '6' will be shown on both echo(p)
* ECHO 6
*/
module test(q)
{
p = 2 + q;
echo(p);
p = 4 + q;
echo(p);
}
Output
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
9
9
6
12
12
6
While this appears to be counter-intuitive, it allows you to do some interesting things: For
instance, if you set up your shared library files to have default values defined as variables
at their root level, when you include that file in your own code, you can 're-define' or
override those constants by simply assigning a new value to them.
Exception #2
See the assign, which provides for a more tightly scoped changing of values.
Predefined variables, ie. Constants
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PI is 3.14159...
Getting input
Now we have variables, it would be nice to be able to get input into them instead of setting
the values from code. There are a few functions to read data from DXF files, or you can set
a variable with the -D switch on the command line.
Getting a point from a drawing
Getting a point is useful for reading an origin point in a 2D view in a technical drawing. The
function dxf_cross will read the intersection of two lines on a layer you specify and return
the intersection point. This means that the point must be given with two lines in the DXF
file, and not a point entity.
OriginPoint = dxf_cross(file="drawing.dxf", layer="SCAD.Origin",
origin=[0, 0], scale=1);
Getting a dimension value
You can read dimensions from a technical drawing. This can be useful to read a rotation
angle, an extrusion height, or spacing between parts. In the drawing, create a dimension
that does not show the dimension value, but an identifier. To read the value, you specify
this identifier from your script:
TotalWidth = dxf_dim(file="drawing.dxf", name="TotalWidth",
layer="SCAD.Origin", origin=[0, 0], scale=1);
For a nice example of both functions, see Example009 and the image on the homepage of
OpenSCAD (http://www.openscad.org/).
For Loop
Iterate over the values in a vector or range.
Vector version: for (variable=<vector>) <do_something> - <variable> is assigned to each
successive value in the vector
Range version: for (variable=<range>) <do_something>
Range: [<start>:<end>] - iterate from start to end inclusive with a fixed increment of 1. Both
start and end can be fractions. It also works if end is smaller than start but as of Version
2014.03 this usage is deprecated and will produce a warning message.
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Range: [<start>:<increment>:<end>] - iterate from start to end with the given increment. The
increment can be a fraction.
It's valid to use a negative increment, in this case end must be smaller than (or equal to)
start.
Warning: If the increment is not an even divider of <end>-<start>, the iterator value for the
last iteration will be <end>-(<end>-<start> mod <increment>).
Note for Version < 2014.03: The increment is given as an absolute value and cannot be
negative. If <end> is smaller than <start> the increment should remain unchanged.
Nested loops : for ( variable1 = <range or vector>, variable2 = <range or vector> ) <do
something, using both variables>
for loops can be nested, just as in normal programs. A shorthand is that both iterations can
be given in the same for statement
Usage example 1 - iteration over a vector:
for (z = [-1, 1]) // two iterations, z = -1, z = 1
{
translate([0, 0, z])
cube(size = 1, center = false);
}
OpenSCAD iteration over a
vector
Usage example 2a - iteration over a range:
for ( i = [0 : 5] )
{
rotate( i * 360 / 6, [1, 0, 0])
translate([0, 10, 0])
sphere(r = 1);
}
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OpenSCAD iteration over a
range)
Usage example 2b - iteration over a range specifying an increment:
// Note: The middle parameter in the range designation
// ('0.2' in this case) is the 'increment-by' value
// Warning: Depending on the 'increment-by' value, the
// real end value may be smaller than the given one.
for ( i = [0 : 0.2 : 5] )
{
rotate( i * 360 / 6, [1, 0, 0])
translate([0, 10, 0])
sphere(r = 1);
}
Usage example 3 - iteration over a vector of vectors
(rotation):
for(i = [ [ 0, 0,
0],
[ 10, 20, 300],
[200, 40, 57],
[ 20, 88, 57] ])
{
rotate(i)
cube([100, 20, 20], center = true);
}
OpenSCAD for loop (rotation)
Usage example 4 - iteration over a vector of vectors
(translation):
for(i = [ [ 0,
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0,
0],
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[10,
[20,
[30,
[20,
[10,
12,
24,
36,
48,
60,
http://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=OpenSCA...
10],
20],
30],
40],
50] ])
{
translate(i)
cube([50, 15, 10], center = true);
}
OpenSCAD for loop
(translation)
Nested loop example
for (xpos=[0:3], ypos = [2,4,6]) // do twelve iterations, using each xpos with each ypos
translate([xpos*ypos, ypos, 0]) cube([0.5, 0.5, 0.5]);
Intersection For Loop
Iterate over the values in a vector or range and take an intersection of the contents.
Note: intersection_for() is a work around because of an issue that you cannot get the
expected results using a combination of the standard for() and intersection() statements.
The reason is that for() do a implicit union() of the contents.
Parameters
<loop variable name>
Name of the variable to use within the for loop.
Usage example 1 - loop over a range:
intersection_for(n = [1 : 6])
{
rotate([0, 0, n * 60])
{
translate([5,0,0])
sphere(r=12);
}
}
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OpenSCAD Intersection for
Usage example 2 - rotation :
intersection_for(i = [ [ 0, 0,
0],
[ 10, 20, 300],
[200, 40, 57],
[ 20, 88, 57] ])
{
rotate(i)
cube([100, 20, 20], center = true);
}
OpenSCAD Intersection for
(rotation)
If Statement
Conditionally evaluate a sub-tree.
Parameters
The boolean expression that should be used as condition
NOTE:
Do not confuse the assignment operator '=' with the equal operator '=='
if (a=b) dosomething(); // WRONG - this will FAIL to be processed without any error message
if (a==b) dosomething(); // CORRECT - this will do something if a equals b
Usage example:
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if (x > y)
{
cube(size = 1, center = false);
} else {
cube(size = 2, center = true);
}
Assign Statement
Set variables to a new value for a sub-tree.
Parameters
The variables that should be (re-)assigned
Usage example:
for (i = [10:50])
{
assign (angle = i*360/20, distance = i*10, r = i*2)
{
rotate(angle, [1, 0, 0])
translate([0, distance, 0])
sphere(r = r);
}
}
Scalar Arithmetical Operators
The scalar arithmetical operators take numbers as operands and produce a new number.
+ add
-
subtract
* multiply
/
divide
% modulo
The "-" can also be used as prefix operator to negate a number.
Relational Operators
All relational operator take numbers as operands and produce a Boolean value. The equal
and not-equal operators can also compare Boolean values.
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<
http://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=OpenSCA...
less than
<= less equal
== equal
!= not equal
>= greater equal
>
greater than
Logical Operators
All logical operators take Boolean values as operands and produce a Boolean value.
&& Logical AND
|| Logical OR
!
Logical NOT
Conditional Operator
The ?: operator can be used to conditionally evaluate one or another expression. It works
like the ?: operator from the family of C-like programming languages.
? : Conditional operator
Usage Example:
a=1;
b=2;
c= a==b ? 4 : 5;
If a equals b, then c is set to 4, else c is set to 5.
The part "a==b" must be something that evaluates to a boolean
value.
Vector-Number Operators
The vector-number operators take a vector and a number as operands and produce a new
vector.
* multiply all vector elements by number
/ divide all vector elements by number
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Vector Operators
The vector operators take vectors as operands and produce a new vector.
+ add element-wise
- subtract element-wise
The "-" can also be used as prefix operator to element-wise negate a vector.
Vector Dot-Product Operator
The vector dot-product operator takes two vectors as operands and produces a scalar.
* sum of vector element products
Matrix Multiplication
Multiplying a matrix by a vector, vector by matrix and matrix by matrix
* matrix/vector multiplication
Contents
1 Table of Contents
2 Introduction
3 First Steps
3.1 Compiling and rendering our first model
3.2 See also
3.3 There is no semicolon following the translate command
3.4 CGAL Surfaces
3.5 CGAL Grid Only
3.6 The OpenCSG View
3.7 The thrown together view
4 The OpenSCAD User Interface
4.1 View navigation
4.2 View setup
4.2.1 Render modes
4.2.1.1 OpenCSG (F9)
4.2.1.1.1 Implementation Details
4.2.1.2 CGAL (Surfaces and Grid, F10 and F11)
4.2.1.2.1 Implementation Details
4.2.2 View options
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4.2.2.1 Show Edges (Ctrl+1)
4.2.2.2 Show Axes (Ctrl+2)
4.2.2.3 Show Crosshairs (Ctrl+3)
4.2.3 Animation
4.2.4 View alignment
5 The OpenSCAD Language
5.1 Comments
5.2 Variables
5.2.1 Undefined variable
5.2.2 Numeric
5.2.3 Vectors
5.2.3.1 Vectors selection
5.2.3.2 Matrix
5.2.4 Strings
5.2.5 Variables are set at compile-time, not run-time
5.2.5.1 Exception #1
5.2.5.2 Exception #2
5.2.6 Predefined variables, ie. Constants
5.3 Getting input
5.4 For Loop
5.5 Intersection For Loop
5.6 If Statement
5.7 Assign Statement
5.8 Scalar Arithmetical Operators
5.9 Relational Operators
5.10 Logical Operators
5.11 Conditional Operator
5.12 Vector-Number Operators
5.13 Vector Operators
5.14 Vector Dot-Product Operator
5.15 Matrix Multiplication
5.16 Trigonometric Functions
5.16.1 cos
5.16.2 sin
5.16.3 tan
5.16.4 acos
5.16.5 asin
5.16.6 atan
5.16.7 atan2
5.17 Other Mathematical Functions
5.17.1 abs
5.17.2 ceil
5.17.3 cross
5.17.4 exp
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5.17.5 floor
5.17.6 ln
5.17.7 len
5.17.8 log
5.17.9 lookup
5.17.10 max
5.17.11 min
5.17.12 norm
5.17.13 pow
5.17.14 rands
5.17.15 round
5.17.16 sign
5.17.17 sqrt
5.17.18 str
5.17.19 Also See search()
5.17.20 cube
5.17.21 sphere
5.17.22 cylinder
5.17.23 polyhedron
5.17.24 scale
5.17.25 resize
5.17.26 rotate
5.17.27 translate
5.17.28 mirror
5.17.29 multmatrix
5.17.30 color
5.17.31 minkowski
5.17.32 hull
5.17.33 union
5.17.34 difference
5.17.35 intersection
5.17.36 render
5.17.37 Background Modifier
5.17.38 Debug Modifier
5.17.39 Root Modifier
5.17.40 Disable Modifier
5.17.41 usage
5.17.42 children (previously: child)
5.17.43 arguments
5.17.44 Special variables
5.17.44.1 $fa, $fs and $fn
5.17.44.2 $t
5.17.44.3 $vpr and $vpt
5.17.45 Echo Statements
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5.17.46 Render
5.17.47 Surface
5.17.48 Search
5.17.48.1 Search Usage
5.17.48.2 Search Arguments
5.17.48.3 Search Usage Examples
5.17.48.3.1 Index values return as list
5.17.48.3.2 Search on different column; return Index values
5.17.48.3.3 Search on list of values
5.17.48.3.4 Search on list of strings
5.17.48.3.5 Getting the right results
5.17.49 OpenSCAD Version
5.17.50 parent_module(n) and $parent_modules
6 Using the 2D Subsystem
6.1 square
6.2 circle
6.3 polygon
6.4 import_dxf
6.5 Linear Extrude
6.5.1 Usage
6.5.2 Twist
6.5.3 Center
6.5.4 Mesh Refinement
6.5.5 Scale
6.6 Rotate Extrude
6.6.1 Examples
6.6.2 Mesh Refinement
6.6.3 Extruding a Polygon
6.7 Description of extrude parameters
6.7.1 Extrude parameters for all extrusion modes
6.7.2 Extrude parameters for linear extrusion only
6.8 Linear Extrude
6.9 Rotate Extrude
6.10 Getting Inkscape to work
6.11 Description of extrude parameters
6.11.1 Extrude parameters for all extrusion modes
6.11.2 Extrude parameters for linear extrusion only
6.12 PS/EPS
6.13 SVG
6.14 Makefile automation
7 STL Import and Export
8 Import and Export
8.1 Import
8.1.1 import
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8.1.2 import_stl
8.2 STL Export
8.2.1 STL Export
8.2.2 import
8.2.3 import_stl
8.2.4 STL Export
8.3 Dodecahedron
8.4 Bounding Box
8.4.1 Export options
8.4.1.1 Camera and image output
8.4.2 Constants
8.4.3 Command to build required files
8.4.4 Makefile example
8.4.4.1 Automatic targets
8.4.5 Windows notes
9 Building OpenSCAD from Sources
9.1 Prebuilt binary packages
9.2 Building OpenSCAD yourself
9.2.1 Installing dependencies
9.2.2 Building the dependencies yourself
9.2.3 Build the OpenSCAD binary
9.3 Compiling the test suite
9.4 Troubleshooting
9.4.1 Errors about incompatible library versions
9.4.2 OpenCSG didn't automatically build
9.4.3 CGAL didn't automatically build
9.4.4 Compiling is horribly slow and/or grinds the disk
9.4.5 BSD issues
9.4.6 Test suite problems
9.4.7 I moved the dependencies I built and now openscad won't run
9.5 Tricks and tips
9.5.1 Reduce space of dependency build
9.5.2 Preferences
9.5.3 Setup environment to start developing OpenSCAD in Ubuntu
11.04
9.5.4 The Clang Compiler
9.6 Setup
9.7 Requirements
9.8 Build OpenSCAD
9.9 Downloads
9.10 Installing
9.11 Compiling Dependencies
9.11.1 Qt
9.11.2 CGAL
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9.11.3 OpenCSG
9.11.4 OpenSCAD
9.12 Building an installer
9.13 Compiling the regression tests
9.14 Troubleshooting
9.14.1 CGAL
9.14.2 References
10 Libraries
11 Library Locations
11.1 Setting OPENSCADPPATH
12 MCAD
13 Other Libraries
14 Command Glossary
14.1 Mathematical Operators
14.2 Mathematical Functions
14.3 String Functions
14.4 Primitive Solids
14.5 Transformations
14.6 Conditional and Iterator Functions
14.7 CSG Modelling
14.8 Modifier Characters
14.9 Modules
14.10 Include Statement
14.11 Other Language Features
14.12 2D Primitives
14.13 3D to 2D Projection
14.14 2D to 3D Extrusion
14.15 DXF Extrusion
14.16 STL Import
15 Index
Trigonometric Functions
cos
Mathematical cosine function of degrees. See Cosine
Parameters
<degrees>
Decimal. Angle in degrees.
Usage Example:
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for(i=[0:36])
translate([i*10,0,0])
cylinder(r=5,h=cos(i*10)*50+60);
OpenSCAD Cos Function
sin
Mathematical sine function. See Sine
Parameters
<degrees>
Decimal. Angle in degrees.
Usage example 1:
for (i = [0:5]) {
echo(360*i/6, sin(360*i/6)*80, cos(360*i/6)*80);
translate([sin(360*i/6)*80, cos(360*i/6)*80, 0 ])
cylinder(h = 200, r=10);
}
Usage example 2:
for(i=[0:36])
translate([i*10,0,0])
cylinder(r=5,h=sin(i*10)*50+60);
OpenSCAD Sin Function
tan
Mathematical tangent function. See Tangent
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Parameters
<degrees>
Decimal. Angle in degrees.
Usage example:
for (i = [0:5]) {
echo(360*i/6, tan(360*i/6)*80);
translate([tan(360*i/6)*80, 0, 0 ])
cylinder(h = 200, r=10);
}
acos
Mathematical arccosine, or inverse cosine, expressed in degrees. See: Inverse
trigonometric functions
asin
Mathematical arcsine, or inverse sine, expressed in degrees. See: Inverse trigonometric
functions
atan
Mathematical arctangent, or inverse tangent, function. Returns the principal value of the
arc tangent of x, expressed in degrees. See: Inverse trigonometric functions
atan2
Mathematical two-argument atan function, taking y as its first argument. Returns the
principal value of the arc tangent of y/x, expressed in degrees. See: atan2
Other Mathematical Functions
abs
Mathematical absolute value function. Returns the positive value of a signed decimal
number.
Usage examples:
abs(-5.0);
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abs(0);
abs(8.0);
Results:
5.0
0.0
8.0
ceil
Mathematical ceiling function. ceil(x) is the smallest integer not less than x.
See: Ceil Function
echo(ceil(4.4),ceil(-4.4));
// produces ECHO: 5, -4
cross
[Note: Requires version 2014.Q1(see https://raw.github.com/openscad/openscad/master
/RELEASE_NOTES)]
Calculates the cross product of two vectors in 3D space. The result is a vector that is
perpendicular to both of the input vectors.
Using invalid input parameters (e.g. vectors with a length different from 3 or other types)
will produce an undefined result.
Usage examples:
echo(cross([2, 3, 4], [5, 6, 7]));
echo(cross([2, 1, -3], [0, 4, 5]));
echo(cross([2, 3, 4], "5"));
// produces ECHO: [-3, 6, -3]
// produces ECHO: [17, -10, 8]
// produces ECHO: undef
exp
Mathematical exp function. Returns the base-e exponential function of x, which is the
number e raised to the power x. See: Exponent
floor
Mathematical floor function. floor(x) = is the largest integer not greater than x
See: Floor Function
echo(floor(4.4),floor(-4.4));
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// produces ECHO: 4, -5
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ln
Mathematical natural logarithm. See: Natural logarithm
len
Mathematical length function. Returns the length of an array, a vector or a string
parameter.
Usage examples:
str1="abcdef"; len_str1=len(str1);
echo(str1,len_str1);
a=6; len_a=len(a);
echo(a,len_a);
array1=[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8]; len_array1=len(array1);
echo(array1,len_array1);
array2=[[0,0],[0,1],[1,0],[1,1]]; len_array2=len(array2);
echo(array2,len_array2);
len_array2_2=len(array2[2]);
echo(array2[2],len_array2_2);
Results:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
"abcdef", 6
6, undef
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], 8
[[0, 0], [0, 1], [1, 0], [1, 1]], 4
[1, 0], 2
This function allows (e.g.) the parsing of an array, a vector or a string.
Usage examples:
str2="4711";
for (i=[0:len(str2)-1])
echo(str("digit ",i+1,"
:
",str2[i]));
Results:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
"digit
"digit
"digit
"digit
1
2
3
4
:
:
:
:
4"
7"
1"
1"
Note that the len() function is not defined when a simple variable is passed as the
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parameter.
This is useful when handling parameters to a module, similar to how shapes can be defined
as a single number, or as an [x,y,z] vector; i.e. cube(5) or cube([5,5,5])
For example
module doIt(size) {
if (len(size) == undef) {
// size is a number, use it for x,y & z. (or could be undef)
do([size,size,size]);
} else {
// size is a vector, (could be a string but that would be stupid)
do(size);
}
}
doIt(5);
doIt([5,5,5]);
// equivalent to [5,5,5]
// similar to cube(5) v's cube([5,5,5])
log
Mathematical logarithm. See: Logarithm
lookup
Look up value in table, and linearly interpolate if there's no exact match. The first
argument is the value to look up. The second is the lookup table -- a vector of key-value
pairs.
Parameters
key
A lookup key
<key,value> array
keys and values
Notes
There is a bug where out-of-range keys will return the first value in the list. Newer versions
of Openscad should use the top or bottom end of the table as appropriate instead.
Usage example:
Will create a sort of 3D chart made out of cylinders of different
height.
function get_cylinder_h(p) = lookup(p, [
[ -200, 5 ],
[ -50, 20 ],
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[ -20, 18 ],
[ +80, 25 ],
[ +150, 2 ]
]);
for (i = [-100:5:+100]) {
// echo(i, get_cylinder_h(i));
translate([ i, 0, -30 ]) cylinder(r1 = 6, r2 = 2, h = get_cylinder_h(i)*3);
}
OpenSCAD Lookup Function
max
Returns the maximum of the two parameters.
Parameters
<a>
Decimal.
<b>
Decimal.
Usage Example:
max(3.0,5.0);
max(8.0,3.0);
Results:
5.0
8.0
min
Returns the minimum of the two parameters.
Parameters
<a>
Decimal.
<b>
Decimal.
Usage Example:
min(3.0,5.0);
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min(8.0,3.0);
Results:
3.0
3.0
Looking for mod - it's not a function, see modulo operator (%)
norm
[Note: Requires version 2014.Q1(see https://raw.github.com/openscad/openscad/master
/RELEASE_NOTES)]
Returns the euclidean norm of a vector. Note this returns is the actual numeric length
while len returns the number of elements in the vector or array.
Usage examples:
a=[1,2,3,4];
b="abcd";
c=[];
d="";
e=[[1,2,3,4],[1,2,3],[1,2],[1]];
echo(norm(a)); //5.47723
echo(norm(b)); //undef
echo(norm(c)); //0
echo(norm(d)); //undef
echo(norm(e[0])); //5.47723
echo(norm(e[1])); //3.74166
echo(norm(e[2])); //2.23607
echo(norm(e[3])); //1
Results:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
5.47723
undef
0
undef
5.47723
3.74166
2.23607
1
pow
Mathematical power function.
Parameters
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<base>
Decimal. Base.
<exponent>
Decimal. Exponent.
Usage examples:
for (i = [0:5]) {
translate([i*25,0,0]) {
cylinder(h = pow(2,i)*5, r=10);
echo (i, pow(2,i));
}
}
echo(pow(10,2)); // means 10^2 or 10*10
// result: ECHO: 100
echo(pow(10,3)); // means 10^3 or 10*10*10
// result: ECHO: 1000
rands
Random number generator. Generates a constant vector of pseudo random numbers, much
like an array. When generating only one number, you still call it with variable[0]
Parameters
min_value
Minimum value of random number range
max_value
Maximum value of random number range
value_count
Number of random numbers to return as a vector
seed_value (optional)
Seed value for random number generator for repeatable results.
Usage Examples:
// get a single number
single_rand = rands(0,10,1)[0];
echo(single_rand);
// get a vector of 4 numbers
seed=42;
random_vect=rands(5,15,4,seed);
echo( "Random Vector: ",random_vect);
sphere(r=5);
for(i=[0:3]) {
rotate(360*i/4) {
translate([10+random_vect[i],0,0])
sphere(r=random_vect[i]/2);
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}
}
round
The "round" operator returns the greatest or least integer part, respectively, if the numeric
input is positive or negative.
Some examples:
round(x.5) = x+1.
round(x.49) = x.
round(-(x.5)) = -(x+1).
round(-(x.49)) = -x.
round(5.4); //-> 5
round(5.5); //-> 6
round(5.6); //-> 6
sign
Mathematical signum function. Returns a unit value that extracts the sign of a value see:
Signum function
Parameters
<x>
Decimal. Value to find the sign of.
Usage examples:
sign(-5.0);
sign(0);
sign(8.0);
Results:
-1.0
0.0
1.0
sqrt
Mathematical square root function.
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Usage Examples:
translate([sqrt(100),0,0])sphere(100);
str
Convert all arguments to strings and concatenate.
Usage examples:
number=2;
echo ("This is ",number,3," and that's it.");
echo (str("This is ",number,3," and that's it."));
Results:
ECHO: "This is ", 2, 3, " and that's it."
ECHO: "This is 23 and that's it."
Also See search()
search() for text searching.
cube
Creates a cube at the origin of the coordinate system. When center is true the cube will be
centered on the origin, otherwise it is created in the first octant. The argument names are
optional if the arguments are given in the same order as specified in the parameters
Parameters
size
Decimal or 3 value array. If a single number is given, the result will be a cube with
sides of that length. If a 3 value array is given, then the values will correspond to the
lengths of the X, Y, and Z sides. Default value is 1.
center
Boolean. This determines the positioning of the object. If true, object is centered at
(0,0,0). Otherwise, the cube is placed in the positive quadrant with one corner at
(0,0,0). Defaults to false
Usage examples:
cube(size = 1, center = false);
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cube(size = [1,2,3], center = true);
sphere
Creates a sphere at the origin of the coordinate system. The argument name is optional.
Parameters
r
Decimal. This is the radius of the sphere. The resolution of the sphere will be based on
the size of the sphere and the $fa, $fs and $fn variables. For more information on
these special variables look at: OpenSCAD_User_Manual/Other_Language_Features
d
Decimal. This is the diameter of the sphere. [Note: Requires version 2014.03(see [2]
(http://www.openscad.org/news.html))]
$fa
Fragment angle in degrees
$fs
Fragment size in mm
$fn
Resolution
Usage Examples
sphere(r = 1);
sphere(r = 5);
sphere(r = 10);
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sphere(d = 2);
sphere(d = 10);
sphere(d = 20);
// this will create a high resolution sphere with a 2mm radius
sphere(2, $fn=100);
// will also create a 2mm high resolution sphere but this one
// does not have as many small triangles on the poles of the sphere
sphere(2, $fa=5, $fs=0.1);
cylinder
Creates a cylinder or cone at the origin of the coordinate system. A single radius (r) makes a
cylinder, two different radi (r1, r2) make a cone.
Parameters
h
Decimal. This is the height of the cylinder. Default value is 1.
r
Decimal. The radius of both top and bottom ends of the cylinder. Use this parameter if
you want plain cylinder. Default value is 1.
r1
Decimal. This is the radius of the cone on bottom end. Default value is 1.
r2
Decimal. This is the radius of the cone on top end. Default value is 1.
d
Decimal. The diameter of both top and bottom ends of the cylinder. Use this
parameter if you want plain cylinder. Default value is 1. [Note: Requires version
2014.03(see [3] (http://www.openscad.org/news.html))]
d1
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Decimal. This is the diameter of the cone on bottom end. Default value is 1. [Note:
Requires version 2014.03(see [4] (http://www.openscad.org/news.html))]
d2
Decimal. This is the diameter of the cone on top end. Default value is 1. [Note:
Requires version 2014.03(see [5] (http://www.openscad.org/news.html))]
center
boolean. If true will center the height of the cone/cylinder around the origin. Default
is false, placing the base of the cylinder or r1 radius of cone at the origin.
$fa
Angle in degrees
$fs
Angle in mm
$fn
Resolution
Usage Examples
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
cylinder(h
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
10,
10,
10,
10,
10,
10,
10,
10,
r=20);
r=20, $fs=6);
r1 = 10, r2 =
r1 = 20, r2 =
d=40);
d=40, $fs=6);
d1 = 20, d2 =
d1 = 40, d2 =
20, center = false);
10, center = true);
40, center = false);
20, center = true);
polyhedron
Create a polyhedron with a list of points and a list of triangles. The point list is all the
vertices of the shape, the triangle list is how the points relates to the surfaces of the
polyhedron.
Parameters
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points
vector of points or vertices (each a 3 vector).
triangles
vector of point triplets (each a 3 number vector). Each number is the 0-indexed point
number from the point vector.
faces
this parameter will replace triangles [Note: Requires version 2014.03]. vector of point
n-tuples with n >= 3. Each number is the 0-indexed point number from the point
vector. When referencing more than 3 points in a single tuple, the points must all be
on the same plane.
convexity
Integer. The convexity parameter specifies the maximum number of front sides (back
sides) a ray intersecting the object might penetrate. This parameter is only needed for
correctly displaying the object in OpenCSG preview mode and has no effect on the
polyhedron rendering.
Syntax example
polyhedron(points = [ [x, y, z], ... ], triangles = [ [p1, p2, p3..], ... ], convexity = N);
Triangle points ordering When looking at the face from the outside inwards, the points
must be clockwise. You can rearrange the order of the points or the order they are
referenced in each triangle triple. The order of triangles is immaterial. Note that if your
polygons are not all oriented the same way OpenSCAD will either print an error or crash
completely, so pay attention to the vertex ordering. Again, remember that the 'pN'
components of the triangles vector are 0-indexed references to the elements of the points
vector.
Example, a square base pyramid:
polyhedron(
points=[ [10,10,0],[10,-10,0],[-10,-10,0],[-10,10,0],
[0,0,10] ],
triangles=[ [0,1,4],[1,2,4],[2,3,4],[3,0,4],
[1,0,3],[2,1,3] ]
);
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//
//
//
//
the four points at base
the apex point
each triangle side
two triangles for square base
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A simple polyhedron, square based pyramid
Ordering of triangle points An example of a more complex polyhedron, and showing how
to fix polyhedrons with badly oriented polygons.
When you select 'Thrown together' from the view menu and compile the design (not
compile and render!) you will see a preview with the mis-oriented polygons highlighted.
Unfortunately this highlighting is not possible in the OpenCSG preview mode because it
would interfere with the way the OpenCSG preview mode is implemented.)
Below you can see the code and the picture of such a problematic polyhedron, the bad
polygons (triangles or compositions of triangles) are in pink.
// Bad polyhedron
polyhedron
(points = [
[0, -10, 60], [0, 10, 60], [0, 10, 0], [0, -10, 0], [60, -10, 60], [60, 10, 60],
[10, -10, 50], [10, 10, 50], [10, 10, 30], [10, -10, 30], [30, -10, 50], [30, 10, 50]
],
triangles = [
[0,2,3],
[0,1,2], [0,4,5], [0,5,1],
[5,4,2], [2,4,3],
[6,8,9], [6,7,8], [6,10,11], [6,11,7], [10,8,11],
[10,9,8], [0,3,9], [9,0,6], [10,6, 0], [0,4,10],
[3,9,10], [3,10,4], [1,7,11], [1,11,5], [1,7,8],
[1,8,2], [2,8,11], [2,11,5]
]
);
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Polyhedron with badly oriented polygons
A correct polyhedron would be the following:
polyhedron
(points = [
[0, -10, 60], [0, 10, 60], [0, 10, 0], [0, -10, 0], [60, -10, 60], [60, 10, 60],
[10, -10, 50], [10, 10, 50], [10, 10, 30], [10, -10, 30], [30, -10, 50], [30, 10, 50]
],
triangles = [
[0,3,2], [0,2,1], [4,0,5], [5,0,1], [5,2,4], [4,2,3],
[6,8,9], [6,7,8], [6,10,11],[6,11,7], [10,8,11],
[10,9,8], [3,0,9], [9,0,6], [10,6, 0],[0,4,10],
[3,9,10], [3,10,4], [1,7,11], [1,11,5], [1,8,7],
[2,8,1], [8,2,11], [5,11,2]
]
);
Beginner's tip:
If you don't really understand "orientation", try to identify the mis-oriented pink triangles
and then permute the references to the points vectors until you get it right. E.g. in the
above example, the third triangle ([0,4,5]) was wrong and we fixed it as [4,0,5]. In addition,
you may select "Show Edges" from the "View Menu", print a screen capture and number
both the points and the triangles. In our example, the points are annotated in black and the
triangles in blue. Turn the object around and make a second copy from the back if needed.
This way you can keep track.
Clockwise Technique:
Orientation is determined by clockwise indexing. This means that if you're looking at the
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triangle (in this case [4,0,5]) from the outside you'll see that the path is clockwise around
the center of the face. The winding order [4,0,5] is clockwise and therefore good. The
winding order [0,4,5] is counter-clockwise and therefore bad. Likewise, any other clockwise
order of [4,0,5] works: [5,4,0] & [0,5,4] are good too. If you use the clockwise technique,
you'll always have your faces outside (outside of OpenSCAD, other programs do use
counter-clockwise as the outside though).
Think of it as a Left Hand Rule:
If you hold the triangle and the fingers of your hand curls is the same order as the points,
then your thumb points outwards.
Polyhedron with badly oriented polygons
Succinct description of a 'Polyhedron'
* Points define all of the points/vertices in the shape.
* Triangles is a list of triangles that connect up the points/vertices.
Each point, in the point list, is defined with a 3-tuple x,y,z position specification. Points in
the point list are automatically given an identifier starting at zero for use in the triangle list
(0,1,2,3,... etc).
Each triangle, in the triangle list, is defined by selecting 3 of the points (using the point
identifier) out of the point list.
e.g. triangles=[ [0,1,2] ] defines a triangle from the first point (points are zero referenced) to
the second point and then to the third point.
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When looking at any triangle from the outside, the triangle must list their 3 points in a
clockwise order.
Transformation affect the child nodes and as the name implies transforms them in various
ways such as moving/rotating or scaling the child. Cascading transformations are used to
apply a variety of transforms to a final child. Cascading is achieved by nesting statements
i.e.
transform()
transform()
child()
e.g.
rotate([45,45,45])
translate([10,20,30])
cube(10);
Note: child(...) is deprecated by children(...) in master. (2013.06 still uses child(...)).
Transformations can be applied to a group of child nodes by using '{' & '}' to enclose the
subtree e.g.
translate(0,0,-5)
{
cube(10);
cylinder(r=5,h=10);
}
or the more compact
translate(0,0,-5) {
cube(10);
cylinder(r=5,h=10);
}
Advanced concept
As OpenSCAD uses different libraries to implement capabilities this can introduce some
inconsistencies to the F5 preview behaviour of transformations. Traditional transforms
(translate, rotate, scale, mirror & multimatrix) are performed using OpenGL in preview,
while other more advanced transforms, such as resize, perform a CGAL operation,
behaving like a CSG operation affecting the underlying object, not just transforming it. In
particular this can affect the display of modifier characters, specifically "#" and "%", where
the highlight may not display intuitively, such as highlighting the pre-resized object, but
highlighting the post-scaled object.
scale
Scales its child elements using the specified vector. The argument name is optional.
Usage Example:
scale(v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
cube(10);
translate([15,0,0]) scale([0.5,1,2]) cube(10);
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resize
resize() is available since OpenSCAD 2013.06. It modifies the size of the child object to
match the given x,y, and z.
There is a bug with shrinking in the 2013.06 release, that will be fixed in the next release.
Usage Example:
// resize the sphere to extend 30 in x, 60 in y, and 10 in the z directions.
resize(newsize=[30,60,10]) sphere(r=10);
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If x,y, or z is 0 then that dimension is left as-is.
// resize the 1x1x1 cube to 2x2x1
resize([2,2,0]) cube();
If the 'auto' parameter is set to true, it will auto-scale any 0-dimensions to match. For
example.
// resize the 1x2x0.5 cube to 7x14x3.5
resize([7,0,0], auto=true) cube([1,2,0.5]);
The 'auto' parameter can also be used if you only wish to auto-scale a single dimension, and
leave the other as-is.
// resize to 10x8x1. Note that the z dimension is left alone.
resize([10,0,0], auto=[true,true,false]) cube([5,4,1]);
rotate
Rotates its child a degrees about the origin of the coordinate system or around an arbitrary
axis. The argument names are optional if the arguments are given in the same order as
specified above.
When a rotation is specified for multiple axes then the rotation is applied in the following
order: x, y, z.
Usage:
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rotate(a = deg, v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
For example, to flip an object upside-down, you might do this:
rotate(a=[0,180,0]) { ... }
The above example will rotate your object 180 degrees around the 'y' axis.
The optional argument 'v' allows you to set an arbitrary axis about which the object will be
rotated.
Example with arbitrary origin.
rotate(a=45, v=[1,1,0]) { ... }
This example will rotate your object 45 degrees around the axis defined by the vector
[1,1,0] i.e. 45 around X and 45 around Y.
If this is all a bit confusing, this might, or might not, help.
For the case of:
rotate([a, b, c]) { ... };
"a" is a rotation about the X axis, from the +Z axis, toward the -Y axis. NOTE: NEGATIVE Y.
"b" is a rotation about the Y axis, from the +Z axis, toward the +X axis.
"c" is a rotation about the Z axis, from the +X axis, toward the +Y axis.
Thus if "a" is fixed to zero, and "b" and "c" are manipulated appropriately, this is the
spherical coordinate system.
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So, to construct a cylinder from the origin to some other point (x,y,z):
length=sqrt(pow(x, 2) + pow(y, 2) + pow(z, 2));
b=acos(z/length);
c= x==0 ? 90 :(x>0 ? atan(y/x): atan(y/x)+180);
rotate([0, b, c]) cylinder(h=length, r=0.5);
rotate with a single scalar argument rotates around the Z axis. This is useful in 2D contexts
where that is the only axis for rotation. For example:
rotate(45) square(10);
translate
Translates (moves) its child elements along the specified vector. The argument name is
optional.
IExample
translate(v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
cube(2,center = true);
translate([5,0,0])
sphere(1,center = true);
mirror
Mirrors the child element on a plane through the origin. The argument to mirror() is the
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normal vector of a plane intersecting the origin through which to mirror the object.
Usage example:
mirror([ 0, 1, 0 ]) { ... }
mirror([1,0,0]);
mirror([1,1,0]);
mirror([1,1,1]);
rotate([0,0,10]) cube([3,2,1]);
mirror([1,0,0]) translate([1,0,0]) rotate([0,0,10]) cube([3,2,1]);
multmatrix
Multiplies the geometry of all child elements with the given 4x4 transformation matrix.
Usage: multmatrix(m = [...]) { ... }
Example (translates by [10, 20, 30]):
multmatrix(m = [ [1, 0, 0, 10],
[0, 1, 0, 20],
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[0, 0, 1, 30],
[0, 0, 0, 1]
]) cylinder();
Example (rotates by 45 degrees in XY plane and translates by [10,20,30]):
angle=45;
multmatrix(m = [ [cos(angle), -sin(angle), 0, 10],
[sin(angle), cos(angle), 0, 20],
[0, 0, 1, 30],
[0, 0, 0, 1]
]) union() {
cylinder(r=10.0,h=10,center=false);
cube(size=[10,10,10],center=false);
}
color
Displays the child elements using the specified RGB color + alpha value. This is only used
for the F5 preview as CGAL and STL (F6) do not currently support color. The alpha value
will default to 1.0 (opaque) if not specified.
Usage example:
color([r, g, b, a]) { ... }
Note that the r, g, b, a values are limited to floating point values in the range { 0.0 ... 1.0 }
rather than the more traditional integers { 0 ... 255 }. However you can specify the values as
fractions, e.g. for R,G,B integers in {0 ... 255} you can use:
color([ R/255, G/255, B/255 ]) { ... }
As of the 2011.12 version, colors can also be chosen by name; name is not case sensitive. For
example, to create a red sphere, you can use this code:
color("red") sphere(5);
Alpha is also available with named colors:
color("Blue",0.5) cube(5);
The available color names are taken from the World Wide Web consortium's SVG color list
(http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-color/). A chart of the color names is as follows, (note that both
spelling of grey/gray including slategrey/slategray etc are valid):
Purples
Lavender
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Blues
Aqua
Greens
GreenYellow
Yellows
Gold
Whites
White
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Thistle
Cyan
Chartreuse
Yellow
Snow
Plum
LightCyan
LawnGreen
LightYellow
Honeydew
Violet
PaleTurquoise
Lime
LemonChiffon
MintCream
Orchid
Aquamarine
LimeGreen
LightGoldenrodYellow
Azure
Fuchsia
Turquoise
PaleGreen
PapayaWhip
AliceBlue
Magenta
MediumTurquoise
LightGreen
Moccasin
GhostWhite
MediumOrchid
DarkTurquoise
MediumSpringGreen
PeachPuff
WhiteSmoke
MediumPurple
CadetBlue
SpringGreen
PaleGoldenrod
Seashell
BlueViolet
SteelBlue
MediumSeaGreen
Khaki
Beige
DarkViolet
LightSteelBlue
SeaGreen
DarkKhaki
OldLace
DarkOrchid
PowderBlue
ForestGreen
DarkMagenta
LightBlue
Green
Cornsilk
Ivory
Purple
SkyBlue
DarkGreen
BlanchedAlmond
AntiqueWhite
Indigo
LightSkyBlue
YellowGreen
Bisque
Linen
DarkSlateBlue
DeepSkyBlue
OliveDrab
NavajoWhite
LavenderBlush
SlateBlue
DodgerBlue
Olive
Wheat
MistyRose
MediumSlateBlue
CornflowerBlue
DarkOliveGreen
BurlyWood
RoyalBlue
MediumAquamarine
Tan
Gainsboro
Pink
Blue
DarkSeaGreen
RosyBrown
LightGrey
LightPink
MediumBlue
LightSeaGreen
SandyBrown
Silver
HotPink
DarkBlue
DarkCyan
Goldenrod
DarkGray
DeepPink
Navy
Teal
DarkGoldenrod
Gray
MediumVioletRed
MidnightBlue
Peru
DimGray
LightSalmon
Chocolate
LightSlateGray
IndianRed
Coral
SaddleBrown
SlateGray
LightCoral
Tomato
Sienna
DarkSlateGray
Salmon
OrangeRed
Brown
Black
DarkSalmon
DarkOrange
Maroon
LightSalmon
Orange
Pinks
Reds
PaleVioletRed
Oranges
Browns
FloralWhite
Grays
Red
Crimson
FireBrick
DarkRed
Here's a code fragment that draws a wavy multicolor object
for(i=[0:36])
{ for(j=[0:36])
{ color([0.5+sin(10*i)/2,0.5+sin(10*j)/2,0.5+sin(10*(i+j))/2])
translate([i,j,0])
cube(size=[1,1,11+10*cos(10*i)*sin(10*j)]);
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}
}
Being that -1<=sin(x)<=1 then 0<=(1/2 + sin(x)/2)<=1 ,
allowing for the RGB components assigned to color to
remain within the {0,1} interval.
Chart based on "Web Colors" from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/Web_colors)
minkowski
Displays the minkowski sum (http://www.cgal.org/Manual
/latest/doc_html/cgal_manual/Minkowski_sum_3
/Chapter_main.html) of child nodes.
A 3-D multicolor sine wave
Usage example:
Say you have a flat box, and you want a rounded edge. There
are many ways to do this, but minkowski is very elegant.
Take your box, and a cylinder:
$fn=50;
cube([10,10,1]);
cylinder(r=2,h=1);
A box and a cylinder
Then, do a minkowski sum of them:
$fn=50;
minkowski()
{
cube([10,10,1]);
cylinder(r=2,h=1);
}
hull
Minkowski sum of the box
and cylinder
Displays the convex hull (http://www.cgal.org/Manual/latest
/doc_html/cgal_manual/Convex_hull_2/Chapter_main.html)
of child nodes.
Usage example:
hull() {
translate([15,10,0]) circle(10);
circle(10);
}
Two cylinders
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union
Creates a union of all its child nodes. This is the sum of all
children.
Usage example:
union() {
cylinder (h = 4, r=1, center = true, $fn=100);
rotate ([90,0,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.9, center = true, $fn=100);
}
Convex hull of two cylinders
Remark: union is implicit when not used. But it is
mandatory, for example, in difference to group first child nodes into one.
difference
Subtracts the 2nd (and all further) child nodes from the first one.
Usage example:
difference() {
cylinder (h = 4, r=1, center = true, $fn=100);
rotate ([90,0,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.9, center = true, $fn=100);
}
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intersection
Creates the intersection of all child nodes. This keeps the overlapping portion
Usage example:
intersection() {
cylinder (h = 4, r=1, center = true, $fn=100);
rotate ([90,0,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.9, center = true, $fn=100);
}
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render
Always calculate the CSG model for this tree (even in OpenCSG preview mode). The
convexity parameter specifies the maximum number of front sides (back sides) a ray
intersecting the object might penetrate. This parameter is only needed for correctly
displaying the object in OpenCSG preview mode and has no effect on the polyhedron
rendering.
Usage example:
render(convexity = 1) { ... }
Modifier characters are used to change the appearance or behaviours of child nodes. They
are particularly useful in debugging where they can be used to highlight specific objects, or
include or exclude them from rendering.
Advanced concept
As OpenSCAD uses different libraries to implement capabilities this can introduce some
inconsistencies to the F5 preview behaviour of transformations. Traditional transforms
(translate, rotate, scale, mirror & multimatrix) are performed using OpenGL in preview,
while other more advanced transforms, such as resize, perform a CGAL operation,
behaving like a CSG operation affecting the underlying object, not just transforming it. In
particular this can affect the display of modifier characters, specifically "#" and "%", where
the highlight may not display intuitively, such as highlighting the pre-resized object, but
highlighting the post-scaled object.
Note: The color changes triggered by character modifiers will only be shown in "Compile"
mode not "Compile and Render (CGAL)" mode. (As per the color section.)
Background Modifier
Ignore this subtree for the normal rendering process and draw it in transparent gray (all
transformations are still applied to the nodes in this tree).
Because the marked subtree is completely ignored, it might have unexpected effects in case
it's used for example with the first object in a difference(). In that case this object will be
rendered in transparent gray, but it will not be the base for the difference()!
Usage example:
% { ... }
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Example code:
difference() {
// start objects
cylinder (h = 4, r=1, center = true, $fn=100);
// first object that will subtracted
% rotate ([90,0,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.3, center = true, $fn=100);
// second object that will be subtracted
% rotate ([0,90,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.9, center = true, $fn=100);
}
Background modifier example
Debug Modifier
Use this subtree as usual in the rendering process but also draw it unmodified in
transparent pink.
Usage example:
# { ... }
Example:
difference() {
// start objects
cylinder (h = 4, r=1, center = true, $fn=100);
// first object that will subtracted
# rotate ([90,0,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.3, center = true, $fn=100);
// second object that will be subtracted
# rotate ([0,90,0]) cylinder (h = 4, r=0.9, center = true, $fn=100);
}
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OpenScad Debug Modifier example
Root Modifier
Ignore the rest of the design and use this subtree as design root.
Usage example:
! { ... }
Disable Modifier
Simply ignore this entire subtree.
Usage example:
* { ... }
usage
Defining your own module (roughly comparable to a macro or a function in other
languages) is a powerful way to reuse procedures.
module hole(distance, rot, size) {
rotate(a = rot, v = [1, 0, 0]) {
translate([0, distance, 0]) {
cylinder(r = size, h = 100, center = true);
}
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}
}
In this example, passing in the parameters distance, rot, and size allow you to reuse this
functionality multiple times, saving many lines of code and rendering your program much
easier to read.
You can instantiate the module by passing values (or formulas) for the parameters just like
a C function call:
hole(0, 90, 10);
children (previously: child)
Remark: child(...) is deprecated and should be replaced by children(...), with same
parameters (except child() without parameters that should be replaced by children(0)). The
latest stable release (2013.06) still uses child().
The child nodes of the module instantiation can be accessed using the children() statement
within the module:
Parameters
empty
select all the children
index
integer. select one child, at index value. index start at 0 and should be less than
$children-1.
vector
vector of integer. select children with index in vector. Index should be between 0 and
$children-1.
range
[<start>:<end>] or [<start>:<increment>:<end>]. select children between <start> to
<end>, incremented by <increment> (default 1).
Number of module children is accessed by $children variable.
Examples
Transfer all children to another module:
// rotate to other center point:
module rz(angle, center=undef) {
translate(center)
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rotate(angle)
translate(-center)
children()
}
rz(15, [10,0]) sphere(30);
Use the first child, multiple time:
module lineup(num, space) {
for (i = [0 : num-1])
translate([ space*i, 0, 0 ]) children(0);
}
lineup(5, 65) sphere(30);
If you need to make your module iterate over all children you will need to make use of the
$children variable, e.g.:
module elongate() {
for (i = [0 : $children-1])
scale([10 , 1, 1 ]) children(i);
}
elongate() { sphere(30); cube([10,10,10]); cylinder(r=10,h=50); }
arguments
One can specify default values for the arguments:
module house(roof="flat",paint=[1,0,0]){
color(paint)
if(roof=="flat"){
translate([0,-1,0])
cube();
} else if(roof=="pitched"){
rotate([90,0,0])
linear_extrude(height=1)
polygon(points=[[0,0],[0,1],[0.5,1.5],[1,1],[1,0]],paths=[ [0,1,2,3,4] ]);
} else if(roof=="domical"){
translate([0,-1,0])
union(){
translate([0.5,0.5,1]) sphere(r=0.5,$fn=20);
cube();
}
}
}
And then use one of the following ways to supply the arguments
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union(){
house();
translate([2,0,0]) house("pitched");
translate([4,0,0]) house("domical",[0,1,0]);
translate([6,0,0]) house(roof="pitched",paint=[0,0,1]);
translate([8,0,0]) house(paint=[0,0,0],roof="pitched");
translate([10,0,0]) house(roof="domical");
translate([12,0,0]) house(paint=[0,0.5,0.5]);
}
For including code from external files in OpenSCAD, there are two commands available:
acts as if the contents of the included file were written in the
including file, and
use <filename> imports modules and functions, but does not execute any commands
other than those definitions.
include <filename>
Library files are searched for in the same folder as the design was open from, or in the
library folder of the OpenSCAD installation. You can use a relative path specification to
either. If they lie elsewhere you must give the complete path. Newer versions have
predefined user libraries, see the OpenSCAD_User_Manual/Libraries page, which also
documents a number of library files included in OpenSCAD.
Windows and Linux/Mac use different separators for directories. Windows uses \, e.g.
directory\file.ext, while the others use /, e.g. directory/file.ext. This could lead to cross
platform issues. However OpenSCAD on Windows correctly handles the use of /, so using /
in all include or use statements will work on all platforms.
Using include <filename> allows default variables to be specified in the library. These defaults
can be overridden in the main code. An openscad variable only has one value during the
life of the program. When there are multiple assignments it takes the last value, but assigns
when the variable is first created. This has an effect when assigning in a library, as any
variables which you later use to change the default, must be assigned before the include
statement. See the second example below.
A library file for generating rings might look like this (defining a function and providing an
example):
ring.scad:
module ring(r1, r2, h) {
difference() {
cylinder(r = r1, h = h);
translate([ 0, 0, -1 ]) cylinder(r = r2, h = h+2);
}
}
ring(5, 4, 10);
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Including the library using
include <ring.scad>;
rotate([90, 0, 0]) ring(10, 1, 1);
would result in the example ring being shown in addition to the rotated ring, but
use <ring.scad>;
rotate([90, 0, 0]) ring(10, 1, 1);
only shows the rotated ring.
Default variables in an include can be overridden, for example
lib.scad
i=1;
k=3;
module x() {
echo("hello world");
echo("i=",i,"j=",j,"k=",k);
}
hello.scad
j=4;
include <lib.scad>;
x();
i=5;
x();
k=j;
x();
Produces the following
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
"hello world"
"i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", 4
"hello world"
"i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", 4
"hello world"
"i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", 4
However, placing j=4; after the include fails, producing
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
ECHO:
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"hello world"
"i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", undef
"hello world"
"i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", undef
"hello world"
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ECHO: "i=", 5, "j=", 4, "k=", undef
Special variables
All variables starting with a '$' are special variables The semantic is similar to the special
variables in lisp: they have dynamic instead of lexical scoping.
What that means is that they're effectively automatically passed onward as arguments.
Comparing a normal with a special variable:
normal=2;
module doesnt_pass_it()
{
echo(normal); }
module normal_mod()
{
doesnt_pass_it(); }
normal_mod(normal=1); //Should echo 2
$special=3; $another=5;
module passes_it()
{
echo($special, $another); }
module special_mod()
{
$another=6;
passes_it();
}
special_mod($special=4); //Should echo 4,6
So basically it is useful when you do not want to pass many parameters all the time.
$fa, $fs and $fn
The $fa, $fs and $fn special variables control the number of facets used to generate an arc:
$fa is the minimum angle for a fragment. Even a huge circle does not have more fragments
than 360 divided by this number. The default value is 12 (i.e. 30 fragments for a full circle).
The minimum allowed value is 0.01. Any attempt to set a lower value will cause a warning.
$fs is the minimum size of a fragment. Because of this variable very small circles have a
smaller number of fragments than specified using $fa. The default value is 2. The minimum
allowed value is 0.01. Any attempt to set a lower value will cause a warning.
$fn is usually 0. When this variable has a value greater than zero, the other two variables
are ignored and full circle is rendered using this number of fragments. The default value is
0.
When $fa and $fs are used to determine the number of fragments for a circle, then
OpenSCAD will never use less than 5 fragments.
This is the C code that calculates the number of fragments in a circle:
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int get_fragments_from_r(double r, double fn, double fs, double fa)
{
if (r < GRID_FINE) return 3;
if (fn > 0.0) return (int)(fn >= 3 ? fn : 3);
return (int)ceil(fmax(fmin(360.0 / fa, r*2*M_PI / fs), 5));
}
Spheres are first sliced into as many slices as the number of fragments being used to render
a circle of the sphere's radius, and then every slice is rendered into as many fragments as
are needed for the slice radius. You might have recognized already that the pole of a sphere
is usually a pentagon. This is why.
The number of fragments for a cylinder is determined using the greater of the two radii.
The method is also used when rendering circles and arcs from DXF files.
You can generate high resolution spheres by resetting the $fX values in the instantiating
module:
$fs = 0.01;
sphere(2);
or simply by passing the special variable as parameter:
sphere(2, $fs = 0.01);
You can even scale the special variable instead of resetting it:
sphere(2, $fs = $fs * 0.01);
$t
The $t variable is used for animation. If you enable the animation frame with
view->animate and give a value for "FPS" and "Steps", the "Time" field shows the current
value of $t. With this information in mind, you can animate your design. The design is
recompiled every 1/"FPS" seconds with $t incremented by 1/"Steps" for "Steps" times,
ending at either $t=1 or $t=1-1/steps.
If "Dump Pictures" is checked, then images will be created in the same directory as the
.scad file, using the following $t values, and saved in the following files:
$t=0/Steps filename="frame00001.png"
$t=1/Steps filename="frame00002.png
$t=2/Steps filename="frame00003.png"
...
$t=1-3/Steps filename="frame<Steps-2>.png"
$t=1-2/Steps filename="frame<Steps-1>.png"
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$t=1-1/Steps filename="frame00000.png"
Or, for other values of Steps, it follows this pattern:
$t=0/Steps filename="frame00001.png"
$t=1/Steps filename="frame00002.png
$t=2/Steps filename="frame00003.png"
...
$t=1-3/Steps filename="frame<Steps-2>.png"
$t=1-2/Steps filename="frame<Steps-1>.png"
$t=1-1/Steps filename="frame<Steps-0>.png"
$t=1-0/Steps filename="frame00000.png"
Which pattern it chooses appears to be an unpredictable, but consistent, function of Steps.
For example, when Steps=4, it follows the first pattern, and outputs a total of 4 files. When
Steps=3, it follows the second pattern, and also outputs 4 files. It will always output either
Steps or Steps+1 files, though it may not be predictable which. When finished, it will wrap
around and recreate each of the files, looping through and recreating them forever.
$vpr and $vpt
These contain the current viewport rotation and translation - at the time of doing the
rendering. Moving he viewport does not update them. During an animation they are
updated for each frame.
$vpr shows rotation
$vpt shows translation (i.e. won't be affected by rotate and zoom)
It's not possible to write to them and thus change the viewport parameters (although that
could be a decent enough idea).
Example
cube([10,10,$vpr[0]/10]);
which makes the cube change size based on the view angle, if an animation loop is active
(which does not need to use the $t variable)
You can also make bits of a complex model vanish as you change the view.
The menu command Edit - Paste Viewport Rotation/Translation copies the current value of
the viewport, but not the current $vpr or $vpt.
Echo Statements
This function prints the contents to the compilation window (aka Console). Useful for
debugging code. Also see the String function str().
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Numeric values are rounded to 5 significant digits.
The OpenSCAD console supports a subset of HTML markup language. See here (http://qtproject.org/doc/qt-4.7/richtext-html-subset.html) for details.
Usage examples:
my_h=50;
my_r=100;
echo("This is a cylinder with h=", my_h, " and r=", my_r);
cylinder(h=my_h, r=my_r);
echo("<b>Hello</b> <i>Qt!</i>");
Shows in the Console as
ECHO:Hello Qt!
Render
Forces the generation of a mesh even in preview mode. Useful when the boolean
operations become too slow to track.
Needs description.
Usage examples:
render(convexity = 2) difference() {
cube([20, 20, 150], center = true);
translate([-10, -10, 0])
cylinder(h = 80, r = 10, center = true);
translate([-10, -10, +40])
sphere(r = 10);
translate([-10, -10, -40])
sphere(r = 10);
}
Surface
Example 1:
//surface.scad
surface(file = "surface.dat", center = true, convexity = 5);
%translate([0,0,5])cube([10,10,10], center =true);
#surface.dat
10 9 8 7 6 5 5 5 5 5
9 8 7 6 6 4 3 2 1 0
8 7 6 6 4 3 2 1 0 0
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7
6
6
6
6
3
3
6
6
6
6
6
1
0
6
4
3
2
1
0
0
4
3
2
1
0
0
0
3
2
1
1
0
0
0
2
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
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0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Result:
Example 2
// example010.dat generated using octave:
// d = (sin(1:0.2:10)' * cos(1:0.2:10)) * 10;
// save("example010.dat", "d");
intersection() {
surface(file = "example010.dat", center = true, convexity = 5);
rotate(45, [0, 0, 1]) surface(file = "example010.dat", center = true, convexity = 5);
}
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Search
The search() function is a general-purpose function to find one or more (or all) occurrences
of a value or list of values in a vector, string or more complex list-of-list construct.
Search Usage
search( match_value , string_or_vector [, num_returns_per_match [, index_col_num ] ] );
Search Arguments
match_value
Can be a single value or vector of values.
Strings are treated as vectors-of-characters to iterate over; the search function
does not search for substrings.
Note: If match_value is a vector of strings, search will look for exact string
matches.
See Example 9 below.
string_or_vector
The string or vector to search for matches.
num_returns_per_match (default: 1)
By default, search only looks for one match per element of match_value to return
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as a list of indices
If num_returns_per_match > 1, search returns a list of lists of up to
num_returns_per_match index values for each element of match_value.
See Example 8 below.
If num_returns_per_match = 0, search returns a list of lists of all matching index
values for each element of match_value.
See Example 6 below.
index_col_num (default: 0)
When string_or_vector is a vector-of-vectors, multidimensional table or more
complex list-of-lists construct, the match_value may not be found in the first
(index_col_num=0) column.
See Example 5 below for a simple usage example.
Search Usage Examples
See example023.scad included with OpenSCAD for a renderable example.
Index values return as list
Example
Code
Result
1
search("a","abcdabcd");
[0]
2
search("e","abcdabcd");
[]
3
search("a","abcdabcd",0);
[[0,4]]
search("a",[ ["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["a",5],
[[0,4]] (see also
Example 6 below)
4
["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",9] ], 0);
Search on different column; return Index values
Example 5:
search(3,[ ["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["a",5],["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",3] ], 0, 1);
Returns:
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[2,8]
Search on list of values
Example 6: Return all matches per search vector element.
search("abc",[ ["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["a",5],["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",9] ], 0);
Returns:
[[0,4],[1,5],[2,6]]
Example 7: Return first match per search vector element; special case return vector.
search("abc",[ ["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["a",5],["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",9] ], 1);
Returns:
[0,1,2]
Example 8: Return first two matches per search vector element; vector of vectors.
search("abce",[ ["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["a",5],["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",9] ], 2);
Returns:
[[0,4],[1,5],[2,6],[8]]
Search on list of strings
Example 9:
lTable2=[ ["cat",1],["b",2],["c",3],["dog",4],["a",5],["b",6],["c",7],["d",8],["e",9],["apple",10],["a",11] ];
lSearch2=["b","zzz","a","c","apple","dog"];
l2=search(lSearch2,lTable2);
echo(str("Default list string search (",lSearch2,"): ",l2));
Returns
ECHO: "Default list string search ([\"b\", \"zzz\", \"a\", \"c\", \"apple\", \"dog\"]): [1, [], 4, 2, 9, 3]"
Getting the right results
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// workout which vectors get the results
v=[ ["O",2],["p",3],["e",9],["n",4],["S",5],["C",6],["A",7],["D",8] ];
//
echo(v[0]);
// -> ["O",2]
echo(v[1]);
// -> ["p",3]
echo(v[1][0],v[1][1]);
// -> "p",3
echo(search("p",v));
// find "p" -> [1]
echo(search("p",v)[0]);
// -> 1
echo(search(9,v,0,1));
// find 9 -> [2]
echo(v[search(9,v,0,1)[0]]);
// -> ["e",9]
echo(v[search(9,v,0,1)[0]][0]);
// -> "e"
echo(v[search(9,v,0,1)[0]][1]);
// -> 9
echo(v[search("p",v,1,0)[0]][1]);
// -> 3
echo(v[search("p",v,1,0)[0]][0]);
// -> "p"
echo(v[search("d",v,1,0)[0]][0]);
// "d" not found -> undef
echo(v[search("D",v,1,0)[0]][1]);
// -> 8
OpenSCAD Version
version() and version_num() will return OpenSCAD version number.
The version() function will return the OpenSCAD version as a vector, e.g. [2011, 09, 23]
The version_num() function will return the OpenSCAD version as a number, e.g.
20110923
parent_module(n) and $parent_modules
$parent_module contains the number of modules in the instantiation stack.
parent_module(i) returns the name of the module i levels about the current module in the
instantiation stack. The stack is independent on where the modules are defined. It's where
they're instantiated that counts. This can be used to e.g. build BOMs.
Example:
module top() {
children();
}
module middle() {
children();
}
top() middle() echo(parent_module(0)); // prints "middle"
top() middle() echo(parent_module(1)); // prints "top"
Using the 2D Subsystem
All 2D primitives can be transformed with 3D transformations. Usually used as part of a 3D
extrusion. Although infinitely thin, they are rendered with a 1 thickness.
square
Creates a square at the origin of the coordinate system. When center is true the square will
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be centered on the origin, otherwise it is created in the first quadrant. The argument names
are optional if the arguments are given in the same order as specified in the parameters
Parameters
size
Decimal or 2 value array. If a single number is given, the result will be a square with
sides of that length. If a 2 value array is given, then the values will correspond to the
lengths of the X and Y sides. Default value is 1.
center
Boolean. This determines the positioning of the object. If true, object is centered at
(0,0). Otherwise, the square is placed in the positive quadrant with one corner at (0,0).
Defaults to false.
Example
square ([2,2],center = true);
circle
Creates a circle at the origin of the coordinate system. The argument name is optional.
Parameters
r
Decimal. This is the radius of the circle. The resolution of the circle will be based on
the size of the circle. If you need a small, high resolution circle you can get around this
by making a large circle, then scaling it down by an appropriate factor, or you could
set $fn or other special variables. Default value is 1.
d
Decimal. This is the diameter of the circle. The resolution of the circle will be based on
the size of the circle. If you need a small, high resolution circle you can get around this
by making a large circle, then scaling it down by an appropriate factor, or you could
set $fn or other special variables. Default value is 1. [Note: Requires version
2014.03(see [6] (http://www.openscad.org/news.html))]
Examples
circle();
// uses default radius, r=1
circle(r = 10);
circle(d = 20);
scale([1/100, 1/100, 1/100]) circle(200); // this will create a high resolution circle with a 2mm radius
circle(2, $fn=50); // Another way to create a high-resolution circle with a radius of 2.
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polygon
Create a polygon with the specified points and paths.
Parameters
points
vector of 2 element vectors, ie. the list of points of the polygon
paths
Either a single vector, enumerating the point list, ie. the order to traverse the points,
or, a vector of vectors, ie a list of point lists for each seperate curve of the polygon. The
latter is required if the polygon has holes. The parameter is optional and if omitted the
points are assumed in order. (The 'pN' components of the paths vector are 0-indexed
references to the elements of the points vector.)
convexity
Integer. Number of "inward" curves, ie. expected path crossings of an arbitraty line
through the polygon.
Usage
polygon(points = [ [x, y], ... ], paths = [ [p1, p2, p3..], ...], convexity = N);
Example
polygon(points=[[0,0],[100,0],[0,100],[10,10],[80,10],[10,80]], paths=[[0,1,2],[3,4,5]]);
Polygon example
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In this example, we have 6 points (three for the "outer" triangle, and three for the "inner"
one). We connect each one with two 2 path. In plain English, each element of a path must
correspond to the position of a point defined in the points vector, e.g. "1" refers to [100,0].
Notice: In order to get a 3D object, you either extrude a 2D polygon (linear or (rotation ) or
directly use the polyhedron primitive solid. When using extrusion to form solids, its
important to realize that the winding direction of the polygon is significant. If a polygon is
wound in the wrong direction with respect to the axis of rotation, the final solid (after
extrusion) may end up invisible. This problem can be checked for by flipping the polygon
using scale([-1,1]) (assuming that extrusion is being done about the Z axis as it is by
default).
Notice: Althought the 2D drawing commands operate in axes labeled as X and Y, the
extrusion commands implicitly translate these objects in X-Z coordinates and rotate about
the Z axis.
Example:
polygon([[0,0],[10,90],[11,-10]], convexity = N);
import_dxf
DEPRECATED: The import_dxf() module will be removed in future releases. Use import()
instead.
Read a DXF file and create a 2D shape.
Example
linear_extrude(height = 5, center = true, convexity = 10)
import_dxf(file = "example009.dxf", layer = "plate");
Using the projection() function, you can create 2d drawings from 3d models, and export
them to the dxf format. It works by projecting a 3D model to the (x,y) plane, with z at 0. If
cut=true, only points with z=0 will be considered (effectively cutting the object), with
cut=false, points above and below the plane will be considered as well (creating a proper
projection).
Example: Consider example002.scad, that comes with OpenSCAD.
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Then you can do a 'cut' projection, which gives you the 'slice' of the x-y plane with z=0.
projection(cut = true) example002();
You can also do an 'ordinary' projection, which gives a sort of 'shadow' of the object onto
the xy plane.
projection(cut = false) example002();
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Another Example
You can also use projection to get a 'side view' of an object. Let's take example002, and
move it up, out of the X-Y plane, and rotate it:
translate([0,0,25]) rotate([90,0,0]) example002();
Now we can get a side view with projection()
projection() translate([0,0,25]) rotate([90,0,0]) example002();
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Links:
example021.scad from Clifford Wolf's site (http://svn.clifford.at/openscad/trunk
/examples/example021.scad).
More complicated example (http://www.gilesbathgate.com/2010/06/extracting2d-mendel-outlines-using-openscad/) from Giles Bathgate's blog
It is possible to use extrusion commands to convert 2D objects to 3D objects. This can be
done with the built-in 2D primitives, like squares and circles, but also with arbitrary
polygons.
Linear Extrude
Linear Extrusion is a modeling operation that takes a 2D polygon as input and extends it in
the third dimension. This way a 3D shape is created.
Usage
linear_extrude(height = fanwidth, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = -fanrot, slices = 20, scale = 1.0) {...}
You must use parameter names due to a backward compatibility issue.
If the extrusion fails for a non-trival 2D shape, try setting the convexity parameter (the
default is not 10, but 10 is a "good" value to try). See explanation further down.
Twist
Twist is the number of degrees of through which the shape is extruded. Setting the
parameter twist = 360 will extrude through one revolution. The twist direction follows the
left hand rule.
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0° of Twist
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
-100° of Twist
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = -100)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
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100° of Twist
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 100)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
-500° of Twist
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = -500)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
Center
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Center determines if the object is centered after extrusion, so it does not extrude up and
down from the center as you might expect.
center = true
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = -500)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
center = false
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = false, convexity = 10, twist = -500)
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translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
Mesh Refinement
The slices parameter can be used to improve the output.
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = false, convexity = 10, twist = 360, slices = 100)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
The special variables $fn, $fs and $fa can also be used to improve the output.
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = false, convexity = 10, twist = 360, $fn = 100)
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translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
Scale
Scales the 2D shape by this value over the height of the extrusion. Scale can be a scalar or a
vector:
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, scale=3)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
linear_extrude(height = 10, center = true, convexity = 10, scale=[1,5], $fn=100)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
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Rotate Extrude
A rotational extrusion is a Linear Extrusion with a twist, literally. Unfortunately, it can not
be used to produce a helix for screw threads as the 2D outline must be normal to the axis of
rotation, ie they need to be flat in 2D space.
Examples
A simple torus can be constructed using a rotational extrude.
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rotate_extrude(convexity = 10)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1);
Mesh Refinement
Increasing the number of fragments that the 2D shape is composed of will improve the
quality of the mesh, but take longer to render.
rotate_extrude(convexity = 10)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1, $fn = 100);
The number of fragments used by the extrusion can also be increased.
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rotate_extrude(convexity = 10, $fn = 100)
translate([2, 0, 0])
circle(r = 1, $fn = 100);
Extruding a Polygon
Extrusion can also be performed on polygons with points chosen by the user.
Here is a simple polygon. Note it has been rotated 90 degrees to show how the rotation will
look, the rotate_extrude() needs it flat.
rotate([90,0,0]) polygon( points=[[0,0],[2,1],[1,2],[1,3],[3,4],[0,5]] );
Here is the same polygon, rotationally extruded, and with the mesh refinement set to 200.
The polygon must touch the rotational axis for the extrusion to work, i.e. you can't build a
polygon rotation with a hole.
rotate_extrude($fn=200) polygon( points=[[0,0],[2,1],[1,2],[1,3],[3,4],[0,5]] );
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For more information on polygons, please see: 2D Primitives: Polygon.
Description of extrude parameters
Extrude parameters for all extrusion modes
Integer. The convexity parameter specifies the maximum number of front sides
(back sides) a ray intersecting the object might penetrate.
convexity
This parameter is only needed for correctly displaying the object in OpenCSG
preview mode and has no effect on the polyhedron rendering.
This image shows a 2D shape with a convexity of 4, as the ray indicated in red crosses the
2D shape a maximum of 4 times. The convexity of a 3D shape would be determined in a
similar way. Setting it to 10 should work fine for most cases.
Extrude parameters for linear extrusion only
height The extrusion height
center If true the solid will be centered after extrusion
twist
The extrusion twist in degrees
slices Similar to special variable $fn without being passed down to the child 2D shape.
scale
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Scales the 2D shape by this value over the height of the extrusion.
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With the import() and extrusion statements it is possible to convert 2D objects read from
DXF files to 3D objects.
Linear Extrude
Example of linear extrusion of a 2D object imported from a DXF file.
linear_extrude(height = fanwidth, center = true, convexity = 10)
import (file = "example009.dxf", layer = "fan_top");
Rotate Extrude
Example of rotational extrusion of a 2D object imported from a DXF file.
rotate_extrude(convexity = 10, twist = -fanrot)
import (file = "example009.dxf", layer = "fan_side", origin = fan_side_center);
Getting Inkscape to work
Inkscape is an open source drawing program. Tutorials for transferring 2d DXF drawings
from Inkscape to OpenSCAD are available here:
http://repraprip.blogspot.com/2011/05/inkscape-to-openscad-dxf-tutorial.html (Very
simple)
http://tonybuser.com/?tag=inkscape (More complicated, involves conversion to
Postscript)
http://www.damonkohler.com/2010/11/inkscape-dxf-openscad-makerbot.html (Better
Better DXF Plugin for Inkscape)
Description of extrude parameters
Extrude parameters for all extrusion modes
scale
FIXME
convexity See 2D to 3D Extrusion
file
The name of the DXF file to extrude [DEPRECATED]
layer
The name of the DXF layer to extrude [DEPRECATED]
origin
[x,y] coordinates to use as the drawing's center, in the units specified in the
DXF file [DEPRECATED]
Extrude parameters for linear extrusion only
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height The extrusion height
center If true, extrusion is half up and half down. If false, the section is extruded up.
twist
The extrusion twist in degrees
slices FIXME
Currently, OpenSCAD only supports DXF as a graphics format for 2D graphics. Other
common formats are PS/EPS and SVG.
PS/EPS
The pstoedit (http://www.pstoedit.net/) program can convert between various vector
graphics formats. OpenSCAD needs the -polyaslines option passed to the dxf output plugin
to understand the file. The -dt options instructs pstoedit to render texts, which is usually
what you want if you include text. (If the rendered text's resolution in terms of polygon
count is too low, the easiest solution is to scape up the eps before converting; if you know a
more elegant solution, please add it to the example.)
pstoedit -dt -f dxf:-polyaslines infile.eps outfile.dxf
SVG
pstoedit does not understand SVG, but EPS can be converted from an SVG. inkscape
(http://inkscape.org), an SVG editor, can be used for conversion.
inkscape -E intermediate.eps infile.svg
pstoedit -dt -f dxf:-polyaslines intermediate.eps outfile.dxf
Makefile automation
The conversion can be automated using the make system; put the following lines in your
Makefile:
all: my_first_file.dxf my_second_file.dxf another_file.dxf
%.eps: %.svg
inkscape -E $@ $<
%.dxf: %.eps
pstoedit -dt -f dxf:-polyaslines $< $@
The first line specifies which dxf files are to be generated when make is called in the current
directory. The second paragraph specifies how to convert a file ending in .svg to a file
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ending in .eps, and the third from .eps to .dxf.
STL Import and Export
Import and Export
A prime ingredient of any 3D design flow is the ability to import from and export to other
tools. The STL file format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_(file_format)) is currently the
most common format used.
Import
import
Imports a file for use in the current OpenSCAD model
Parameters
<file>
A string containing the path to the STL or DXF file.
Usage examples:
import("example012.stl");
Notes: In the latest version of OpenSCAD, import() is now used for importing both 2D (DXF
for extrusion) and 3D (STL) files.
If you want to render the imported STL file later, you have to make sure that the STL file is
"clean". This means that the mesh has to be manifold and should not contain holes nor
self-intersections. If the STL is not clean, you might get errors like:
CGAL error in CGAL_Build_PolySet: CGAL ERROR: assertion violation!
Expr: check_protocoll == 0
File: /home/don/openscad_deps/mxe/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include
/CGAL/Polyhedron_incremental_builder_3.h
Line: 199
or
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CGAL error in CGAL_Nef_polyhedron3(): CGAL ERROR: assertion violation!
Expr: pe_prev->is_border()
|| !internal::Plane_constructor<Plane>::get_plane(pe_prev->facet(),pe_prev->facet()->plane()).is_degen
File: /home/don/openscad_deps/mxe/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include/CGAL/Nef_3
/polyhedron_3_to_nef_3.h
Line: 253
In order to clean the STL file, you have the following options:
- use http://wiki.netfabb.com/Semi-Automatic_Repair_Options . This will repair the holes
but not the self-intersections.
- use netfabb basic. This free software doesnt have the option to close holes nor can it fix
the self-intersections
- use MeshLab, This free software can fix all the issues
Using MeshLab, you can do:
- Render - Show non Manif Edges
- Render - Show non Manif Vertices
- if found, use Filters - Selection - Select non Manifold Edges or Select non Manifold Vertices
- Apply - Close. Then click button 'Delete the current set of selected vertices...' or check
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDx0Tgy0UHo for an instruction video. The screen
should show "0 non manifold edges", "0 non manifold vertices"
Next, you can click the icon 'Fill Hole', select all the holes and click Fill and then Accept. You
might have to redo this action a few times.
Use File - Export Mesh to save the STL.
import_stl
<DEPRECATED.. Use the command import instead..>
Imports an STL file for use in the current OpenSCAD model
Parameters
<file>
A string containing the path to the STL file to include.
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<convexity>
Integer. The convexity parameter specifies the maximum number of front sides (back
sides) a ray intersecting the object might penetrate. This parameter is only needed for
correctly displaying the object in OpenCSG preview mode and has no effect on the
polyhedron rendering.
Usage examples:
import_stl("example012.stl", convexity = 5);
STL Export
STL Export
To export your design, select "Export as STL..." from the "Design" menu, then enter a
filename in the ensuing dialog box. Don't forget to add the ".stl" extension.
Trouble shooting:
After compile and render GCAL (F6), you may see that your design is simple: no. That's bad
news.
See line 8 in the following output from OpenSCAD 2010.02:
Parsing design (AST generation)...
Compiling design (CSG Tree generation)...
Compilation finished.
Rendering Polygon Mesh using CGAL...
Number of vertices currently in CGAL cache: 732
Number of objects currently in CGAL cache: 12
Top level object is a 3D object:
Simple:
no
<*****************
Valid:
yes
Vertices:
22
Halfedges:
70
Edges:
35
Halffacets:
32
Facets:
16
Volumes:
2
Total rendering time: 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds
Rendering finished.
When you try to export this to .STL you will get a message like:
Object isn't a valid 2-manifold! Modify your design..
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"Manifold" means that it is "water tight" and that there are no holes in the geometry. In a
valid 2-manifold each edge must connect exactly two facets. That means that the program
must be able to connect a face with an object. E.g. if you use a cube of height 10 to carve out
something from a wider cube of height 10, it is not clear to which cube the top or the
bottom belongs. So make the small extracting cube a bit "longer" (or "shorter"):
difference() {
// original
cube (size = [2,2,2]);
// object that carves out
# translate ([0.5,0.5,-0.5]) {
cube (size = [1,1,3]);
}
}
Correct use of difference
Here is a more tricky little example taken from the OpenSCAD (http://rocklinux.net
/pipermail/openscad/2009-December/000018.html) Forum (retrieved 15:13, 22 March 2010
(UTC)):
module example1() {
cube([20, 20, 20]);
translate([-20, -20, 0])
cube([50, 50, 5], center
}
module example2() {
cube([20.1, 20.1, 20]);
translate([-20, -20, 0])
cube([50, 50, 5], center
}
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cube([20, 20, 20]);
= true);
cube([20.1, 20.1, 20]);
= true);
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Example1 would render like this:
A not valid 2-manifold cube (simple = no)
The example1 module is not a valid 2-manifold because both cubes are sharing one edge.
They touch each other but do not intersect.
Example2 is a valid 2-manifold because there is an intersection. Now the construct meets
the 2-manifold constraint stipulating that each edge must connect exactly two facets.
Pieces you are subtracting must extend past the original part. (OpenSCAD Tip: Manifold
Space and Time (http://www.iheartrobotics.com/2010/01/openscad-tip-manifold-spaceand-time.html), retrieved 18:40, 22 March 2010 (UTC)).
For reference, another situation that causes the design to be non-exportable is when two
faces that are each the result of a subtraction touch. Then the error message comes up.
difference () {
cube ([20,10,10]);
translate ([10,0,0]) cube (10);
}
difference () {
cube ([20,10,10]);
cube (10);
}
simply touching surfaces is correctly handled.
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translate ([10,0,0]) cube (10);
cube (10);
import
Imports a file for use in the current OpenSCAD model
Parameters
<file>
A string containing the path to the STL or DXF file.
Usage examples:
import("example012.stl");
Notes: In the latest version of OpenSCAD, import() is now used for importing both 2D (DXF
for extrusion) and 3D (STL) files.
If you want to render the imported STL file later, you have to make sure that the STL file is
"clean". This means that the mesh has to be manifold and should not contain holes nor
self-intersections. If the STL is not clean, you might get errors like:
CGAL error in CGAL_Build_PolySet: CGAL ERROR: assertion violation!
Expr: check_protocoll == 0
File: /home/don/openscad_deps/mxe/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include
/CGAL/Polyhedron_incremental_builder_3.h
Line: 199
or
CGAL error in CGAL_Nef_polyhedron3(): CGAL ERROR: assertion violation!
Expr: pe_prev->is_border()
|| !internal::Plane_constructor<Plane>::get_plane(pe_prev->facet(),pe_prev->facet()->plane()).is_degen
File: /home/don/openscad_deps/mxe/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/include/CGAL/Nef_3
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/polyhedron_3_to_nef_3.h
Line: 253
In order to clean the STL file, you have the following options:
- use http://wiki.netfabb.com/Semi-Automatic_Repair_Options . This will repair the holes
but not the self-intersections.
- use netfabb basic. This free software doesnt have the option to close holes nor can it fix
the self-intersections
- use MeshLab, This free software can fix all the issues
Using MeshLab, you can do:
- Render - Show non Manif Edges
- Render - Show non Manif Vertices
- if found, use Filters - Selection - Select non Manifold Edges or Select non Manifold Vertices
- Apply - Close. Then click button 'Delete the current set of selected vertices...' or check
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDx0Tgy0UHo for an instruction video. The screen
should show "0 non manifold edges", "0 non manifold vertices"
Next, you can click the icon 'Fill Hole', select all the holes and click Fill and then Accept. You
might have to redo this action a few times.
Use File - Export Mesh to save the STL.
import_stl
<DEPRECATED.. Use the command import instead..>
Imports an STL file for use in the current OpenSCAD model
Parameters
<file>
A string containing the path to the STL file to include.
<convexity>
Integer. The convexity parameter specifies the maximum number of front sides (back
sides) a ray intersecting the object might penetrate. This parameter is only needed for
correctly displaying the object in OpenCSG preview mode and has no effect on the
polyhedron rendering.
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Usage examples:
import_stl("example012.stl", convexity = 5);
STL Export
To export your design, select "Export as STL..." from the "Design" menu, then enter a
filename in the ensuing dialog box. Don't forget to add the ".stl" extension.
Trouble shooting:
After compile and render GCAL (F6), you may see that your design is simple: no. That's bad
news.
See line 8 in the following output from OpenSCAD 2010.02:
Parsing design (AST generation)...
Compiling design (CSG Tree generation)...
Compilation finished.
Rendering Polygon Mesh using CGAL...
Number of vertices currently in CGAL cache: 732
Number of objects currently in CGAL cache: 12
Top level object is a 3D object:
Simple:
no
<*****************
Valid:
yes
Vertices:
22
Halfedges:
70
Edges:
35
Halffacets:
32
Facets:
16
Volumes:
2
Total rendering time: 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds
Rendering finished.
When you try to export this to .STL you will get a message like:
Object isn't a valid 2-manifold! Modify your design..
"Manifold" means that it is "water tight" and that there are no holes in the geometry. In a
valid 2-manifold each edge must connect exactly two facets. That means that the program
must be able to connect a face with an object. E.g. if you use a cube of height 10 to carve out
something from a wider cube of height 10, it is not clear to which cube the top or the
bottom belongs. So make the small extracting cube a bit "longer" (or "shorter"):
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difference() {
// original
cube (size = [2,2,2]);
// object that carves out
# translate ([0.5,0.5,-0.5]) {
cube (size = [1,1,3]);
}
}
Correct use of difference
Here is a more tricky little example taken from the OpenSCAD (http://rocklinux.net
/pipermail/openscad/2009-December/000018.html) Forum (retrieved 15:13, 22 March 2010
(UTC)):
module example1() {
cube([20, 20, 20]);
translate([-20, -20, 0])
cube([50, 50, 5], center
}
module example2() {
cube([20.1, 20.1, 20]);
translate([-20, -20, 0])
cube([50, 50, 5], center
}
cube([20, 20, 20]);
= true);
cube([20.1, 20.1, 20]);
= true);
Example1 would render like this:
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A not valid 2-manifold cube (simple = no)
The example1 module is not a valid 2-manifold because both cubes are sharing one edge.
They touch each other but do not intersect.
Example2 is a valid 2-manifold because there is an intersection. Now the construct meets
the 2-manifold constraint stipulating that each edge must connect exactly two facets.
Pieces you are subtracting must extend past the original part. (OpenSCAD Tip: Manifold
Space and Time (http://www.iheartrobotics.com/2010/01/openscad-tip-manifold-spaceand-time.html), retrieved 18:40, 22 March 2010 (UTC)).
For reference, another situation that causes the design to be non-exportable is when two
faces that are each the result of a subtraction touch. Then the error message comes up.
difference () {
cube ([20,10,10]);
translate ([10,0,0]) cube (10);
}
difference () {
cube ([20,10,10]);
cube (10);
}
simply touching surfaces is correctly handled.
translate ([10,0,0]) cube (10);
cube (10);
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Dodecahedron
//create a dodecahedron by intersecting 6 boxes
module dodecahedron(height)
{
scale([height,height,height]) //scale by height parameter
{
intersection(){
//make a cube
cube([2,2,1], center = true);
intersection_for(i=[0:4]) //loop i from 0 to 4, and intersect results
{
//make a cube, rotate it 116.565 degrees around the X axis,
//then 72*i around the Z axis
rotate([0,0,72*i])
rotate([116.565,0,0])
cube([2,2,1], center = true);
}
}
}
}
//create 3 stacked dodecahedra
//call the module with a height of 1 and move up 2
translate([0,0,2])dodecahedron(1);
//call the module with a height of 2
dodecahedron(2);
//call the module with a height of 4 and move down 4
translate([0,0,-4])dodecahedron(4);
The Dodecahedron as
from the example.
Bounding Box
// Rather kludgy module for determining bounding box from intersecting projections
module BoundingBox()
{
intersection()
{
translate([0,0,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false) intersection()
{
rotate([0,90,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false)
rotate([0,-90,0])
children(0);
rotate([90,0,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false)
rotate([-90,0,0])
children(0);
Bounding Box app
Ellipsoid
}
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rotate([90,0,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false)
rotate([-90,0,0])
intersection()
{
rotate([0,90,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false)
rotate([0,-90,0])
children(0);
rotate([0,0,0])
linear_extrude(height = 1000, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 0)
projection(cut=false)
rotate([0,0,0])
children(0);
}
}
}
// Test module on ellipsoid
translate([0,0,40]) scale([1,2,3]) sphere(r=5);
BoundingBox() scale([1,2,3]) sphere(r=5);
OpenSCAD can not only be used as a GUI, but also handles command line arguments. Its
usage line says:
OpenSCAD 2013.05+ has these options:
openscad
[ -o output_file [ -d deps_file ] ]\
[ -m make_command ] [ -D var=val [..] ] [ --render ] \
[ --camera=translatex,y,z,rotx,y,z,dist | \
--camera=eyex,y,z,centerx,y,z ] \
[ --imgsize=width,height ] [ --projection=(o)rtho|(p)ersp] \
filename
Earlier releases had only these:
openscad [ -o output_file [ -d deps_file ] ] \
[ -m make_command ] [ -D var=val [..] ] filename
The usage on OpenSCAD version 2011.09.30 (now deprecated) was:
openscad [ { -s stl_file | -o off_file | -x dxf_file } [ -d deps_file ] ]\
[ -m make_command ] [ -D var=val [..] ] filename
Export options
When called with the -o option, OpenSCAD will not start the GUI, but execute the given file
and export the to the output_file in a format depending on the extension (.stl / .off / .dxf,
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.csg).
Some versions use -s/-d/-o to determine the output file format instead check with "openscad
--help".
If the option -d is given in addition to an export command, all files accessed while building
the mesh are written in the argument of -d in the syntax of a Makefile.
Camera and image output
For 2013.05+, the option to output a .png image was added. There are two types of cameras
available for the generation of images.
The first camera type is a 'gimbal' camera that uses Euler angles, translation, and a camera
distance, like OpenSCAD's GUI viewport display at the bottom of the OpenSCAD window.
!!! There is a bug in the implementation of cmdline camera, where the rotations do not
match the numbers in the GUI. This will be fixed in an upcoming release so that the GUI
and cmdline camera variables will work identically.
The second camera type is a 'vector' camera, with an 'eye' camera location vector and a
'lookat' center vector.
--imgsize chooses the .png dimensions and --projection chooses orthogonal or perspective,
as in the GUI.
By default, cmdline .png output uses Preview mode (f5) with OpenCSG. For some situations
it will be desirable instead to use the full render, with CGAL. This is done by adding
'--render' as an option.
Constants
In order to pre-define variables, use the -D option. It can be given repeatedly. Each
occurrence of -D must be followed by an assignment. Unlike normal OpenSCAD
assignments, these assignments don't define variables, but constants, which can not be
changed inside the program, and can thus be used to overwrite values defined in the
program at export time.
If you want to assign the -D variable to anther variable, the -D variable MUST be initialised
in the main .scad program
param1=0;
// must be initalised
len=param1; // param1 passed via -D on cmd-line
echo(len,param);
without the first line len wound be undefined.
The right hand sides can be arbitrary OpenSCAD expressions, including mathematical
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operations and strings. Be aware that strings have to be enclosed in quotes, which have to
be escaped from the shell. To render a model that takes a quality parameter with the value
"production", one has to run
openscad -o my_model_production.stl -D 'quality="production"' my_model.scad
Command to build required files
In a complex build process, some files required by an OpenSCAD file might be currently
missing, but can be generated, for example if they are defined in a Makefile. If OpenSCAD is
given the option -m make, it will start make file the first time it tries to access a missing file.
Makefile example
The -d and -m options only make sense together. (-m without -d would not consider modified
dependencies when building exports, -d without -m would require the files to be already
built for the first run that generates the dependencies.)
Here is an example of a basic Makefile that creates an .stl file from an .scad file of the same
name:
# explicit wildcard expansion suppresses errors when no files are found
include $(wildcard *.deps)
%.stl: %.scad
openscad -m make -o $@ -d $@.deps $<
When make my_example.stl is run for the first time, it finds no .deps files, and will just depend
on my_example.scad; since my_example.stl is not yet preset, it will be created unconditionally. If
OpenSCAD finds missing files, it will call make to build them, and it will list all used files in
my_example.stl.deps.
When make my_example.stl is called subsequently, it will find and include my_example.stl.deps
and check if any of the files listed there, including my_example.scad, changed since
my_example.stl was built, based on their time stamps. Only if that is the case, it will build
my_example.stl again.
Automatic targets
When building similar .stl files from a single .scad file, there is a way to automate that too:
# match "module foobar() { // `make` me"
TARGETS=$(shell sed '/^module [a-z0-9_-]*().*make..\?me.*$$/!d;s/module //;s/().*/.stl/' base.scad)
all: ${TARGETS}
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# auto-generated .scad files with .deps make make re-build always. keeping the
# scad files solves this problem. (explanations are welcome.)
.SECONDARY: $(shell echo "${TARGETS}" | sed 's/\.stl/.scad/g')
# explicit wildcard expansion suppresses errors when no files are found
include $(wildcard *.deps)
%.scad:
echo -n 'use <base.scad>\n$*();' > $@
%.stl: %.scad
openscad -m make -o $@ -d $@.deps $<
All objects that are supposed to be exported automatically have to be defined in base.scad in
an own module with their future file name (without the ".stl"), and have a comment like " //
make me" in the line of the module definition. The "TARGETS=" line picks these out of the base
file and creates the file names. These will be built when make all (or make, for short) is called.
As the convention from the last example is to create the .stl files from .scad files of the same
base name, for each of these files, an .scad file has to be generated. This is done in the
"%.scad:" paragraph; my_example.scad will be a very simple OpenSCAD file:
use <base.scad>
my_example();
The ".SECONDARY" line is there to keep make from deleting the generated .scad files. If it deleted
it, it would not be able to automatically determine which files need no rebuild any more;
please post ideas about what exactly goes wrong there (or how to fix it better) on the talk
page!
Windows notes
On Windows, openscad.com should be called from the command line as a wrapper for
openscad.exe. This is because Openscad uses the 'devenv' solution to the CommandLine/GUI output issue. Typing 'openscad' at the cmd.exe prompt will, by default, call the
.com program wrapper.
Building OpenSCAD from Sources
Prebuilt binary packages
As of 2013, prebuilt OpenSCAD packages are available on many recent Linux and BSD
distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, NetBSD and OpenBSD. Check your
system's package manager for details.
For Ubuntu systems you can also try chrysn's Ubuntu packages at his launchpad PPA
(https://launchpad.net/~chrysn/+archive/openscad), or you can just copy/paste the following
onto the command line:
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sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chrysn/openscad
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openscad
His repositories for OpenSCAD and OpenCSG are here (http://archive.amsuess.com
/pool/contrib/o/openscad/) and here (http://archive.amsuess.com/pool/main/o/opencsg/).
There is also a generic linux binary package at http://www.openscad.org that can be
unpacked and run from within most linux systems. It is self contained and includes the
required libraries.
Building OpenSCAD yourself
If you wish to build OpenSCAD for yourself, start by installing git on your system using your
package manager. Git is often packaged under the name 'scmgit' or 'git-core'. Then, get the
OpenSCAD source code
cd ~/
git clone https://github.com/openscad/openscad.git
cd openscad
Then get the MCAD library, which is now included with OpenSCAD binary distributions
git submodule init
git submodule update
Installing dependencies
Now download and install the dependency libraries and tools using your package manager.
This includes Qt4, CGAL, GMP, cmake, MPFR, boost, OpenCSG, GLEW, Eigen2, GCC C++
Compiler, Bison, and Flex. OpenSCAD comes with a helper script that will try to fetch and
install these automatically for you (note: you must have 'sudo' working for this script to
work).
./scripts/uni-get-dependencies.sh
Now check the version numbers against the openscad/README.md file to see if the version
numbers are high enough and that no packages were accidentally missed. OpenSCAD
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comes with another helper script to assist in this process.
./scripts/check-dependencies.sh
(Note that this detects a 'lower bound' on GLEW, not the actual version you have)
If your system passes all checks, continue to the 'Building OpenSCAD' section below. If you
are missing libraries, try to search your package manager to see if it might have them
under different names. If your package manager has the package but it is just too old, then
read the next section on building your own dependencies.
Building the dependencies yourself
On systems that lack updated dependency libraries or tools, you can download and build
your own. As of 2013, OpenSCAD comes with scripts that can do this automatically, without
interfering with any system libraries, and without requiring root access, by putting
everything under $HOME/openscad_deps. (It however will not build X11, Qt4, gcc, bash or
other basics).
First, set up the environment variables (if you don't use bash, replace "source" with a single
".")
source scripts/setenv-unibuild.sh
Then, download and build.
./scripts/uni-build-dependencies.sh
If you only need CGAL or OpenCSG, you can just run ' ./scripts/uni-build-dependencies.sh
cgal' or opencsg and it will only build a single library. The complete download and build
process can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours, depending on your network
connection speed and system speed. It is recommended to have at least 1.5 Gigabyte of free
disk space to do the full dependency build. Each time you log into a new shell and wish to
re-compile OpenSCAD you need to re-run the 'source scripts/setenv-unibuild.sh' script
After completion, re-check (while running under the same shell, with the same
environment variables set) to see if it worked.
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./scripts/check-dependencies.sh
Build the OpenSCAD binary
Once you have either downloaded or built the dependencies, you can build OpenSCAD.
qmake
make
# or qmake-qt4, depending on your distribution
You can also install OpenSCAD to /usr/local/ if you wish. The 'openscad' binary will be put
under /usr/local/bin, the libraries and examples will be under something like /usr/local
/share/openscad possibly depending on your system. Note that if you have previously
installed a binary linux package of openscad, you should take care to delete /usr/local
/lib/openscad and /usr/local/share/openscad because they are not the same paths as what
the standard qmake-built 'install' target uses.
sudo make install
Note: on Debian-based systems create a package and install OpenSCAD using:
sudo checkinstall -D make install
If you prefer not to install you can run "./openscad" directly whilst still in the ~/openscad
directory.
Compiling the test suite
OpenSCAD comes with over 740 regression tests. To build and run them, it is recommended
to first build the GUI version of OpenSCAD by following the steps above, including the
downloading of MCAD. Then, from the same login, run these commands:
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cd tests
mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
make
ctest -C All
The file 'openscad/doc/testing.txt' has more information. Full test logs are under tests/build
/Testing/Temporary. A pretty-printed index.html web view of the tests can be found under a
machine-specific subdirectory thereof and opened with a browser.
Troubleshooting
If you encounter any errors when building, please file an issue report at https://github.com
/openscad/openscad/issues/ .
Errors about incompatible library versions
This may be caused by old libraries living in /usr/local/lib like boost, CGAL, OpenCSG, etc,
(often left over from previous experiments with OpenSCAD). You are advised to remove
them. To remove, for example, CGAL, run rm -rf /usr/local/include/CGAL && rm -rf
/usr/local/lib/*CGAL*. Then erase $HOME/openscad_deps, remove your openscad source
tree, and restart fresh. As of 2013 OpenSCAD's build process does not advise nor require
anything to be installed in /usr/local/lib nor /usr/local/include.
Note that CGAL depends on Boost and OpenCSG depends on GLEW - interdependencies like
this can really cause issues if there are stray libraries in unusual places.
Another source of confusion can come from running from within an 'unclean shell'. Make
sure that you don't have LD_LIBRARY_PATH set to point to any old libraries in any strange
places. Also don't mix a Mingw windows cross build with your linux build process - they
use different environment variables and may conflict.
OpenCSG didn't automatically build
If for some reason the recommended build process above fails to work with OpenCSG,
please file an issue on the OpenSCAD github. In the meantime, you can try building it
yourself.
wget http://www.opencsg.org/OpenCSG-1.3.2.tar.gz
sudo apt-get purge libopencsg-dev libopencsg1 # or your system's equivalent
tar -xvf OpenCSG-1.3.2.tar.gz
cd OpenCSG-1.3.2
# edit the Makefile and remove 'example'
make
sudo cp -d lib/lib* $HOME/openscad_deps/lib/
sudo cp include/opencsg.h $HOME/openscad_deps/include/
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Note: on Debian-based systems (such as Ubuntu), you can add the 'install'
target to the OpenCSG Makefile, and then use checkinstall to create a clean
.deb package for install/removal/upgrade. Add this target to Makefile:
install:
# !! THESE LINES PREFIXED WITH ONE TAB, NOT SPACES !!
cp -d lib/lib* /usr/local/lib/
cp include/opencsg.h /usr/local/include/
ldconfig
Then:
sudo checkinstall -D make install
.. to create and install a clean package.
CGAL didn't automatically build
If this happens, you can try to compile CGAL yourself. It is recommended to install to
$HOME/openscad_deps and otherwise follow the build process as outlined above.
Compiling is horribly slow and/or grinds the disk
It is recommended to have at least 1.2 Gbyte of RAM to compile OpenSCAD. There are a few
workarounds in case you don't. The first is to use the experimental support for the Clang
Compiler (described below) as Clang uses much less RAM than GCC. Another workaround is
to edit the Makefile generated by qmake and search/replace the optimization flags (-O2)
with -O1 or blank, and to remove any '-g' debug flags from the compiler line, as well as
'-pipe'.
If you have plenty of RAM and just want to speed up the build, you can try a paralell
multicore build with
make -jx
Where 'x' is the number of cores you want to use. Remember you need x times the amount
of RAM to avoid possible disk thrashing.
The reason the build is slow is because OpenSCAD uses template libraries like CGAL, Boost,
and Eigen, which use large amounts of RAM to compile - especially CGAL. GCC may take up
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1.5 Gigabytes of RAM on some systems during the build of certain CGAL modules. There is
more information at StackOverflow.com (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3634203
/why-are-templates-so-slow-to-compile).
BSD issues
The build instructions above are designed to work unchanged on FreeBSD and NetBSD.
However the BSDs typically require special environment variables set up to build any QT
project - you can set them up automatically by running
source ./scripts/setenv-unibuild.sh
NetBSD 5.x, requires a patched version of CGAL. It is recommended to upgrade to NetBSD 6
instead as it has all dependencies available from pkgin. NetBSD also requires the X Sets to
be installed when the system was created (or added later (http://ghantoos.org/2009/05
/12/my-first-shot-of-netbsd/)).
On OpenBSD it may fail to build after running out of RAM. OpenSCAD requires at least 1
Gigabyte to build with GCC. You may have need to be a user with 'staff' level access or
otherwise alter required system parameters. The 'dependency build' sequence has also not
been ported to OpenBSD so you will have to rely on the standard OpenBSD system package
tools (in other words you have to have root).
Test suite problems
Headless server
The test suite will try to automatically detect if you have an X11 DISPLAY environment
variable set. If not, it will try to automatically start Xvfb or Xvnc (virtual X framebuffers) if
they are available.
If you want to run these servers manually, you can attempt the following:
$ Xvfb :5 -screen 0 800x600x24 &
$ DISPLAY=:5 ctest
Alternatively:
$ xvfb-run --server-args='-screen 0 800x600x24' ctest
There are some cases where Xvfb/Xvnc won't work. Some older versions of Xvfb may fail
and crash without warning. Sometimes Xvfb/Xvnc have been built without GLX (OpenGL)
support and OpenSCAD won't be able to generate any images.
Image-based tests takes a long time, they fail, and the log says 'return -11'
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Imagemagick may have crashed while comparing the expected images to the test-run
generated (actual) images. You can try using the alternate ImageMagick comparison
method by by erasing CMakeCache, and re-running cmake with -DCOMPARATOR=ncc. This will
enable the Normalized Cross Comparison method which is more stable, but possibly less
accurate and may give false positives or negatives.
Testing images fails with 'morphology not found" for ImageMagick in the log
Your version of imagemagick is old. Upgrade imagemagick, or pass -DCOMPARATOR=old to
cmake. The comparison will be of lowered reliability.
I moved the dependencies I built and now openscad won't run
It isn't advised to move them because the build is using RPATH hard coded into the
openscad binary. You may try to workaround by setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH
environment variable to place yourpath/lib first in the list of paths it searches. If all else
fails, you can re-run the entire dependency build process but export the BASEDIR
environment variable to your desired location, before you run the script to set
environment variables.
Tricks and tips
Reduce space of dependency build
After you have built the dependencies you can free up space by removing the $BASEDIR/src
directory - where $BASEDIR defaults to $HOME/openscad_deps.
Preferences
OpenSCAD's config file is kept in ~/.config/OpenSCAD/OpenSCAD.conf.
Setup environment to start developing OpenSCAD in Ubuntu 11.04
The following paragraph describes an easy way to setup a development environment for
OpenSCAD in Ubuntu 11.04. After executing the following steps QT Creator can be used to
graphically start developing/debugging OpenSCAD.
Add required PPA repositories:
# sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chrysn/openscad
Update and install required packages:
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# sudo apt-get update
# sudo apt-get install git build-essential qtcreator libglew1.5-dev libopencsg-dev libcgal-dev libeigen2-dev bison flex
Get the OpenSCAD sources:
# mkdir ~/src
# cd ~/src
# git clone https://github.com/openscad/openscad.git
Build OpenSCAD using the command line:
# cd ~/src/openscad
# qmake
# make
Build OpenSCAD using QT Creator:
Just open the project file openscad.pro (CTRL+O) in QT Creator and hit the build all
(CTRL+SHIFT+B) and run button (CTRL+R).
The Clang Compiler
There is experimental support for building with the Clang compiler under linux. Clang is
faster, uses less RAM, and has different error messages than GCC. To use it, first of all you
will need CGAL of at least version 4.0.2, as prior versions have a bug that makes clang
unusable. Then, run this script before you build OpenSCAD.
source scripts/setenv-unibuild.sh clang
Clang support depends on your system's QT installation having a clang enabled qmake.conf
file. For example, on Ubuntu, this is under /usr/share/qt4/mkspecs/unsupported/linuxclang/qmake.conf. BSD clang-building may require a good deal of fiddling and is untested,
although eventually it is planned to move in this direction as the BSDs (not to mention OSX)
are moving towards favoring clang as their main compiler. OpenSCAD includes
convenience scripts to cross-build Windows installer binaries using the MXE system
(http://mxe.cc). If you wish to use them, you can first install the MXE Requirements such as
cmake, perl, scons, using your system's package manager (click to view a complete list of
requirements) (http://mxe.cc/#requirements). Then you can perform the following
commands to download OpenSCAD source and build a windows installer:
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git clone https://github.com/openscad/openscad.git
cd openscad
source ./scripts/setenv-mingw-xbuild.sh
./scripts/mingw-x-build-dependencies.sh
./scripts/release-common.sh mingw32
The x-build-dependencies process takes several hours, mostly to cross-build QT. It also
requires several gigabytes of disk space. If you have multiple CPUs you can speed up things
by running export NUMCPU=x before running the dependency build script. By default it
builds the dependencies in $HOME/openscad_deps/mxe. You can override the mxe
installation path by setting the BASEDIR environment variable before running the scripts.
The OpenSCAD binaries are built into a separate build path, openscad/mingw32.
Note that if you want to then build linux binaries, you should log out of your shell, and log
back in. The 'setenv' scripts, as of early 2013, required a 'clean' shell environment to work.
If you wish to cross-build manually, please follow the steps below and/or consult the
release-common.sh source code.
Setup
The easiest way to cross-compile OpenSCAD for Windows on Linux or Mac is to use mxe (M
cross environment). You will need to install git to get it. Once you have git, navigate to
where you want to keep the mxe files in a terminal window and run:
git clone git://github.com/mxe/mxe.git
Add the following line to your ~/.bashrc file:
export PATH=/<where mxe is installed>/usr/bin:$PATH
replacing <where
mxe is installed>
with the appropriate path.
Requirements
The requirements to cross-compile for Windows are just the requirements of mxe. They are
listed, along with a command for installing them here (http://mxe.cc/#requirements). You
don't need to type 'make'; this will make everything and take up >10 GB of diskspace. You
can instead follow the next step to compile only what's needed for openscad.
Now that you have the requirements for mxe installed, you can build OpenSCAD's
dependencies (CGAL, Opencsg, MPFR, and Eigen2). Just open a terminal window, navigate
to your mxe installation and run:
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make mpfr eigen opencsg cgal qt
This will take a few hours, because it has to build things like gcc, qt, and boost. Just go
calibrate your printer or something while you wait. To speed things up, you might want do
something like "make -j 4 JOBS=2" for parallel building. See the mxe tutorial (http://mxe.cc
/#tutorial) for more details.
Optional: If you want to build an installer, you need to install the nullsoft installer system.
It should be in your package manager, called "nsis".
Build OpenSCAD
Now that all the requirements have been met, all that remains is to build OpenSCAD itself.
Open a terminal window and enter:
git clone git://github.com/openscad/openscad.git
cd openscad
Then get MCAD:
git submodule init
git submodule update
You need to create a symbolic link here for the build system to find the libraries:
ln -s /<where mxe is installed>/usr/i686-pc-mingw32/ mingw-cross-env
again replacing <where
mxe is installed>
with the appropriate path
Now to build OpenSCAD run:
i686-pc-mingw32-qmake CONFIG+=mingw-cross-env openscad.pro
make
When that is finished, you will have openscad.exe in ./release and you can build an
installer with it as described in the instructions for building with Microsoft Visual C++,
described here (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_User_Manual
/Building_on_Windows#Building_an_installer).
The difference is that instead of right-clicking on the *.nsi file you will run:
makensis installer.nsis
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Note that as of early 2013, OpenSCAD's 'scripts/release-common.sh' automatically uses the
version of nsis that comes with the MXE cross build system, so you may wish to investigate
the release-common.sh source code to see how it works, if you have troubles. This is a set of
instructions for building OpenSCAD with the Microsoft Visual C++ compilers.
The build is as static as reasonable, with no external DLL dependencies that are not
shipped with Windows
Note: It was last tested on the Dec 2011 build. Newer checkouts of OpenSCAD may not build
correctly or require extensive modification to compile under MSVC. OpenSCAD releases of
2012 were typically cross-compiled from linux using the Mingw & MXE system. See Crosscompiling for Windows on Linux or Mac OS X.
Downloads
start by downloading:
Visual Studio Express http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/8/E
/E8EEB394-7F42-4963-A2D8-29559B738298/VS2008ExpressWithSP1ENUX1504728.iso
QT (for vs2008) http://get.qt.nokia.com/qt/source/qt-win-opensource-4.7.2-vs2008.exe
git http://msysgit.googlecode.com/files/Git-1.7.4-preview20110204.exe
glew https://sourceforge.net/projects/glew/files/glew/1.5.8/glew-1.5.8-win32.zip
/download
cmake http://www.cmake.org/files/v2.8/cmake-2.8.4-win32-x86.exe
boost http://www.boostpro.com/download/boost_1_46_1_setup.exe
cgal https://gforge.inria.fr/frs/download.php/27647/CGAL-3.7-Setup.exe
OpenCSG http://www.opencsg.org/OpenCSG-1.3.2.tar.gz
eigen2 http://bitbucket.org/eigen/eigen/get/2.0.15.zip
gmp/mpfr http://holoborodko.com/pavel/downloads/win32_gmp_mpfr.zip
MinGW http://netcologne.dl.sourceforge.net/project/mingw
/Automated%20MinGW%20Installer/mingw-get-inst/mingw-get-inst-20110316/mingwget-inst-20110316.exe
Installing
Install Visual Studio
No need for siverlight or mssql express
You can use a virtual-CD program like MagicDisc to mount the ISO file and install
without using a CD
Install QT
Install to default location C:\Qt\4.7.2\
Install Git
Click Run Git and included Unix tools from the Windows Command Prompt despite the big
red letters warning you not to.
Install Cmake
Check the 'Add cmake to the system path for the current user' checkbox
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Install to default location C:\Program Files\CMake 2.8
Install Boost
Select the VC++ 9.0 vs2008 radio
Check the 'multithreaded static runtime' checkbox only
Install into C:\boost_1_46_1\
Install CGAL
Note - CGAL 3.9 fixes several bugs in earlier versions of CGAL, but CGAL 3.9 will
not compile under MSVC without extensive patching. Please keep that in mind
when compiling OpenSCAD with MSVC - there may be bugs due to the outdated
version of CGAL required to use MSVC.
Note its not a binary distribution, just an installer that installs the source.
No need for CGAL Examples and Demos
Make sure mpfr and gmp precompiled libs is checked
The installer wants you to put this in C:\Program Files\CGAL-3.7\ I used C:\CGAL-3.7\
Make sure CGAL_DIR environment checked.
Install MinGW
Make sure you select the MSYS Basic System under components
Extract downloaded win32_gmp_mpfr.zip file to C:\win32_gmp_mpfr\
Replace the mpfr and gmp .h files in CGAL with the ones from win32_gmp_mpfr
Delete, or move to a temp folder, all files in CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\include folder
Copy all the .h files in C:\win32_gmp_mpfr\gmp\Win32\Release to CGAL-3.7\auxiliary
\gmp\include
Copy all the .h files in C:\win32_gmp_mpfr\mpfr\Win32\Release to CGAL-3.7\auxiliary
\gmp\include
Replace the mpfr and gmp libs in CGAL with the ones from win32_gmp_mpfr
Delete, or move to a temp folder, all (06/20/2011 libmpfr-4.lib is needed 7/19/11 - i
didnt need it) files in CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\lib folder.
Copy C:\win32_gmp_mpfr\gmp\Win32\Release\gmp.lib to CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\lib
Copy C:\win32_gmp_mpfr\mpfr\Win32\Release\mpfr.lib to CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\lib
Go into CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\lib and copy gmp.lib to gmp-vc90-mt-s.lib, and mpfr.lib
to mpfr-vc90-mt-s.lib (so the linker can find them in the final link of openscad.exe)
To get OpenSCAD source code:
Open "Git Bash" (or MingW Shell) (the installer may have put a shortcut on your
desktop). This launches a command line window.
Type cd c: to change the current directory.
Type git clone git://github.com/openscad/openscad.git This will put OpenSCAD
source into C:\openscad\
Where to put other files:
I put all the dependencies in C:\ so for example,
C:\eigen2\
C:\glew-1.5.8\
C:\OpenCSG-1.3.2\
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.tgz can be extracted with tar -zxvf from the MingW shell, or Windows tools like 7-zip.
Rename and move sub-directories if needed. I.e eigen-eigen-0938af7840b0 should become
c:\eigen2, with the files like COPYING and CMakeLists.txt directly under it. c:\glew-1.5.8
should have 'include' and 'lib' directly under it.
Compiling Dependencies
For compilation I use the QT Development Command Prompt
Start->Program Files->Qt by Nokia v4.7.2 (VS2008 OpenSource)->QT 4.7.2 Command Prompt
Qt
Qt needs to be recompiled to get a static C runtime build. To do so, open the command
prompt and do:
configure -static -platform win32-msvc2008 -no-webkit
Configure will take several minutes to finish processing. After it is done, open up the file
Qt\4.7.2\mkspecs\win32-msvc2008\qmake.conf and replace every instance of -MD with -MT.
Then:
nmake
This takes a very, very long time. Have a nap. Get something to eat. On a Pentium 4, 2.8GHZ
CPU with 1 Gigabyte RAM, Windows XP, it took more than 7 hours, (that was with -O2
turned off)
CGAL
cd C:\CGAL-3.7\
set BOOST_ROOT=C:\boost_1_46_1\
cmake .
Now edit the CMakeCache.txt file. Replace every instance of /MD with /MT . Now, look for a line
like this:
CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE:STRING=Debug
Change Debug to Release. Now re-run cmake
cmake .
It should scroll by, watch for lines saying "--Building
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static libraries"
and "--Build
type:
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to confirm the proper settings. Also look for /MT in the CXXFLAGS line. When it's done,
you can do the build:
Release"
nmake
You should now have a CGAL-vc90-mt-s.lib file under C:\CGAL-3.7\lib . If not, see
Troubleshooting, below.
OpenCSG
Launch Visual Express.
cd C:\OpenCSG-1.3.2
vcexpress OpenCSG.sln
Substitute devenv for vcexpress if you are not using the express version
Manually step through project upgrade wizard
Make sure the runtime library settings for all projects is for Release (not Debug)
Click Build/Configuration Manager
Select "Release" from "Configuration:" drop down menu
Hit Close
Make sure the runtime library setting for OpenCSG project is set to multi-threaded
static
Open the OpenCSG project properties by clicking menu item "Project->OpenCSG
Properties" (might be just "Properties")
Make sure it says "Active(Release)" in the "Configuration:" drop down menu
Click 'Configuration Properties -> C/C++ -> Code Generation'
Make sure "Runtime Library" is set to "Multi-threaded (/MT)"
Click hit OK
Make sure the runtime library setting for glew_static project is set to multi-threaded
static
In "Solution Explorer - OpenCSG" pane click "glew_static" project
Open the OpenCSG project properties by clicking menu item "Project->OpenCSG
Properties" (might be just "Properties")
Make sure it says "Active(Release)" in the "Configuration:" drop down menu
Click C/C++ -> Code Generation
Make sure "Runtime Library" is set to "Multi-threaded (/MT)"
Click hit OK
Close Visual Express saving changes
Build OpenCSG library. You can use the GUI Build/Build menu (the Examples project might
fail, but glew and OpenCSG should succeed). Alternatively you can use the command line:
cmd /c vcexpress OpenCSG.sln /build
Again, substitute devenv if you have the full visual studio
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The cmd /c bit is needed otherwise you will be returned to the shell immediately and have to
Wait for build process to complete (there will be no indication that this is happening appart
from in task manager)
OpenSCAD
Bison/Flex: Open the mingw shell and type mingw-get
same for flex: mingw-get install msys-flex
install msys-bison.
Then do the
Open the QT Shell, and copy/paste the following commands
cd C:\openscad
set INCLUDE=%INCLUDE%C:\CGAL-3.7\include;C:\CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\include;
set INCLUDE=%INCLUDE%C:\boost_1_46_1;C:\glew-1.5.8\include;C:\OpenCSG-1.3.2\include;C:\eigen2
set LIB=%LIB%C:\CGAL-3.7\lib;C:\CGAL-3.7\auxiliary\gmp\lib;
set LIB=%LIB%C:\boost_1_46_1\lib;C:\glew-1.5.8\lib;C:\OpenCSG-1.3.2\lib
qmake
nmake -f Makefile.Release
Wait for the nmake to end. There are usually a lot of non-fatal warnings about the linker.
On success, there will be an openscad.exe file in the release folder. Enjoy.
Building an installer
Download and install NSIS from http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Download
Put the FileAssociation.nsh macro from http://nsis.sourceforge.net/File_Association in
the NSIS Include directory, C:\Program Files\NSIS\Include
Run 'git submodule init' and 'git submodule update' to download the MCAD system
(https://github.com/elmom/MCAD) into the openscad/libraries folder.
Copy the OpenSCAD "libraries" and "examples" directory into the "release" directory
Copy OpenSCAD's "scripts/installer.nsi" to the "release" directory.
Right-click on the file and compile it with NSIS. It will spit out a nice, easy installer.
Enjoy.
Compiling the regression tests
Follow all the above steps, build openscad, run it, and test that it basically works.
Install Python 2.x (not 3.x) from http://www.python.org
Install Imagemagick from http://www.imagemagick.org
read openscad\docs\testing.txt
Go into your QT shell
set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Python27 (or your version of python)
cd c:\openscad\tests\
cmake . -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
Edit the CMakeCache.txt file, search/replace /MD to /MT
cmake .
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nmake -f Makefile
This should produce a number of test .exe files in your directory. Now run
ctest
If you have link problems, see Troubleshooting, below.
Troubleshooting
Linker errors
If you have errors during linking, the first step is to improve debug logging, and redirect to
a file. Open Openscad.pro and uncomment this line:
QMAKE_LFLAGS
+= -VERBOSE
Now rerun
nmake -f Makefile.Release > log.txt
You can use a program like 'less' (search with '/') or wordpad to review the log.
To debug these errors, you must understand basics about Windows linking. Windows links
to its standard C library with basic C functions like malloc(). But there are four different
ways to do this, as follows:
compiler switch - type - linked runtime C library
/MT - Multithreaded static Release - link to LIBCMT.lib
/MTd - Multithreaded static Debug - link to LIBCMTD.lib
/MD - Multithreaded DLL Release - link to MSVCRT.lib (which itself helps link to the DLL)
/MDd - Multithreaded DLL Debug - link to MSVCRTD.lib (which itself helps link to the DLL)
All of the libraries that are link together in a final executable must be compiled with the
same type of linking to the standard C library. Otherwise, you get link errors like, "LNK2005
- XXX is already defined in YYY". But how can you track down which library wasn't linked
properly? 1. Look at the log, and 2. dumpbin.exe
dumpbin.exe
dumpbin.exe can help you determine what type of linking your .lib or .obj files were
created with. For example, dumpbin.exe /all CGAL.lib | find /i "DEFAULTLIB" will give you a list
of DEFAULTLIB symbols inside of CGAL.lib. Look for LIBCMT, LIBCMTD, MSVCRT, or
MSVCRTD. That will tell you, according to the above table, whether it was built Static
Release, Static Debug, DLL Release, or DLL Debug. (DLL, of course means Dynamic Link
Library in this conversation.) This can help you track down, for example, linker errors
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about conflicting symbols in LIBCMT and LIBCMTD.
dumpbin.exe can also help you understand errors involving unresolved external symbols.
For example, if you get an error about unresolved external symbol
___GLEW_NV_occlusion_query, but your VERBOSE error log says the program linked in
glew32.lib, then you can dumpbin.exe /all glew32.lib | find /i "occlusion" to see if the symbol
is actually there. You may see a mangled symbol, with __impl, which gives you another clue
with which you can google. In this particular example, glew32s.lib (s=static) should have
been linked instead of glew32.lib.
CGAL
CGAL-vc90-mt-s.lib
After compilation, it is possible that you might get a file named CGAL-vc90-mt.lib or CGAL-vc90mt-gd.lib instead of CGAL-vc90-mt-s.lib. There are many possibilities: you accidentally built
the wrong version, or you may have built the right version and VCExpress named it wrong.
To double check, and fix the problem, you can do the following:
cd C:\CGAL-3.7\lib
dumpbin /all CGAL-vc90-mt.lib | find /i "DEFAULTLIB"
(if you have mt-gd, use that name instead)
If this shows lines referencing LIBCMTD, MSVCRT, or MSVCRTD then you accidentally built the
debug and/or dynamic version, and you need to clean the build, and try to build again with
proper settings to get the multi-threaded static release version. However, if it just says
LIBCMT, then you are probably OK. Look for another line saying DEFAULTLIB:CGAL-vc90-mt-s. If it
is there, then you can probably just rename the file and have it work.
move CGAL-vc90-mt.lib CGAL-vc90-mt-s.lib
Visual Studio build
You can build CGAL using the GUI of visual studio, as an alternative to nmake. You have to
use an alternate cmake syntax. Type 'cmake' by itself and it will give you a list of
'generators' that are valid for your machine; for example Visual Studio Express is cmake
-G"Visual Studio 9 2008" .. That should get you a working .sln (solution) file.
Then run this:
vcexpress CGAL.sln
Modify the build configure target to Release (not Debug) and change the properties of the
projects to be '/MT' multithreaded static builds. This is the similar procedure used to build
OpenCSG, so refer to those instructions above for more detail.
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Note for Unix users
The 'MingW Shell' (Start/Programs) provide tools like bash, sed, grep, vi, tar, &c. The C:\
drive is under '/c/'. MingW has packages, for example: mingw-get install msys-unzip
downloads and installs the 'unzip' program. Git contains some programs by default, like
perl. The windows command shell has cut/paste - hit alt-space. You can also change the
scrollback buffer settings.
References
Windows Building, OpenSCAD mailing list, 2011 May (http://rocklinux.net/pipermail
/openscad/2011-May/thread.html).
C Run-Time Libraries linking (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library
/abx4dbyh(v=vs.80).aspx), Microsoft.com for Visual Studio 8 (The older manual is good
too, here (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa278396(VS.60).aspx))
old nabble (http://old.nabble.com/flex-2.5.35-1:-isatty()-problem-(andsolution)-td17659695.html) on _isatty, flex
Windows vs. Unix: Linking dynamic load modules (http://xenophilia.org
/winvunix.html) by Chris Phoenix
Static linking in CMAKE under MS Visual C (http://www.cmake.org
/Wiki/CMake_FAQ#How_can_I_build_my_MSVC_application_with_a_static_runtime.3F)
(cmake.org)
__imp , declspec(dllimport), and unresolved references (http://stackoverflow.com
/questions/3704374/linking-error-lnk2019-in-msvc-unresolved-symbols-with-impprefix-but-should) (stackoverflow.com)
For building OpenSCAD, see https://github.com/openscad/openscad/blob/master
/README.md
For making release binaries, see http://svn.clifford.at/openscad/trunk/doc/checklistmacosx.txt
Libraries
Library Locations
OpenSCAD uses three library locations, the installation library, built-in library, and user
defined libraries.
1. The Installation library location is the libraries directory under the directory where
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OpenSCAD is installed.
2. The Built-In library location is O/S dependent. It can be opened in the system specific
file manager using the "File->Show Library Folder..." menu entry.
Windows: My Documents\OpenSCAD\libraries
Linux: $HOME/.local/share/OpenSCAD/libraries
Mac OS X: $HOME/Documents/OpenSCAD/libraries
3. The User-Defined library path can be created using the OPENSCADPATH Environment
Variable to point to the library(s). OPENSCADPATH can contain multiple directories in case
you have library collections in more than one place, separate directories with a
semi-colon for Windows, and a colon for Linux/Mac OS. For example:
Windows: C:\Users\A_user\Documents\OpenSCAD\MyLib;C:\Thingiverse
Stuff\OpenSCAD
Things;D:\test_stuff
(Note: For Windows, in versions prior to 2014.02.22 there is a bug preventing multiple directories in
OPENSCADPATH
as described above, it uses a colon (:) to separate directories. A workaround, if your
libraries are on C: is to leave off the drive letter & colon, e.g. \Thingiverse
Stuff\OpenSCAD Things:\stuff
Linux/Mac OS: /usr/lib:/home/mylib:.
OpenSCAD will need to be restarted to recognise any change to the OPENSCADPATH
Environment Variable.
Where you specify a non-fully qualified path & filename in the use <...> or include
<...> statement that path/file is checked against the directory of the main .scad
file, the User-Defined library paths (OPENSCADPATH), the Built-In library (i.e. the O/S
dependent locations above), and the Installation library, in that order.
For example, with the following locations & files defined: (with OPENSCADATH=/usr/lib:/home
/lib_os:.)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
<installation library>/lib1.scad
<built-in library>/lib2.scad
<built-in library>/sublib/lib2.scad
<built-in library>/sublib/lib3.scad
/use/lib/lib2.scad
/home/lib_os/sublib/lib3.scad
The following include
include
include
include
include
<...>
statements will match to the nominated library files
<lib1.scad> // #1.
<lib2.scad> // #5.
<sublib/lib2.scad> // #3.
<sublib/lib3.scad> // #6.
The currently active list of locations can be verified in the "Help->Library Info" dialog.
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[Note: Requires version 2014.03]
The details info shows both the content of the OPENSCADPATH variable and the list of all library
locations. The locations will be searched in the order they appear in this list.
OPENSCADPATH: /data/lib1:/data/lib2
OpenSCAD library path:
/data/lib1
/data/lib2
/home/user/.local/share/OpenSCAD/libraries
/opt/OpenSCAD/libraries
Setting OPENSCADPPATH
MORE INFO ON HOW TO LOCATE THIS FUNCTION PLEASE. - done for Windows, perhaps
someone can do it for Linux/Mac
In Windows, Environment Variables are set via the Control panel, select System, then Advanced
System Settings, click Environment Variables. Create a new User Variable, or edit OPENSCADPATH if it
exists.
MCAD
OpenSCAD bundles the MCAD library (https://github.com/openscad/MCAD).
There are many different forks floating around (e.g.[7] (https://github.com/SolidCode
/MCAD), [8] (https://github.com/elmom/MCAD), [9] (https://github.com/benhowes/MCAD))
many of them unmaintained.
MCAD bundles a lot of stuff, of varying quality, including:
Many common shapes like rounded boxes, regular polygons and polyeders in 2D and
3D
Gear generator for involute gears and bevel gears.
Stepper motor mount helpers, stepper and servo outlines
Nuts, bolts and bearings
Screws and augers
Material definitions for common materials
Mathematical constants, curves
Teardrop holes and polyholes
The git repo also contains python ncode to scrape OpenSCAD code, a testing framework and
SolidPython, an external python library for solid cad.
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Other Libraries
BOLTS tries to build a standard part and vitamin library that can be used with
OpenSCAD and other CAD tools: [10] (https://github.com/jreinhardt/BOLTS)
Obiscad contains various useful tools, notably a framework for attaching modules on
other modules in a simple and modular way: [11] (https://github.com/Obijuan/obiscad)
This library provides tools to create proper 2D technical drawings of your 3D objects:
[12] (http://www.cannymachines.com/entries/9/openscad_dimensioned_drawings)
Stephanie Shaltes (https://plus.google.com/u/0/101448691399929440302) wrote a fairly
comprehensive fillet library (https://github.com/StephS/i2_xends/blob/master
/inc/fillets.scad)
The shapes library (http://svn.clifford.at/openscad/trunk/libraries/shapes.scad)
contains many shapes like rounded boxes, regular polygons. It is also included in
MCAD.
Also Giles Bathgates shapes library (https://github.com/elmom/MCAD/blob/master
/regular_shapes.scad) provides regular polygons and polyeders and is included in
MCAD.
The OpenSCAD threads (http://dkprojects.net/openscad-threads/) library provides ISO
conform metric and imperial threads and support internal and external threads and
multiple starts.
Sprockets for ANSI chains and motorcycle chains can be created with the Roller Chain
Sprockets OpenSCAD Module (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:197896). Contains
hard coded fudge factors, may require tweaking.
The Pinball Library (http://code.google.com/p/how-to-build-a-pinball/source/browse
/trunk/scad/pinball) provides many components for pinball design work, including
models for 3d printing of the parts, 3d descriptions of mount holes for CNC drilling
and 2d descriptions of parts footprint
For the generation of celtic knots there is the Celtic knot library (https://github.com
/beanz/celtic-knot-scad)
The 2D connection library (https://www.youmagine.com/designs/openscad2d-connection-library) helps with connections between 2D sheets, which is useful for
laser cut designs.
local.scad (https://github.com/jreinhardt/local-scad) provides a flexible method for
positioning parts of a design. Is also used in BOLTS.
Command Glossary
This is a Quick Reference; a short summary of all the commands without examples, just the
basic syntax. The headings are links to the full chapters.
Mathematical Operators
+
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/
%
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// also as unary negative
<
<=
==
!=
>=
>
&&
||
!
// logical and
// logical or
// logical not
<boolean> ? <valIfTrue> : <valIfFalse>
Mathematical Functions
abs ( <value> )
cos ( <degrees> )
sin ( <degrees> )
tan ( <degrees> )
asin ( <value> )
acos ( <value> )
atan ( <value> )
atan2 ( <y_value>, <x_value> )
pow( <base>, <exponent> )
len ( <string> )
len ( <vector> )
len ( <vector_of_vectors> )
min ( <value1>, <value2> )
max ( <value1>, <value2> )
sqrt ( <value> )
round ( <value> )
ceil ( <value> )
floor ( <value> )
lookup( <in_value>, <vector_of_vectors> )
String Functions
str(string, value, ...)
Primitive Solids
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cube(size = <value or vector>, center = <boolean>);
sphere(r = <radius>);
cylinder(h = <height>, r1 = <bottomRadius>, r2 = <topRadius>, center = <boolean>);
cylinder(h = <height>, r = <radius>);
polyhedron(points = [[x, y, z], ... ], triangles = [[p1, p2, p3..], ... ], convexity = N);
Transformations
scale(v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
(In versions > 2013.03)
resize(newsize=[x,y,z], auto=(true|false) { ... }
resize(newsize=[x,y,z], auto=[xaxis,yaxis,zaxis]) { ... }
resize([x,y,z],[xaxis,yaxis,zaxis]) { ... }
resize([x,y,z]) { ... }
// #axis is true|false
rotate(a = deg, v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
rotate(a=[x_deg,y_deg,z_deg]) { ... }
translate(v = [x, y, z]) { ... }
mirror([ 0, 1, 0 ]) { ... }
multmatrix(m = [tranformationMatrix]) { ... }
color([r, g, b, a]) { ... }
color([ R/255, G/255, B/255, a]) { ... }
color("blue",a) { ... }
Conditional and Iterator Functions
for (<loop_variable_name> = <vector> ) {...}
intersection_for (<loop_variable_name> = <vector_of_vectors>) {...}
if (<boolean condition>) {...} else {...}
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assign (<var1>= <val1>, <var2>= <val2>, ...) {...}
CSG Modelling
union() {...}
difference() {...}
intersection() {...}
render(convexity = <value>) { ... }
Modifier Characters
!
*
%
#
{
{
{
{
...
...
...
...
}
}
}
}
//
//
//
//
Ignore the rest of the design and use this subtree as design root
Ignore this subtree
Ignore CSG of this subtree and draw it in transparent gray
Use this subtree as usual but draw it in transparent pink
Modules
module name(<var1>, <var2>, ...) { ...<module code>...}
Variables can be default initialized <var1>=<defaultvalue>
In module you can use children() to refer to all child nodes, or children(i) where i is
between 0 and $children.
Include Statement
After 2010.02
include <filename.scad> (appends whole file)
use <filename.scad>
(appends ONLY modules and functions)
filename could use directory (with / char separator).
Prior to 2010.02
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<filename.scad>
Other Language Features
$fa is the minimum angle for a fragment. The default value is 12 (degrees)
$fs is the minimum size of a fragment. The default value is 1.
$fn is the number of fragments. The default value is 0.
When $fa and $fs are used to determine the number of fragments for a circle, then
OpenSCAD will never use less than 5 fragments.
$t
The $t variable is used for animation. If you enable the animation frame with
view->animate and give a value for "FPS" and "Steps", the "Time" field shows the current
value of $t.
function name(<var>) = f(<var>);
echo(<string>, <var>, ...);
render(convexity = <val>) {...}
surface(file = "filename.dat", center = <boolean>, convexity = <val>);
2D Primitives
square(size = <val>, center=<boolean>);
square(size = [x,y], center=<boolean>);
circle(r = <val>);
polygon(points = [[x, y], ... ], paths = [[p1, p2, p3..], ... ], convexity = N);
3D to 2D Projection
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projection(cut = <boolean>)
2D to 3D Extrusion
linear_extrude(height = <val>, center = <boolean>, convexity = <val>, twist = <degrees>[, slices = <val>, $fn=...,$fs=...
rotate_extrude(convexity = <val>[, $fn = ...]){...}
DXF Extrusion
linear_extrude(file = "filename.dxf", layer = "layername", height = <val>, center = <boolean>, convexity = <val>, twist =
rotate_extrude(file = "filename.dxf", layer = "layername", origin = [x,y], convexity = <val>[, $fn = ...]){...}
STL Import
import_stl("filename.stl", convexity = <val>);
Index
OpenSCAD User Manual/Index
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