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CadQuery editor

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CadQuery GUI editor based on PyQT supports Linux, Windows and Mac.




Notable features

  • Automatic code reloading - you can use your favourite editor
  • OCCT based
  • Graphical debugger for CadQuery scripts
    • Step through script and watch how your model changes
  • CadQuery object stack inspector
    • Visual inspection of current workplane and selected items
    • Insight into evolution of the model
  • Export to various formats
    • STL
    • STEP

Installation - Pre-Built Packages (Recommended)

### Release Packages

Stable release builds which do not require Anaconda are attached to the latest release. Download installer for your operating system, extract it, and run the CQ-editor script for your OS (CQ-editor.cmd for Windows, for Linux and MacOS). On Windows you should be able to simply double-click on CQ-editor.cmd. On Linux and MacOS you may need to make the script executable with chmod +x and run the script from the command line. The script contains an environment variable export that may be required to get CQ-editor to launch correctly on MacOS Big Sur, so it is better to use the script than to launch CQ-editor directly.

Development Packages

Development builds are also available, but can be unstable and should be used at your own risk. You can download the newest build here. Install and run the (Linux/MacOS) or run.bat (Windows) script in the root CQ-editor directory. The CQ-editor window should launch.

MacOS workarounds

On later MacOS versions you may also need xattr -r -d path/to/CQ-editor-MacOS.

Installation (conda/mamba)

Use conda or mamba to install:

mamba install -c cadquery -c conda-forge cq-editor=master

and then simply type cq-editor to run it. This installs the latest version built directly from the HEAD of this repository.

Alternatively clone this git repository and set up the following conda environment:

mamba env create -f cqgui_env.yml -n cqgui
mamba activate cqgui

If you are concerned about mamba/conda modifying your shell settings, you can use micromamba:

micromamba install -n base -c cadquery cq-editor
micromamba run -n base cq-editor

On some linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu 18.04) it might be necessary to install additonal packages:

sudo apt install libglu1-mesa libgl1-mesa-dri mesa-common-dev libglu1-mesa-dev

On Fedora 29 the packages can be installed as follows:

dnf install -y mesa-libGLU mesa-libGL mesa-libGLU-devel


Showing Objects

By default, CQ-editor will display a 3D representation of all Workplane objects in a script with a default color and alpha (transparency). To have more control over what is shown, and what the color and alpha settings are, the show_object method can be used. show_object tells CQ-editor to explicity display an object, and accepts the options parameter. The options parameter is a dictionary of rendering options named alpha and color. alpha is scaled between 0.0 and 1.0, with 0.0 being completely opaque and 1.0 being completely transparent. The color is set using R (red), G (green) and B (blue) values, and each one is scaled from 0 to 255. Either option or both can be omitted. The name parameter can assign a custom name which will appear in the objects pane of CQ-editor.

show_object(result, name="somename", options={"alpha":0.5, "color": (64, 164, 223)})

Note that show_object works for Shape and TopoDS_Shape objects too. In order to display objects from the embedded Python console use show.

Rotate, Pan and Zoom the 3D View

The following mouse controls can be used to alter the view of the 3D object, and should be familiar to CAD users, even if the mouse buttons used may differ.

  • Left Mouse Button + Drag = Rotate
  • Middle Mouse Button + Drag = Pan
  • Right Mouse Button + Drag = Zoom
  • Mouse Wheel = Zoom

Debugging Objects

There are multiple menu options to help in debugging a CadQuery script. They are included in the Run menu, with corresponding buttons in the toolbar. Below is a listing of what each menu item does.

  • Debug (Ctrl + F5) - Instead of running the script completely through as with the Render item, it begins executing the script but stops at the first non-empty line, waiting for the user to continue execution manually.
  • Step (Ctrl + F10) - Will move execution of the script to the next non-empty line.
  • Step in (Ctrl + F11) - Will follow the flow of execution to the inside of a user-created function defined within the script.
  • Continue (Ctrl + F12) - Completes execution of the script, starting from the current line that is being debugged.

It is also possible to do visual debugging of objects. This is possible by using the debug() function to display an object instead of show_object(). An alternative method for the following code snippet is shown below for highlighting a specific face, but it demonstrates one use of debug().

import cadquery as cq

result = cq.Workplane().box(10, 10, 10)

highlight = result.faces('>Z')

show_object(result, name='box')

Objects displayed with debug() are colored in red and have their alpha set so they are semi-transparent. This can be useful for checking for interference, clearance, or whether the expected face is being selected, as in the code above.

Console Logging

Python's standard print() function will not output to the CQ-editor GUI, and log() should be used instead. log() will output the provided text to the Log viewer panel, providing another way to debug CadQuery scripts. If you started CQ-editor from the command line, the print() function will output text back to it.

Using an External Code Editor

Some users prefer to use an external code editor instead of the built-in Spyder-based editor that comes stock with CQ-editor. The steps below should allow CQ-editor to work alongside most text editors.

  1. Open the Preferences dialog by clicking Edit->Preferences.
  2. Make sure that Code Editor is selected in the left pane.
  3. Check Autoreload in the right pane.
  4. If CQ-editor is not catching the saves from your external editor, increasing Autoreload delay in the right pane may help. This issue has been reported when using vim or emacs.

Exporting an Object

Any object can be exported to either STEP or STL format. The steps for doing so are listed below.

  1. Highlight the object to be exported in the Objects panel.
  2. Click either Export as STL or Export as STEP from the Tools menu, depending on which file format you want to export. Both of these options will be disabled if an object is not selected in the Objects panel.

Clicking either Export item will present a file dialog that allows the file name and location of the export file to be set.

Displaying All Wires for Debugging

NOTE: This is intended for debugging purposes, and if not removed, could interfere with the execution of your model in some cases.

Using consolidateWires() is a quick way to combine all wires so that they will display together in CQ-editor's viewer. In the following code, it is used to make sure that both rects are displayed. This technique can make it easier to debug in-progress 2D sketches.

import cadquery as cq
res = cq.Workplane().rect(1,1).rect(3,3).consolidateWires()

Highlighting a Specific Face

Highlighting a specific face in a different color can be useful when debugging, or when trying to learn CadQuery selectors. The following code creates a separate, highlighted object to show the selected face in red. This is an alternative to using a debug() object, and in most cases debug() will provide the same result with less code. However, this method will allow the color and alpha of the highlight object to be customized.

import cadquery as cq

result = cq.Workplane().box(10, 10, 10)

highlight = result.faces('>Z')


Naming an Object

By default, objects have a randomly generated ID in the object inspector. However, it can be useful to name objects so that it is easier to identify them. The name parameter of show_object() can be used to do this.

import cadquery as cq

result = cq.Workplane().box(10, 10, 10)

show_object(result, name='box')