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WHAT IS IT? =========== OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as the famous application Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Thus it might be the application you are looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts but pretty sure 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-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file (see examples below). This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters. OpenSCAD provides two main modelling techniques: First there is constructive solid geometry (aka CSG) and second there is extrusion of 2D outlines. As data exchange format format for this 2D outlines Autocad DXF files are used. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion it is also possible to read design parametes from DXF files. Besides DXF files OpenSCAD can read and create 3D models in the STL and OFF file formats. PREREQUISITES ============= To build OpenSCAD, you need some libraries and tools. The version numbers in brackets specify the versions which have been used for development. Other versions may or may not work as well.. * Qt4 (4.4 - 4.7): http://www.qtsoftware.com/ * CGAL (3.6 - 3.7): http://www.cgal.org/ * GMP (5.0.x): http://www.gmplib.org/ * MPFR (3.0.x): http://www.mpfr.org/ * boost (1.35 - 1.44, required by CGAL) http://www.boost.org/ * cmake (2.6.x, required by CGAL) http://www.cmake.org/ * OpenCSG (1.3.0): http://www.opencsg.org/ * GLEW (1.5.x, also bundled with OpenCSG) http://glew.sourceforge.net/ * Eigen2 (2.0.11) http://eigen.tuxfamily.org/ * GCC C++ Compiler (4.2, 4.3.1): http://gcc.gnu.org/ * Bison (2.4): http://www.gnu.org/software/bison/ * Flex (2.5.35): http://flex.sourceforge.net/ BUILDING OPENSCAD ================ First, run 'qmake' from Qt4 to generate a Makefile. On some systems you need to run 'qmake4', 'qmake-qt4' or something alike to run the qt4 version of the tool. Then run make. Finally you might run 'make install' as root or simply copy the 'openscad' binary (OpenSCAD.app on Mac OS X) to the bin directory of your choice. DOCUMENTATION ============= Have a look at the OpenSCAD Homepage (http://openscad.org/) for documentation.