Peter Uithoven - Open CAD solutionsOpenCAD solutions:FreeCAD:

  • Download:
  • Start with a workbench selection for what you want to do.(view -> workbench)
  • Start with the "part design" workbench.
  • Part design starts with a 2D sketch.
  • In Part design you can set constrains, like "this needs to be straight" and "these needs to be parallel".
  • In the "part" workbench you can work with 3D shapes
  • Moving components in 3D view is very hard and needs to be done in the "data" tab at the bottom let, at "placement"
  • To create an .STL: go to "Mesh", give a tolerance (e.g. 0.1) and this gives you a new Object "Mesh"
  • Navigation: if you used to a certain 3D navigation (e.g. Blender), you can change that in the preferences
It's not really production ready:
  • For instance, It's not very easy to move things: in "Draft" you can move things (but doesn't seem to work in every version and OS)
  • Sketch-View: You can not copy stuff and there is no way to create components (e.g. a screw that you copy several times - and if you change something on the original screw, the copies change as well)
ComboView via view->views->comboviewOpenSCADimport from inkscape:
in OpenScad, type: 
linear_extrude(file = "filename.dxf", height = 5, center = true);
  • Press F5 (on Mac: fn+F5) to update the view
    • You can also use an external editor: (later)
  • Modifiers: 
    • //: comment out: this line is ignored
    • #: to see the shape behind it
    • !: only show this part (or do this action)
    • %: makes the shape transparent and ignored
    • *: everything after the star is ignored (not just the line, but until the next ;
  • you can define variables in a module, but only at the beginning, not afterwards
  • you can export the file for instance to DXF and open it in inkscape (for instance to add a nice font or hand-drawing)
  • using another editor:
    • open the file in another editor
    • in openSCAD set Design>Automatic Reload and Compile
    • voilà
  • you can not create lines
  • cube(10)
  • cube([10,20,30])
  • translate([10,0]){
  • square([10,10])
  • circle(5);
  • }
  • translate([10,0,0]) rotate(45) square(10);
  • functions:
  • module shape()
  • {
  • translate([10,0,0]) 
  • {
  • rotate(45) square(10);
  • }
  • }
  • shape();
  • translate([-20,0]) shape();
  • square(2);
  • Boolean operations
  • difference
  • difference{
  • shape();
  • translate([6,0]) shape();
  • }
  • Intersection
  • Union
  • variables
  • width=100;
  • x=10;
  • cube([x,width,10]);
  • Extrusion
  • linear_extrude(height=20, twist=50) square([10,20]);
  • Inclusion of external parts
  • include
OpenSCAD has the limitation that it only can create 'solids': it can creates 2d circles and squares but not lines. If you make a very thin rectangle a lasercutter will still follow the outline of the rectangle. May a simple postprocessing script can replace thin rectangles by lines in the DXF.
MCAD library
  • you can do animations (example of the spiderbot, link?)
Few simple examples: Inkscape
Set the default units to mm in the document properties
It's possible to draw a shape and then set the specific x, y, width, height in the menu.
Keep in mind: you enter the top left position of circles 
OpenSCAD can't import curves so you have to convert them:
- select them
- extensions -> motify path -> add nodes
- select all
- press button: make segment lines of it 
- save as dxf desktop plotter 
Plugin to make this easy:
[please check]
Making clones
edit -> clone 
In OpenSCAD you can then make it 3D by extruding it. 
Using linear extrude you give the 2D shape a height. 
Using rotate extude you can do revolutions
My notes:
LibreCAD (based on QCAD?)
  • 2D CAD program
  • nice user interface
  • toolbar on the left changes based on context, really good!
  • Not always very intuitive
  • very basic
  • too basic to be usefull yet
  • "don't use the tool, it's not very useful at the moment"
  • looks nice, you can connect variables of different objects
Writing SVG files by hand: A parametric SVG editor by FabLab Amersfoort
  • example
  • size=100
  • dist=0.2*size
  • mood=1
  • x=105
  • pretty basic, but very nice and useful to generate small SVGs
  • can do things, that OpenSCAD can not do, e.g. lines
JS Bin
Writing svg elements in JavaScript
this is also possible in open scad

      make sure you have no bent lines (curves), export as .dxf type 13