User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

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User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

thehans
Hi everyone,

I wanted to get some input and have a bit of discussion from users
here, regarding what they would most like to see from current or
near-future OpenSCAD development.

What do you feel is the most important aspect to focus on, or would
have the biggest impact to your experience using OpenSCAD:

1) Stability, squash more bugs in general
2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster
3) Addition of new features
4) More / improved documentation
5) All of the above should be balanced equally
6) Nothing, I am content
7) Something else not mentioned

If you have a specific issue in mind related to your choice, please
describe and link to it if there is an existing github issue.

Disclaimer: I am not a project owner for OpenSCAD, I just contribute
code when / where I can.  So this poll is not "official", just created
out of my personal curiosity. There is no guarantee that I or other
volunteer developers will directly address any issues raised here.

Happy modeling,
Hans Loeblich

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

OpenSCAD mailing list-2
As I've noted, the major change/addition/feature I'd like to see would be to integrate BlocksCAD --- I'm just more comfortable running a desktop application than a website. I'd also like to see a way to export the block view as an SVG, and I'd like to see BlocksCAD support the Customizer.

For the Customizer I'd like to see more formatting/interface options --- in particular, I tried to set it up once to change from Imperial (inches) to metric (mm) and gave up on it, since it wasn't feasible to re-cast all the measurements in the new units so that the size of the box wouldn't change when switching units.

I guess the big question I have is how OpenSCAD should interact with other apps --- the recent Inkscape converter discussion would be part and parcel of that. Similarly, there's an OpenSCAD workbench in FreeCAD --- what should it do / be used for? What features does it obviate adding to OpenSCAD?

My understanding is that the thing I'd like most of all, support for 3 dimensional objects/spaces defined by multiple Bézier curves is outside of the problem space of the CSG modeling used, so not an option for OpenSCAD, so instead it will be necessary to continue to calculate such shapes in the language itself as opposed to having such as a native object.

Faster would be nice, and of course, bug fixes should be a priority.

William


-----Original Message-----
From: Hans L <[hidden email]>
To: OpenSCAD general discussion <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sat, Nov 9, 2019 5:24 pm
Subject: [OpenSCAD] User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

Hi everyone,

I wanted to get some input and have a bit of discussion from users
here, regarding what they would most like to see from current or
near-future OpenSCAD development.

What do you feel is the most important aspect to focus on, or would
have the biggest impact to your experience using OpenSCAD:

1) Stability, squash more bugs in general
2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster
3) Addition of new features
4) More / improved documentation
5) All of the above should be balanced equally
6) Nothing, I am content
7) Something else not mentioned

If you have a specific issue in mind related to your choice, please
describe and link to it if there is an existing github issue.

Disclaimer: I am not a project owner for OpenSCAD, I just contribute
code when / where I can.  So this poll is not "official", just created
out of my personal curiosity. There is no guarantee that I or other
volunteer developers will directly address any issues raised here.

Happy modeling,
Hans Loeblich

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

adrianv
In reply to this post by thehans
I think grouping "stability" with "squash bugs" is a bit strange.  I believe
that stability has been over-emphasized.  When we have four years pass
between stable releases it creates problems:  people who are trying to do
the most interesting things are forced to use the "development" version
which means their code cannot be run by those who are more conservative and
only run versions tagged as "stable".  

The main bug I'm aware of is the one where "use" statements cause the code
in the file to execute every time a function in the "used" file is called.
This has a potentially big effect on libraries.  

https://github.com/openscad/openscad/issues/782

There is a performance issue for libraries where calling a function from a
large "used" library is slow.   (In my testing 12.5s vs 0s when the function
is in the "used" library or not.)  

I don't know if there's an issue for it but having [0:-5] produce
[-5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0] is a bug in my opinion.  It seemed like there was an
effort to move away from this syntax, but this "feature" caused a lot of
bugs in the library I was working on because of its effect on degenerate
cases.  

In general for features I'd like to see

1) better support for libraries (fixing the above issues, adding name spaces
of some kind)
2) lazy unions, the ability to pass multiple children down through modules
without automatic union
3) better support for efficient curved surfaces and roundovers.  Could a
minkowski type operation be faster in specialized cases?  Could we have
union that rounds the interface of the unioned objects?  Maybe there are
other ways to make curved surfaces easier.  

I think faster execution would be nice sometimes, but it's mainly a problem
for me because of trying to construct rounded objects, which either requires
minkowski that takes a long time to run or it requires complex polyhedron
code that also may be slow because trying to code non-trivial algorithms in
OpenSCAD is hard.   (For example, my offset_sweep module has to run my
offset function many times, and offset is a hard algorithm to code in
OpenSCAD; my version is O(N^2) so it tends to be slow.)  


thehans wrote

> Hi everyone,
>
> I wanted to get some input and have a bit of discussion from users
> here, regarding what they would most like to see from current or
> near-future OpenSCAD development.
>
> What do you feel is the most important aspect to focus on, or would
> have the biggest impact to your experience using OpenSCAD:
>
> 1) Stability, squash more bugs in general
> 2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster
> 3) Addition of new features
> 4) More / improved documentation
> 5) All of the above should be balanced equally
> 6) Nothing, I am content
> 7) Something else not mentioned
>
> If you have a specific issue in mind related to your choice, please
> describe and link to it if there is an existing github issue.
>
> Disclaimer: I am not a project owner for OpenSCAD, I just contribute
> code when / where I can.  So this poll is not "official", just created
> out of my personal curiosity. There is no guarantee that I or other
> volunteer developers will directly address any issues raised here.
>
> Happy modeling,
> Hans Loeblich
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by thehans
Not that I've seen a real problem with bugs, but I'm always in favor of stability over almost everything else.

Mostly, I'm pretty happy.  I can't say that I've tried very many alternative tools, but so far none have even started to tempt me away from OpenSCAD.

Well, when I wrote that I had blissfully blocked something out.

Somebody helpfully added tab support, and demoted multi-window support to a second-class citizen.  Tabs are for phones and tablets, where the screen is small and everything needs to take up the whole screen.  I have dual 32" monitors, and I keep thinking about going to 40" or more.  (Hint:  TVs make great monitors, and they're cheap.)  Depending on the model, I can easily put up three or more instances of the UI - and I want to be able to look at them all at the same time.  I want to be able to edit a library in one window, save, and then refresh a consuming file in another window.  It seems like it should be straightforward to support both multi-window and tab operation - have a preference toggle.  Toggled one way, File/New and File/Open open in new tabs; toggled the other way they open in new windows like they used to.  Or maybe it just toggles which menu items Ctrl+N and Ctrl+O are bound to, or swaps the two sets of menu items.  But don't remind me every time that I want to work on two files that I'm a second-class citizen, especially when the old behavior was the way I liked.  https://xkcd.com/2224/ comes to mind.

On to lesser (but harder) things:

I'll start with language, because I know that's what you're really interested in.  Not that these are really my top "wants":

  • Make variables behave like variables.  Not going to happen, I know, but quite possibly the single most frequent question on this mailing list, especially when you factor in the need to use recursion or list comprehensions instead of more obvious iterative solutions.  Maybe there could be a big switch, or maybe a way to declare a non-constant variable?
  • Structures.  Yeah, you can simulate them with arrays, more or less.

If I had to pick a single set of things that I'd like to see improvement on, it would be the handling of what are currently considered "errors" in the model - non-2-manifolds[*], polyhedra with their surfaces twisted wrong, and Z-fighting over zero-thickness sections.  Those are all easy traps for the novice to fall into and not immediately obvious.
[*] I should note that I'm still hazy on the concept of manifold-ness, so I might use the terms wrong.
There's no intuitive reason why this model is a problem:
cube(1);
translate([1,1,0]) cube(1);

Nor this:

difference() {
	cube(2, center=true);
	cylinder(d=1, h=2, center=true);
}
Nor this:
points=[[0,0,0], [0,0,1], [0,1,0], [0,1,1], [1,0,0], [1,0,1], [1,1,0], [1,1,1]];
faces = [[0,1,5,4], [0,2,3,1], [0,2,6,4], [1,3,7,5], [2,6,7,3], [4,5,7,6]];
polyhedron(points, faces);

Yet they all fun afoul of these geometric ... quirks.

And yes, I know that the expertise required to address these issues is very different from the expertise required for language enhancements.  And some of it might need to be in the consuming applications (like slicers).  And some of it might be PhD thesis material.


Beyond that, I'd like to see better integration between CAD programs like OpenSCAD and slicers.  I'd like you to be able to change a design in OpenSCAD and "refresh" the slicer so that the old model is replaced by the new.  Some aspects of that are easy:  retaining translation, rotation, and scaling; maybe retaining print settings.  Some are harder, like arranging that the model is on the print bed even when its lowest point moved up or down.  Some are probably nearly impossible, like retaining support designs.  Probably this is mostly on the slicer, but maybe not.

Along the same lines of integration with slicers, it would be nice to be able to incorporate slicer controls into the model definition, so that you don't have to have both the .scad file and a separate file that sets up the slicer.  Perhaps, for instance, there could be annotations that you could add in OpenSCAD that the slicer would read.  Start with rotation, translation, and scaling, so that you can be looking at the object in its "use" orientation in OpenSCAD, but it would automatically adjust to its "print" orientation in the slicer.  Continue with, e.g., slice thickness.  This would address some of the "refresh" functionality desired above.  People with mills instead of 3D printers might be interested in similar functionality to allow cut descriptions to be embedded in the model design.


If I ever buy a dual-extruder printer, some kind of direct support for that will immediately jump to the top of my list.  I don't know what it looks like, because I don't know what dual-extruder slicers look like, but I know that I'll want to be able to directly say "build this shape using extruder 1 and this shape using extruder 2".


I'd consider working on some of this (especially the tab thing), but I don't want to have to set up a Linux system to do it.  Is building on Windows really as fragile as https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_User_Manual/Building_on_Microsoft_Windows suggests?  (I suppose maybe I could run a Linux VM under Windows with VirtualBox.)


That's all I'm coming up with.  And again, with the exception of the tab stuff mostly I'm a happy camper.

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by thehans
On 11/9/2019 6:47 PM, Jordan Brown wrote:
Not that I've seen a real problem with bugs, but I'm always in favor of stability over almost everything else.

To respond to Adrian's comment:  when I say "stability" here, I mean lack of bugs.  It shouldn't crash.  It shouldn't corrupt my files.  It shouldn't Do The Wrong Thing.  If I install a new version and it crashes twice in the first day that I'm using it, I'll be moving back to the previous version.  There is literally no improvement that would be worth that kind of regression in reliability.

Not, again, that I've seen much of a problem with bugs... and I want to keep it that way.

(Actually, I do run into one bug all the time, but I bet that it's in one of my display drivers.  Sometimes the rendering window comes up blank, just menus at the top and buttons at the bottom, and there's sometimes an OpenGL error.  This *seems* to be correlated to which of my two monitors the window initially comes up on.  Once a "good" window is up, I can move it back and forth; similarly, a "bad" window never gets better.  This is on Windows.  I can try to collect more information if anybody is interested.)

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

thehans
In reply to this post by adrianv
On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 6:52 PM adrianv <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think grouping "stability" with "squash bugs" is a bit strange.

I meant stability of execution, such as reducing occurrence of
crashes, internal errors, unexpected behavior, bugs in general
(separate from new feature requests).  Not that the program should be
unchanged, that would be option 6 instead :)

There seem to be ever increasing issues reported on github, I think
that the most of the time there are more are being opened than get
closed out.  I would be curious what a graph of total open issues over
project lifetime looks like, but as far as I can tell, the most github
will show is the bugs changed in the past month (under "Insights"
tab).

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
In reply to this post by JordanBrown
JordanBrown wrote

> Well, when I wrote that I had blissfully blocked something out.
>
> Somebody helpfully added tab support, and demoted multi-window support
> to a second-class citizen. ... It seems like it should be straightforward
> to
> support both multi-window and tab operation - have a preference toggle. 
> Toggled one way, File/New and File/Open open in new tabs; toggled the
> other way they open in new windows like they used to.  Or maybe it just
> toggles which menu items Ctrl+N and Ctrl+O are bound to, or swaps the
> two sets of menu items.  But don't remind me every time that I want to
> work on two files that I'm a second-class citizen, especially when the
> old behavior was the way I liked.  https://xkcd.com/2224/ comes to mind.

Did you notice File/New-window & File/Open-in-new-window?



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

JordanBrown
On 11/9/2019 7:24 PM, MichaelAtOz wrote:
JordanBrown wrote
Well, when I wrote that I had blissfully blocked something out.

Somebody helpfully added tab support, and demoted multi-window support
to a second-class citizen. ... It seems like it should be straightforward
to
support both multi-window and tab operation - have a preference toggle. 
Toggled one way, File/New and File/Open open in new tabs; toggled the
other way they open in new windows like they used to.  Or maybe it just
toggles which menu items Ctrl+N and Ctrl+O are bound to, or swaps the
two sets of menu items.  But don't remind me every time that I want to
work on two files that I'm a second-class citizen, especially when the
old behavior was the way I liked.  https://xkcd.com/2224/ comes to mind.
Did you notice File/New-window & File/Open-in-new-window?

Yep.

And Ctrl+N and Ctrl+O and the buttons in the editor open tabs.  And the prime locations in the menu, at the top, open tabs; if you want new windows you have to go down to somewhere in the middle of the menu.

I recognize that new-window operations are still there, but they've been demoted to second-class-citizen status.


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User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

CasaDelGato
In reply to this post by thehans
On Sat Nov 09 14:22:05 PST 2019 [hidden email] said:
>I wanted to get some input and have a bit of discussion from users
>here, regarding what they would most like to see from current or
>near-future OpenSCAD development.

What I would like is the editor to be syntax aware, and be able to format the code easily.
Heck, a plugin for the Eclipse Dev environment would be WONDERFUL.


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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

thehans
On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 10:33 PM John Lussmyer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> What I would like is the editor to be syntax aware

In what way?  Syntax highlighting has been in for a while.  And
auto-completion was added recently, available in the nightly version.
Or something more?

>, and be able to format the code easily.

Not sure if this helps, but one trick that many might not know about
is if you click menu "Design" -> "Display AST..."  it will open a
separate window with a consistently formatted version of your scad
file, created by parsing the script and reconstructing the text from
the Abstract Syntax Tree.
It isn't exactly intended for "pretty-printing", and so has a few
quirks lke reordering the overall layout as: functions definitions
first, then modules definitions, then variable declarations and module
calls(top-level code).
Also it will strip comments that aren't part of customizer parameters.
Besides those things the output should be functionally equivalent, and
I have found it useful on occasion to quickly make nice indented,
legible output from some spaghetti code.

Hans

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

tobject
1. Complete rewrite of the language. Make it true OOP and easy to code
2. easy objects alignment in 3D

On 11/9/19, Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 10:33 PM John Lussmyer <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> What I would like is the editor to be syntax aware
>
> In what way?  Syntax highlighting has been in for a while.  And
> auto-completion was added recently, available in the nightly version.
> Or something more?
>
>>, and be able to format the code easily.
>
> Not sure if this helps, but one trick that many might not know about
> is if you click menu "Design" -> "Display AST..."  it will open a
> separate window with a consistently formatted version of your scad
> file, created by parsing the script and reconstructing the text from
> the Abstract Syntax Tree.
> It isn't exactly intended for "pretty-printing", and so has a few
> quirks lke reordering the overall layout as: functions definitions
> first, then modules definitions, then variable declarations and module
> calls(top-level code).
> Also it will strip comments that aren't part of customizer parameters.
> Besides those things the output should be functionally equivalent, and
> I have found it useful on occasion to quickly make nice indented,
> legible output from some spaghetti code.
>
> Hans
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org
>

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

cacb
On 2019-11-10 08:25, Serge wrote:
> 1. Complete rewrite of the language. Make it true OOP and easy to code

That would be AngelCAD. https://arnholm.github.io/angelcad-docs/ . When
starting with OpenSCAD, I had a similar reaction to the extensive
discussions of language quirks instead of modelling capabilities. For a
script based modeller I thought it would be more interesting to use and
extend an existing language with CSG modelling capabilities rather than
invent a new language. It could be done using Python, but I chose
AngelScript because of the easy and direct integration with C++, plus it
is a full blown OOP language that is 100% embedded in the application
just like the OpenSCAD language.

> 2. easy objects alignment in 3D
A good start in this area is to introduce and use bounding boxes.


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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

Robin2
As I have mentioned elsewhere I think the focus should be on making things
easy and attractive for a newbie, and for occasional users, without
interfering with traditional users.

To my mind that means that it should be possible to build most models with a
GUI front-end - such as GraphScad, Blockscad or the ClikScad that I have
created and am using for my own work. I'm not saying that the OpenSCAD
development team should "drop everything" and build a GUI front end - it may
be perfectly sufficient to endorse and encourage the use of an existing
front-end.

For the sorts of things I have wanted to create with my 3D printer the
existing OpenSCAD has all the capability that I require. and I have not been
aware of any bugs or crashes.

IMHO the idea of a complete rewrite is nonsense  - a huge amount of wasted
time with no improvement whatever on the output of anyone's 3D printer.

...R



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by thehans
A stupid little thing:  the height of a cylinder is "h", but the height of a linear extrusion is "height".

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

corpsman
I would love to integrate a pretty printer into OpenSCAD

to be able to do so, the IDE should have the ability to call external
programs (via custom shortcuts) and the actual filename as param. Then
Reload the file and its done *g*.



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

JordanBrown
On 11/10/2019 11:13 AM, corpsman wrote:
I would love to integrate a pretty printer into OpenSCAD

to be able to do so, the IDE should have the ability to call external
programs (via custom shortcuts) and the actual filename as param. Then
Reload the file and its done *g*.

Better design:  feed the input to it on its standard in and get the output on its standard out.  Then the IDE could easily support things like filtering just the selection through the pretty printer.  (Or, for that matter, filtering through other things like sorts.)

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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

Max Bond
In reply to this post by corpsman
#3

I find the stability of OpenSCAD to be excellent, especially when compared to other FOSS CAD tools.

I'd like see a standard library, a standard listing of libraries (like pip etc), functions to check the length of arrays/strings and rank/dimension of matrixes, and more tools for 1-dimensional objects (for instance I have my own code for affine transforms of lines, but that'd be great to include in a standard library).

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 12:14 PM corpsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
I would love to integrate a pretty printer into OpenSCAD

to be able to do so, the IDE should have the ability to call external
programs (via custom shortcuts) and the actual filename as param. Then
Reload the file and its done *g*.



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

Max Bond
To add, another thing I'd like to see in the standard library is functions to calculate bounding boxes of primitive shapes. Again, I already do this, I'm sure we all do, but it'd be nice to come out of the box.

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 12:26 PM Max Bond <[hidden email]> wrote:
#3

I find the stability of OpenSCAD to be excellent, especially when compared to other FOSS CAD tools.

I'd like see a standard library, a standard listing of libraries (like pip etc), functions to check the length of arrays/strings and rank/dimension of matrixes, and more tools for 1-dimensional objects (for instance I have my own code for affine transforms of lines, but that'd be great to include in a standard library).

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019, 12:14 PM corpsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
I would love to integrate a pretty printer into OpenSCAD

to be able to do so, the IDE should have the ability to call external
programs (via custom shortcuts) and the actual filename as param. Then
Reload the file and its done *g*.



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
In reply to this post by thehans
thehans wrote

> What do you feel is the most important aspect to focus on, or would
> have the biggest impact to your experience using OpenSCAD:
>
> 1) Stability, squash more bugs in general
> 2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster
> 3) Addition of new features
> 4) More / improved documentation
> 5) All of the above should be balanced equally
> 6) Nothing, I am content
> 7) Something else not mentioned
>
> If you have a specific issue in mind related to your choice, please
> describe and link to it if there is an existing github issue.

With a focus on Developer Resources it should be the top three, 1) generally
a priority, then 2) & 3) balanced.

1) I really think there is a gremlin in the core with various CGAL errors.
The latest being https://github.com/openscad/openscad/issues/3117

2) as OpenSCAD usage gets more sophisticated, as users get more experience
(and use new features), then performance becomes a bigger hindrance.

3) There are various axis of change, there should always be room for
progressive tweaks and usage optimisation (+1 to linear_extrude height=
anomaly) but with the Developers available, isn't it basically only going to
change in directions particular Developers re willing to spend time on. Are
we able to do something other than Bountysource to attract Developers?
https://www.bountysource.com/teams/openscad

4) Documentation can enhanced by others. Perhaps we need a documentation
ToDo?

7) I got an email, someone added $50 (=$300) to the Bountysource for
https://www.bountysource.com/issues/32262436-color-material-and-part 
something I've thought is holding back OpenSCAD usage beyond typical
FDM/FFF.
I also have sympathy for the laser cutters..."1D" or is it 1.5D?



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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

doug.moen
In reply to this post by JordanBrown
On Sun, Nov 10, 2019, at 2:47 AM, Jordan Brown wrote:
If I had to pick a single set of things that I'd like to see improvement on, it would be the handling of what are currently considered "errors" in the model - non-2-manifolds[*], ...  Those are all easy traps for the novice to fall into and not immediately obvious.

There's no intuitive reason why this model is a problem:

cube(1);
translate([1,1,0]) cube(1);

The specific problem being referenced here is that if you have two polyhedra that don't intersect (with a non-zero intersection volume), but they touch at a vertex or touch at an edge, then you can't represent that in an STL file, because the polygon mesh is not 2-manifold.

This restriction is a problem for users, because it means that shapes are not closed under union. You can take two valid shapes (cubes in the above example), union them together, and the result is not considered valid.

This limitation really only exists because of the STL file format.

The limitation doesn't exist in CGAL, which is the library used by OpenSCAD to compute unions, intersections and differences. CGAL provides a Nef Polyhedron data structure which is closed under the union operation, and which can represent the union of two cubes shown above.

This limitation doesn't exist in the 3MF file format, which explicitly supports these kinds of models.

This statement might be surprising or controversial. The way it works is: 3MF uses a different mesh representation than STL. In 3MF, there is an array of points, each point has a numeric ID. Then there is a separate array of triangles: each triangle is represented by 3 point IDs, which are indexes into the point array. In a "non-manifold Nef Polyhedron" (like the 2 cubes in the example), there are 2 or more disjoint volumes that touch at one or more vertices. These "shared vertices" must be duplicated in the 3MF points array, so that each disjoint volume refers to the same shared vertices using distinct point IDs. Only then do you have a valid 3MF representation. The 3MF standard discusses this in section 4.1.3: "The producer SHOULD NOT include duplicate vertices unless coalescing duplicates would create non-manifold edges."

As far as I can tell, CGAL provides the necessary APIs that could be used to export a non-manifold Nef Polyhedron to a 3MF file, without creating an invalid 3MF file. But the current 3MF export code isn't written that way, and doesn't support this case. So the problem is fixable, it's not PhD thesis level of difficulty.


Beyond that, I'd like to see better integration between CAD programs like OpenSCAD and slicers.  I'd like you to be able to change a design in OpenSCAD and "refresh" the slicer so that the old model is replaced by the new.  Some aspects of that are easy:  retaining translation, rotation, and scaling; maybe retaining print settings.  Some are harder, like arranging that the model is on the print bed even when its lowest point moved up or down.  Some are probably nearly impossible, like retaining support designs.  Probably this is mostly on the slicer, but maybe not.

Along the same lines of integration with slicers, it would be nice to be able to incorporate slicer controls into the model definition, so that you don't have to have both the .scad file and a separate file that sets up the slicer.  Perhaps, for instance, there could be annotations that you could add in OpenSCAD that the slicer would read.  Start with rotation, translation, and scaling, so that you can be looking at the object in its "use" orientation in OpenSCAD, but it would automatically adjust to its "print" orientation in the slicer.  Continue with, e.g., slice thickness.  This would address some of the "refresh" functionality desired above.  People with mills instead of 3D printers might be interested in similar functionality to allow cut descriptions to be embedded in the model design.


The 3MF file format can hold slicer settings. I haven't researched this, but something of what you ask for might be possible with 3MF.


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