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

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

JordanBrown
On 11/11/2019 11:19 PM, nop head wrote:
Since all real objects are 2-manifold I don't see why OpenSCAD needs to be able to handle non-manifold designs. What advantage is it?

Not having to take care to never allow two objects to touch?  Not having to explain to people what "manifold" means?

(This isn't contrived; I've had real modeling cases where two objects happened to touch at a single point.  I had to figure out what was happening and then artificially tweak them apart.)

If you want to print two cubes next to each then leave a small gap.

Why?  Why should I have to do this, when the intent is obvious?

They will then get two separate perimeters. If you want to print two cubes that are joined overlap them by your printers minimum wall width. Your model then represents what  you want your printer to print. If you export two cubes sharing an edge who knows what the printer will do? It is much better to give an error as soon as possible to avoid creating a model that can't be printed. Yes the printer may print something but it won't match the physically impossible model.

My point is that *it doesn't matter* what the printer does.

Why is there any practical difference between two cubes that share an edge, two cubes that are separated by a micrometer, and two cubes that overlap by a micrometer?  The printer's resolution isn't anywhere near that small. It can't match *any* of the three, yet the software treats them all as fundamentally different, and considers two "possible" and the third "impossible".

When you say "can't be printed", do you mean "that the software can't handle", or do you mean "where what is printed does not perfectly match the mathematical model"?  If the software can't handle it, that's exactly the problem I'd like to see solved.  If the printed object does not perfectly match the mathematical model... *nothing* printed ever perfectly matches the mathematical model.  cube(100) is supposed to generate a cube 100 units on a side.  What gets printed is the result of mushing together a bunch of cylinders of plastic - the sides aren't flat, the edges are round instead of right angles, and it's measurably off 100 units.  Printing is *always* an approximation of the mathematical model.


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

Max Bond
Another thing I forgot, I'd love it if the GUI had a ruler that could measure angles and distances 

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 11:32 AM Jordan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 11/11/2019 11:19 PM, nop head wrote:
Since all real objects are 2-manifold I don't see why OpenSCAD needs to be able to handle non-manifold designs. What advantage is it?

Not having to take care to never allow two objects to touch?  Not having to explain to people what "manifold" means?

(This isn't contrived; I've had real modeling cases where two objects happened to touch at a single point.  I had to figure out what was happening and then artificially tweak them apart.)

If you want to print two cubes next to each then leave a small gap.

Why?  Why should I have to do this, when the intent is obvious?

They will then get two separate perimeters. If you want to print two cubes that are joined overlap them by your printers minimum wall width. Your model then represents what  you want your printer to print. If you export two cubes sharing an edge who knows what the printer will do? It is much better to give an error as soon as possible to avoid creating a model that can't be printed. Yes the printer may print something but it won't match the physically impossible model.

My point is that *it doesn't matter* what the printer does.

Why is there any practical difference between two cubes that share an edge, two cubes that are separated by a micrometer, and two cubes that overlap by a micrometer?  The printer's resolution isn't anywhere near that small. It can't match *any* of the three, yet the software treats them all as fundamentally different, and considers two "possible" and the third "impossible".

When you say "can't be printed", do you mean "that the software can't handle", or do you mean "where what is printed does not perfectly match the mathematical model"?  If the software can't handle it, that's exactly the problem I'd like to see solved.  If the printed object does not perfectly match the mathematical model... *nothing* printed ever perfectly matches the mathematical model.  cube(100) is supposed to generate a cube 100 units on a side.  What gets printed is the result of mushing together a bunch of cylinders of plastic - the sides aren't flat, the edges are round instead of right angles, and it's measurably off 100 units.  Printing is *always* an approximation of the mathematical model.

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

nophead
In reply to this post by JordanBrown
My point is that all objects that can be printed are 2 manifold. Therefore there is no reason why OpenSCAD needs to be able to model objects that aren't 2-manifold because that can never be a valid design intent.

The fact that a 3D printer never exactly matches a model due to tolerances is a different thing. My 3D printers always produce manifold objects so it makes no sense to send them a non-manifold design because no matter how accurate they are they cannot print it. 

>Why is there any practical difference between two cubes that share an edge, two cubes that are separated by a micrometer, and two cubes that overlap by a micrometer?  

Because separate cubes separated by a micrometer is a valid design intent. When sent to a 3D printer it creates two separate cubes with their own outlines. Yes most likely they will be weakly bonded but easily separated. Sending  a design with a shared edge is nonsense as it never exists in reality, only in maths. Sending a design where they overlap by one micron only make sense on a printer that can produce 1 micron walls. So if they overlap it should be my much more than that.

So the set of printable objects is ones that have two separate boundaries plus those that overlap by the minimum feature size. It does not include the case where they share an edge, so why should OpenSCAD and all the downstream tools cater for that edge case? Better to tell the user it is an invalid design intent.
.

On Tue, 12 Nov 2019 at 18:31, Jordan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 11/11/2019 11:19 PM, nop head wrote:
Since all real objects are 2-manifold I don't see why OpenSCAD needs to be able to handle non-manifold designs. What advantage is it?

Not having to take care to never allow two objects to touch?  Not having to explain to people what "manifold" means?

(This isn't contrived; I've had real modeling cases where two objects happened to touch at a single point.  I had to figure out what was happening and then artificially tweak them apart.)

If you want to print two cubes next to each then leave a small gap.

Why?  Why should I have to do this, when the intent is obvious?

They will then get two separate perimeters. If you want to print two cubes that are joined overlap them by your printers minimum wall width. Your model then represents what  you want your printer to print. If you export two cubes sharing an edge who knows what the printer will do? It is much better to give an error as soon as possible to avoid creating a model that can't be printed. Yes the printer may print something but it won't match the physically impossible model.

My point is that *it doesn't matter* what the printer does.

Why is there any practical difference between two cubes that share an edge, two cubes that are separated by a micrometer, and two cubes that overlap by a micrometer?  The printer's resolution isn't anywhere near that small. It can't match *any* of the three, yet the software treats them all as fundamentally different, and considers two "possible" and the third "impossible".

When you say "can't be printed", do you mean "that the software can't handle", or do you mean "where what is printed does not perfectly match the mathematical model"?  If the software can't handle it, that's exactly the problem I'd like to see solved.  If the printed object does not perfectly match the mathematical model... *nothing* printed ever perfectly matches the mathematical model.  cube(100) is supposed to generate a cube 100 units on a side.  What gets printed is the result of mushing together a bunch of cylinders of plastic - the sides aren't flat, the edges are round instead of right angles, and it's measurably off 100 units.  Printing is *always* an approximation of the mathematical model.


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

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by Max Bond
On 11/12/2019 11:11 AM, Max Bond wrote:
Another thing I forgot, I'd love it if the GUI had a ruler that could measure angles and distances 


I wrote a measuring-stick module.  It's not great, but it sort of works.  Note that it sort of autoscales based on the view distance; move the view to where you like and refresh.  You have to position it where you need it in the model; there's no attempt to support "from <this place> to <that place> measurements.  Rotating and sizing to run it from a particular [x,y,z] to another [x,y,z] is left as an exercise for the reader.

$measure = true;
measuringstick(100);

module measuringstick(len, interval=pow(10,floor(log($vpd)-1)), center=false) {
    if ($measure) {
        r = 0.5;
        mark = interval * 0.01;
        %translate([0, 0, center ? -len/2 : 0]) {
            for (z=[0:interval:len]) {
                mark1 = min(len-z, mark/2);
                if (mark1 > 0) {
                    translate([0,0,z]) color("black") cylinder(r=r, h=mark/2);
                }
                z2 = z + mark1;
                block = min(len-z2, interval-mark);
                if (block > 0) {
                    translate([0,0,z2]) cylinder(r=r, h=block);
                }
                z3 = z2 + block;
                mark2 = min(len-z3, mark/2);
                if (mark2 > 0) {
                    translate([0,0,z3]) color("black") cylinder(r=r, h=mark/2);
                }
            }
        }
    }
}


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

mister.koz
In reply to this post by thehans
This suggestions thread is being hijacked by this argument, how about people make suggestions and the OpenSCAD people decide what to include and we just leave disagreements to Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

On Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 11:12 am Jordan Brown, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 11/12/2019 3:15 PM, nop head wrote:
It would mean I could accidentally design non-printable object instead of being told it was non-manifold.

Why should OpenSCAD concern itself with printability?  If it does, shouldn't it also reject ludicrously large objects or ludicrously small ones?  Shouldn't it insist that all values be multiples of the print resolution?

Maybe it's algorithmically impossible to disambiguate triangle-soup representations that have shared edges.  (I don't know one way or another.)  If so, that should prevent exports of such objects to triangle-soup file formats, but shouldn't prevent it for file formats where there's no problem.

If your slicer can't handle such an object... then that's on the slicer.

OpenSCAD can't represents objects with more than 3 dimensions, with dimensions of zero or infinity or imaginary numbers. All of these are mathematically possible by why spend time extending OpenSCAD to generate them when they are not physically possible?

See, what we're disagreeing on is whether the objects being discussed are physically impossible, *within the approximations implicit in 3D printing, and in the real world at the microscopic and atomic levels*.

I contend that for all practical purposes they are possible, and that they are certainly no more impossible than objects separated by epsilon or overlapping by epsilon.

I don't remember:  were you one of the people who was arguing that malformed polyhedra (disconnected faces, et cetera) should be allowed?
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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

dbvanhorn
I'd like to see clipping planes

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 5:26 PM Adam Purdie <[hidden email]> wrote:
This suggestions thread is being hijacked by this argument, how about people make suggestions and the OpenSCAD people decide what to include and we just leave disagreements to Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

On Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 11:12 am Jordan Brown, <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 11/12/2019 3:15 PM, nop head wrote:
It would mean I could accidentally design non-printable object instead of being told it was non-manifold.

Why should OpenSCAD concern itself with printability?  If it does, shouldn't it also reject ludicrously large objects or ludicrously small ones?  Shouldn't it insist that all values be multiples of the print resolution?

Maybe it's algorithmically impossible to disambiguate triangle-soup representations that have shared edges.  (I don't know one way or another.)  If so, that should prevent exports of such objects to triangle-soup file formats, but shouldn't prevent it for file formats where there's no problem.

If your slicer can't handle such an object... then that's on the slicer.

OpenSCAD can't represents objects with more than 3 dimensions, with dimensions of zero or infinity or imaginary numbers. All of these are mathematically possible by why spend time extending OpenSCAD to generate them when they are not physically possible?

See, what we're disagreeing on is whether the objects being discussed are physically impossible, *within the approximations implicit in 3D printing, and in the real world at the microscopic and atomic levels*.

I contend that for all practical purposes they are possible, and that they are certainly no more impossible than objects separated by epsilon or overlapping by epsilon.

I don't remember:  were you one of the people who was arguing that malformed polyhedra (disconnected faces, et cetera) should be allowed?
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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

doug.moen
In reply to this post by mister.koz
On Tue, Nov 12, 2019, at 12:24 AM, Adam Purdie wrote:
2. make it so exports can retain colours (or colors if you wish) - may not be feasible for the current export formats

To do full colour 3D printing, I export my model to either X3D or WRL format (depending on the 3D printing service provider).

Both of these file formats support a mode where you record the colour of each triangle or face (face colouring). This might be the simplest representation for retaining colours in an exported OpenSCAD model, at least without changing the language and switching to a different colour model. You can open one of these coloured models in MeshLab and the colours are displayed. As mentioned, you can 3D print these models in colour with certain types of full colour printers.

In order to implement this in OpenSCAD, you would need to preserve face colours across boolean operations (union, intersection, difference). I think that is possible with CGAL (since all of the algorithms are templated, and generic across data structures). However, it also involves an important change to data structures used throughout OpenSCAD. So it is not a trivial change.

Whether this is even a good idea depends on how you are using colour. Assigning colours to faces is not a good model of dual extruder 3D printing with 2 different types of filament. For the latter, you want to construct a separate mesh for each material/colour and export the mesh set to a 3MF file. So a good question is, what is your application for this?

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

lar3ry
In reply to this post by Max Bond
On 12 Nov 2019 at 12:11, Max Bond wrote:
> Another thing I forgot, I'd love it if the GUI had a ruler that could measure angles and distances 


Be still my beating heart! YES!



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

lar3ry
In reply to this post by JordanBrown
Nice! Thanks! It now lives in my library folder.



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

lar3ry
In reply to this post by nophead
The Arduino scheme is such that you do not have to put in the entire path.
For example, in the Arduino IDE, I can have:

#include <stepper.h>

and the actual file loaded is fetched from <OPENSCADPATH >/Stepper/Stepper.h


Adam,
   OpenSCAD looks at the OPENSCADPATH environment variable for places to
find libraries.

> 1. Have a way of integrating custom libraries at the openscad level, i
> currently do "import(../../../project/projectfile.scad)" and it's a little
> tedious, a basic library path like the Arduino app has would be cool




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

Robin2
lar3ry wrote
> The Arduino scheme is such that you do not have to put in the entire path.
> For example, in the Arduino IDE, I can have:
>
> #include
> <stepper.h>
> and the actual file loaded is fetched from
> <OPENSCADPATH >
> /Stepper/Stepper.h

As a regular Arduino user their system has minuses as well as pluses. It is
designed to be effortless for newcomers to programming. But it can get in
the way for more experienced folks. And it requires a very precise system
for locating library code so it can be found by the compiler.

By the way, I am 100% behind any moves to make OpenSCAD effortless for
newcomers.

...R



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

OpenSCAD mailing list-2
In reply to this post by thehans
I would like to see improved handling of imported STL files.

I frequently have an older STL created by someone with way more skill or
more complex software and I want to change it slightly.

I don't expect complex editing, but the other day I had a solid model...it
sliced and multiple programs reported it as clean, even scad viewed it fine.
All I wanted to do was put a small hole in one side....differencing a
cylinder seemed so simple....But nothing I did would allow that to render
and export.  I ended up having to learn just enough about some other
modeling program to cut the hole then re-export the STL for printing.

SCAD just spewed random errors...the preview sometimes looked okay but there
was just no rendering...I tried all sorts of variations and different
versions of scad and 'cleaned' versions of the STL without success.





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

W. Craig Trader
In reply to this post by thehans
I'm a little late, but I'd still like to add my thoughts.

On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 5:23 PM Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:
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   

I'm a software engineer by trade, and model designer by hobby. OpenSCAD is my go-to tool for modeling. I tend to organize useful code into libraries, so that similar models can be built automatically. Most of the models I design have multiple parts, and frequently need multiple copies of each part. I've built up a set of makefiles, libraries, and external tools that let me create a set of STL files and a Markdown BOM from a single model (that includes a bunch of libraries), but the end result is less than ideal. As an example of how complex this can get, see (https://github.com/wcraigtrader/game-parts/tree/master/18XX), specifically the Makefile, 18XX.scad, and the libraries in ../util/
  1. What I want is to produce one or more 3MF file(s) from a model, with multiple objects and metadata so that I can specify author name, license terms, etcetera
  2. To go along with that, it would be wonderful to be able to pick one object (or set of objects) in the UI and just render those objects in preview. That would make it much easier to work on the components of a model without having to continually edit the rendering section while working on a module somewhere else.
  3. Add a bounding box function that takes a child and returns the coordinates of a box that would contain the child. In its simplest form, it could just emit the information to the console, so I could know if a sub-model was too large, or how large a mating part would need to be.
  4. Make it easier to create test suites for OpenSCAD libraries and modules.
  5. Make it easier to debug complex libraries and modules. I would dearly love to be able to set a breakpoint on a line and be able to inspect the variable space, call stack, and object model.
  6. I frequently need to edit with multiple windows open just to render results in one window. I've largely given up on the OpenSCAD editor, because it doesn't have the editing power I need. Instead, I just use a preview window with Automatic Reload and Preview, and edit in VSCode (not my preferred IDE, but it has SCAD syntax support).
There are a couple of open tickets about 3MF in Github, but they seem to be wrapped around several other features, with low apparent likelihood of completion. As an example, https://github.com/openscad/openscad/issues/1608 seems to cover the language extensions necessary to capture the information I want, but much more, and has been open for 3 years. 

For test suites, see:
Thanks for asking!

- Craig -

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

gasstationwithoutpumps
Making OpenSCAD faster would be nice.

It seems like 3MF is being set up to take over from STL as the exchange
format for 3D printing.  How difficult would it be for OpenSCAD to output
3MF?



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

thehans
On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM gasstationwithoutpumps <[hidden email]> wrote:
It seems like 3MF is being set up to take over from STL as the exchange
format for 3D printing.  How difficult would it be for OpenSCAD to output
3MF?

It already does if you use a 2019 release. 

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

corpsman
It would be really cool, if the double click and snap to object feature
would be reeanabled under linux.

For further details:

http://forum.openscad.org/Center-by-double-click-on-a-part-on-2015-03-not-working-on-2019-05-td26881.html

https://github.com/openscad/openscad/pull/2466




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

gasstationwithoutpumps
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by thehans
thehans wrote
> On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM gasstationwithoutpumps <

> karplus@.ucsc

>> wrote:
>
>> It seems like 3MF is being set up to take over from STL as the exchange
>> format for 3D printing.  How difficult would it be for OpenSCAD to output
>> 3MF?
>>
>
> It already does if you use a 2019 release.

Thanks, I'd not noticed the addition to the export menu.  

At first I thought that 3MF files could not be opened or imported, but on restarting OpenSCAD I had no trouble with them (at least, not with 3MF files generated from OpenSCAD).


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

nophead
I have never tried it but the source code says it should import AMF as well.

On Tue, 19 Nov 2019 at 17:21, gasstationwithoutpumps <[hidden email]> wrote:
thehans wrote
> On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM gasstationwithoutpumps <

> karplus@.ucsc

>> wrote:
>
>> It seems like 3MF is being set up to take over from STL as the exchange
>> format for 3D printing.  How difficult would it be for OpenSCAD to output
>> 3MF?
>>
>
> It already does if you use a 2019 release.

Thanks, I'd not noticed the addition to the export menu.  It doesn't seem
that the 3MF files can be imported, though, so this is still only partial
support.



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

doug.moen
In reply to this post by gasstationwithoutpumps
3MF import works for me. It's in version 2019.05.

On Tue, Nov 19, 2019, at 12:34 PM, gasstationwithoutpumps wrote:

> thehans wrote
> > On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM gasstationwithoutpumps <
>
> > karplus@.ucsc
>
> >> wrote:
> >
> >> It seems like 3MF is being set up to take over from STL as the exchange
> >> format for 3D printing.  How difficult would it be for OpenSCAD to output
> >> 3MF?
> >>
> >
> > It already does if you use a 2019 release.
>
> Thanks, I'd not noticed the addition to the export menu.  It doesn't seem
> that the 3MF files can be imported, though, so this is still only partial
> support.
>
>
>
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Re: User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

NateTG
In reply to this post by thehans
> 2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster

I haven't used OpenSCAD in a while, but "render" had a habit of taking an
unreasonable amount of time.

> 3) Addition of new features

I really wanted "user land geometry."  Ideally some kind of geometry object
that can include feature information as well as raw geometry information so
that "align on feature" stuff is relatively easy to implement.

> 4) More / improved documentation

I don't know how much of my inability to get good use out of libraries was a
documentation issue and how much of it was a feature issue.

> 7) Something else not mentioned

I'm not sure where annoyances with floating point and unreliable vertex
locations fit in.  When I worked on beveled text generation, it was
something that I had to work around in an awkward fashion.




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