A project log for How to win at 3D printing

Adventures with an Ender 3

lion mclionheadlion mclionhead 02/21/2021 at 02:310 Comments

Lions started making procedural models using FreeCAD's own python bindings, but OpenSCAD has emerged as the tool of choice for making procedural models.  This is after phases where it was sketchup, tinkercad, & fusion 360.  The reason might be fusion 360 being on a path to becoming more & more crippled for unpaying users, google abandoning sketchup right after acquiring it, & tinkercad not being functional enough.  When the lion kingdom was getting started with CAD modeling in 2018, the Freecad GUI was like a brick wall while it was much easier to make models programatically.  In older age & with more complicated models, a GUI has proven easier, though.

A purely programmatic CAD modeler would be good for very simple models with 3D printable dimensions, Z lengths in multiples of layer height, overhangs at 45 degrees.  It would have been the way to go, 40 years ago when confusers weren't fast enough to have an interactive 3D model.  There were libraries for drawing 3D graphics in BASIC, which would be equivalent to OpenSCAD.  Most modern programming languages are what used to be libraries.  Why we switched from creating libraries to inventing a new programming language for every set of functions is another phenomenon.

Lions evolved to using 2 methods for procedural models: python bindings for FreeCAD & generating 1 face at a time in native C.  Complicated models like an isogrid cylinder

could only be modeled by creating individual faces in C.  It was too slow to do with Freecad python bindings or even native python.  Unfortunately, Freecad can't do any booleans with these models so there's still a desire to optimize the output of Freecad python.