Announcing RapCAD

RapCAD is a new script based CAD IDE especially for RepRap printers. It will be a written from scratch based mostly on OpenSCAD and hopefully scad scripts will just work inside RapCAD. Ultimately however I would like to add new features to the script language, so that RapCAD files will be a superset of scad files. The IDE will contain project management tools, to allow more than one script to be grouped into a project. Another planned feature is a fully syntax hi-lighted script editor, as well as a 3D visualisation window reminiscent of OpenSCAD. The IDE will also contain gcode visualisation and generation tools as can be found in the esteemed Repsnapper. I am hoping to reap the benefits of combining these two applications into one and allow them to share code, for example slice and dice might be performed using CGAL. But more generally my motivation for doing this is because I would like a one stop app that can be both the design tool, and printing tool without having to go through the intermediary step of having to convert to and from STL. Support for importing from existing STL files will still be available facilitated by an import_stl() function in the script or by some other means.

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6 thoughts on “Announcing RapCAD”

  1. I started writing a simple program to do something similar (The communications part). http://reprapprinterconnect.blogspot.com/
    I am most likely going to progress slower than you, but ultimately I am going to try to provide intensely centralized computations on the host. Meaning there will be XML configurations files specifying the steps/mm, etc… Right now I have a few different design goals that will be fully realized in the next month or so.

    1. Excellent news! I will be looking for help from anyone who is interested and willing to contribute. I want to make development as open as possible. One of the problems with OpenSCAD was that there was lots of ideas floating around in the mailing list but the maintainers didn’t really seem to have enough time to spare to look at any patches that were submitted. RapCAD on the other hand will have a much more open development strategy, anyone will be able to clone and edit the rapcad repository hosted on http://gitorious.org/rapcad. All merge requests will be accepted if they are sensible. As Many key developers as reasonable will be allowed access to the official repository as and when the community grows.

    1. I assume by libraries you mean groups of scad/rcad files that can be pre-compiled and then included in other scripts. I have been thinking how this could work for a while so it will definitely go on the ever growing feature list.

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