OpenSCAD – the programmers solid 3D CAD modeler


If you’ve looking for open source 3D modeling software that focuses more on the CAD and less on the artistic/game dev aspects, consider Openscad. Think design of machine parts, not movie animation. It takes a different approach than other 3D modeling software.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeler. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file (as in the example above). This gives you (the designer) full control over the modeling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modeling process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters.

Visit the Openscad website to download the software today.

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8 Comments

  1. Yeah, the OpenSCAD approach takes some getting used to, but it has it’s advantages: There’s no GUI to have to decipher as a new user and there’s the ability to just cut and paste common objects with only minor changes, which speeds-up layout of symmetrical frameworks. It is kind of like programming 2D prints in Postscript but for 3D (but OpenSCAD has nothing to do with Postscript though).

    But OpenSCAD is no panacea, it is actually cumbersome for some designs, especially those that hare more of a “free-hand” style. For those you might be better off with a full 3D interactive GUI editor. But even for these type designs, OpenSCAD may be more efficient at laying down the basic infrastructure.

    IMO OpenSCAD should be in any 3D Designer’s or Fabricator’s toolkit. After all, I think it is pretty easy to use and you can’t beat the price.

    1. You don’t have a lot of problems with freehand stuff as you can load paths from dxf files so you can use qcad/autocad or any other dxf export tool (even corel draw can export dxf these days) to draw 2d paths.

      If you use openSCAD you will want to load MCAD library for openSCAD that holds a whole bunch of scripts to make different stuff like for example involute gears :). Also there is a huge number of 3d objects on thingiverse

    1. why do you think it is dying out? openSCAD is fairly new app and it’s actually gaining community popularity very fast. It depends what you are designing, if you are making movies go with blender or XSI or whatever else you like, but if you need to design a box with hinges to print on reprap openSCAD is faster then any other cad software out there

  2. Actually that was a question, so I asked for what purposes should I learn this open SCAD. Until now I just knew CAD programms from modelling bigger things like cars and so on. And that’s what I want to do and for which I need a programm

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