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Developer(s) Marius Kintel, Clifford Wolf
Stable release 2015.03 / 10 March 2015; 2 months ago (2015-03-10)
Written in C++ (Qt)[1]
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD
Type CAD
License GNU General Public License

OpenSCAD is a free software application for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is not an interactive modeler, but rather a 3D-compiler based on a textual description language. An OpenSCAD document specifies geometric primitives and defines how they are modified and manipulated to render a 3D model. OpenSCAD is available for Windows, Linux and OS X. It does constructive solid geometry (CSG).

As of 2015, it uses Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) as the basic CSG engine, which along with other libraries takes care of details such as intersection, difference and Minkowski sums. The results can be rendered into 2D DXF or SVG files, 3D AMF, OFF, STL files, or PNG images. For fast previewing of models using z-buffering, OpenSCAD employs OpenCSG and OpenGL. In contrast, CGAL is used for full 3D geometry rendering that, as with other CSG geometry engines, can sometimes take several minutes or hours to complete.

OpenSCAD allows a designer to create accurate 3D models and parametric designs that can be easily adjusted by changing the parameters.[2]

Compared to most other CAD file formats, which are not easily human-readable, OpenSCAD documents behave like open source software. Because of their textual nature, it is much easier for people to distribute CAD drawings as OpenSCAD documents, independently make different incremental improvements, and then merge all the improved CAD drawings together as a document that includes all the improvements.[3]

As such, OpenSCAD is a non-visual, programmer-oriented solid modeling tool,[4] and has been recommended as an entry-level CAD tool for designing open source hardware such as scientific tools for research and education.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Evans, Brian (2012), Practical 3D Printers: The Science and Art of 3D Printing, Apress, p. 113, ISBN 9781430243922 
  3. ^ Rückert, Ulrich; Sitte, Joaquin; Werner, Felix (2012), Advances in Autonomous Mini Robots: Proceedings of the 6-th AMiRE Symposium, p. 61, This feature is enhanced by the fact that the mechanical parts are OpenSCAD ASCII scripts, like any other software. Consequently, they behave like open source software and can be distributed and shared in a similar way. 
  4. ^ Pettis, Bre; France, Anna Kaziunas; Shergill, Jay (2012), Getting Started with MakerBot, O'Reilly Media, Inc., p. 131, ISBN 9781449338657 
  5. ^ Pearce, Joshua M. (2014), Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs, Elsevier [page needed]

External links[edit]