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Developer(s) Marius Kintel, Clifford Wolf
Stable release 2014.03
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. OpenSCAD reads from a script and renders a 3D model from it. OpenSCAD is available for Windows, Linux and OS X. It does constructive solid geometry (CSG). OpenSCAD can also extrude forms from AutoCAD DXF files.

As of 2011, it uses Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) as the basic Computational Solid Geometry engine, taking care of details such as intersection, difference and Minkowski sums. The results can be rendered into 3D STL files.

It uses OpenCSG and OpenGL for fast previewing of models: rendering with CGAL (as with other CSG geometry engines) can sometimes take several minutes or hours, but OpenCSG takes advantage of the Z-buffer to find intersections "brute force" instead of calculating the geometry.

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

The ".scad" scripts behave like open source software:[3] compared to most other CAD file formats, it is much easier to distribute CAD drawings, allow people to independently make different incremental improvements, and then merge all the improved CAD drawings together such that the combined CAD drawing that includes all the improvements.

OpenSCAD is a non-visual, programmer-oriented solid modeling tool.[4]

OpenSCAD 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. ^ Ulrich Rückert, Sitte Joaquin, Werner Felix. "Advances in Autonomous Mini Robots: Proceedings of the 6-th AMiRE Symposium". 2012. p. 61. quote: "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]

  • Official website
  • OpenSCAD User Manual at Wikibooks
  • Media related to OpenSCAD at Wikimedia Commons
  • OpenSCAD page on Shapeoko wiki — includes links to supporting utilities, special purpose tools (such as a screw generator) and includes an example of creating a Machinist's diamond, circle, square milling test as a parameterized file suitable for re-creating at any desired size.