Introduction

OpenSCAD allows you to create three-dimensional models using Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG). The idea is to create complex geometries by combining a limited set of simple basic elements such as spheres, cylinders or boxes - a bit like how you used to play with building blocks as a child.

The special feature of OpenSCAD is that the geometry is specified via a purely textual description and not, for example, by using a pointing device in a graphical editor. This approach predestines OpenSCAD for a whole range of use cases that would be more difficult to implement in systems with a more interactive usage scheme. For example:

Of course, there are also use cases for which OpenSCAD is not suitable. These include, for example, the creation of artistic or photorealistic 3D graphics and animations. The unusual approach of describing geometry textually may initially give the impression that it is difficult and laborious to work in this way. Fortunately, this is not the case. The necessary learning curve is much flatter than it appears at first glance. Once you have internalized a few basic principles of this way of working, you can create even complex geometries without much difficulty. This book will help you to learn these basic principles quickly and easily by working through ten sample projects.

The projects are aimed in particular at those who want to design three-dimensional objects for their 3D printer or CNC milling machine. It is precisely in this area of application that OpenSCAD shines due to its high level of parameterizability.

Availability of OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a freely available, open source software that you can download for free from the website www.openscad.org. Versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux are offered in the download section of the website. This book refers to OpenSCAD version 2019.05.

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