Tuesday, February 26, 2013

 

Introducing Parametric Parts, Productivity for 3D


Content is king, and it's especially true for 3d printing.

That's why I'm proud and excited to introduce Parametric Parts, an alpha product we've been working on that aims to make it easier than ever to create 3d models.

Parametric Parts allows customizing, previewing, downloading, and printing 3d models with your browser. Every model is parametric!

We have an alpha product up and running-- you can give it a try for free with no signup: http://www.parametricparts.com/parts/6m3vp9jd/

We'd love to know what you think!

We're excited because we think this tool will change the way people approach 3d.  We need to stop searching for pre-built models and start making them based on the task at hand.  

2d printers showed up at home when Microsoft Office made it easy to create documents.  And we think 3d printers needs the same thing --  Productivity for 3D.

Make sure to check out the ModelScript tab. If you are a hacker, you'll appreciate the cool, fluent API for creating objects.   The sample is a pillow block with counterbored holes-- outside of definition of user parameters, its implemented in 4 lines of code.  

If you'd like to see lots of samples, check out the Examples

Give it a try! Just go easy on us, its just an alpha!

Let us know what you think! 


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Comments:
Can it take a .stl file as input? It would be 1000% more valuable to me if it could.
 
"Model Scripts are written in python, and a fluent-api called CadQuery."

:(
No parametric Alibre, Solidworks, ProE,... designs and not even OpenSCAD.
At least it's build on top of FreeCAD, so an import of STEP should be possible some day.
 
Hi, Guys:

Thanks so much for your interest!

Buzz: I could add ability to import STL-- and in fact, i can also import STEP and AMF. These are not currently implemented.

You can definitely export STL, STEP, and also AMF.

You are right of course that it is impossible to import the work already available in OpenSCAD right now-- but this may be possible soon, because FreeCAD has added ability to import openscad.

This is good feedback, I will work on the ability to import. I have some of the functionality in place, but it is just not published and documented.

I considered using OpenSCAD as the backend, and in fact if that is your preference, Thingiverse customizer already does that.

I built an API because:

(1) openscad is really slow compared to freecad

(2) i feel like it takes _way_ too much code to generate objects using OpenSCAD.

If you know about jquery, cadquery is like that-- it makes building objects much easier.

Have a look at the samples here to get a feeling for whether you like it or not

http://www.parametricparts.com/docs/examples.html#examples

I would love your feedback, and i do appreciate that feedback you have already provided as well! I'll work on import features!
 
@Buzz

One comment about importing STL: one of the main benefits of my stack is that the objects are true Breps-- not just meshes. That allows doing things that are hard when you have an STL object.

For example, suppose you have an object and you want to select one of the faces ( say of a block). If you have a true brep, you can do that. but if you have an STL mesh, you of course have a bunch of triangular faces, which is not nearly as useful.

In the end a big part of my vision is to discontinue the practice of defining objects in part or in full using STL-- instead perferring STEP or other formats. Of course i need to generate STL, but AMF is really a much better format for triangulated meshes for the purposes of printing.
 
Hi,

In the interest of interoperability, are you going to make Parametric Parts (or at lease CADQuery) Open Source?. I'd like to see a local command-line version or library for this. I believe this would also help porting models between existing systems, as well as helping people feeling locked in (ref Tinkercad).

I'm aware that python scripts can be rewritten to any other tool out there, but rewriting is different from running ;)
 
Hi:
We've gotten that question a lot lately-- which is good!

After much discussion, the short answer is... Yes! We are mainly discussing which license to use. We are leaning towards LGPL. We hope to release the source within a few weeks-- some cleanup and refactoring is necessary to avoid being embarrassed.

Dave
 
Hi:
We've gotten that question a lot lately-- which is good!

After much discussion, the short answer is... Yes! We are mainly discussing which license to use. We are leaning towards LGPL. We hope to release the source within a few weeks-- some cleanup and refactoring is necessary to avoid being embarrassed.

Dave
 
Hi:
We've gotten that question a lot lately-- which is good!

After much discussion, the short answer is... Yes! We are mainly discussing which license to use. We are leaning towards LGPL. We hope to release the source within a few weeks-- some cleanup and refactoring is necessary to avoid being embarrassed.

Dave
 
We're proud to announce that cadquery is now available as open source project:

https://github.com/dcowden/cadquery

Enjoy!
 
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