[Bf-funboard] adding cad features to blender with python?
antont at kyperjokki.fi
Tue Jan 16 13:17:03 CET 2007
am just wondering if it would be feasible to add cad features to Blender
using Python (well, i guess thinking this is not surprising coming from
me, but oh well seems to be my role here :)
am encouraged to think so because of the existing Python-written CAD
tools out there - though i have never used any cad app myself (i did see
autocad >15 years ago! first time when i saw a dual screen setup, back
then you could do with a vga + hercules card on a pc .. autocad was
still dos-based i think), and have not tested these recent py attempts
either, has anyone here?
http://www.pythoncad.org/ is on the mature side, "Work began on
PythonCAD in July,
2002, and the first public release was on December 21, 2002. The
thirty-fifth release of PythonCAD was made available on December 19, 2006.".
looking at screenshots like http://www.pythoncad.org/images/part1.png i
doubt that sort of stuff is ever added to Blender core (that is defining
angles in degrees, visualing those things like that), though of course i
can be just wrong there. certainly basic snapping etc. makes sense in
Blender core but i mean there is perhaps all sorts of other things that
CAD needs but which won't be internal in Blender, which is not primarily
targeted as a CAD tool..
a solution might be adding such features with a script-based suite - it
seems spacehandlers for doing custom hooks in the 3d view work ok
nowadays so you can already make custom tools like that. i know e.g.
MakeHuman started as a script but switched to another base, but recent
examples like Blender2Crystal (the crystal space exporter that is almost
like an own app running in the 3d view) have seemed promising to me. and
now that Ton is starting soon with the event refactor (he even mentioned
it in an interview, i guess he has to now :p), perhaps working towards
the so-called tool-api too, we hopefully get much nicer and integral
ways to make special apps on top of Blender core.
who knows, it might be even possible to merge stuff from other
py-written CAD projects (pythoncad is not the only one, there are
several newer ones but i don't know anything about them) to be used by
the blendercad system too. and as those other projects miss almost all
the other features of Blender, perhaps it could be an attractive
platform even for the original developers to start using (they already
have diff. frontends it seems, something ugly looking on x11 (oh gtk it
seems, old screenshots i guess) and an alternative cocoa for macosx too
(tho not well maintained they say).
of course another and probably much simpler option would be to use a cad
tool like that externally, and then just import the data to blender for
render & anim & physics sim and such, i guess ppl are already doing that?
just a thought,
More information about the Bf-funboard