[Bf-funboard] adding cad features to blender with python?

Roger hovergo at net-tech.com.au
Wed Jan 17 00:36:49 CET 2007

Having used a number of CAd tools, I return to Blender every time, it's a very good piece of
software, easy to transfer mind images to computer.
All one needs is an eye for conformation to get comparitive  objests looking good.

I just has a look at PythonCAD, its interesting, however misses the point of creating objects in a 
real life way. Like Autocad and so many other packages, It reminds me of the old drafting days. CAD 
packages without exception resort to 2D, pen on paper, which requires certain drafting skills to 
produce elevations from.
2D CAD is great for plan elevation and side elevations which as jpegs or png's  form a background 
upon which Blender models are formed.
Maybe this is the way to go after all.
Blender literally enforces the natural 3Dness of creation maybe that can be th mind set, start off 
with flat world drawings and then Blenderise them to 3D.

Toni Alatalo wrote:
> hi,
> 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,
> ~Toni
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