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dcb 04-15-2009 09:06 PM

open 3D cad?
Folks, I would really like to see an open source tool standard adopted for 3d modelling.

Open tools are just better suited for open projects, this has ramifications for many aerodynamic projects and even some non aero stuff (like the openrevolt).

When the tools are open and common, anyone can contribute at anytime, legally, not just when company "A" is letting them use their tool for 90 days only to be followed up with a $9000 bill when the trial is over.

The resources can be put into a reusable format. A picture is pretty, but if someone else can bring it into the same format and build on it, then it becomes much more than just a static picture. It becomes a way for people to communicate more effectively with each other.

If something happens to person "X" who knew proprietary tool "A" and was the only one who had license (because his/her company could afford it) then "X"s work becomes deprecated.

I know a lot of folks are comfortable with "their" tools, and this may not be well received by those who already "know" what the best tool is. But as someone who has not spent much time using a 3d tool, but wanting to get started and do it in a community oriented fashion, it has a lot of merit.

Another large part of the problem is deciding if and which tool is best. I would target aerodynamics as being the primary discipline of concern when selecting a tools suitability, but certainly not the only concern.

Of course the other hardest part of the problem is just how many options there are in open source CAD land:

Category:Free computer-aided design software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But it would be nice to see some thoughtful discussion on it, and maybe a few victims willing to report on the various tools available. Perhaps it will lead to a vote at some point.

Well those are my thoughts, what are yours?

almightybmw 04-16-2009 01:58 AM

That'd be cool. I think it's called Google Sketch-Up. About as close as it gets really, and it's not open-source, but it's free. I personally pirate software that's useful to me, but since I'm in school I get all the school's versions free anyways, kinda mute. I see your point and need. It's a market that software hasn't filled yet. I suspect it will be, but the software won't be nearly as powerful as the current market leaders (autocad and solidworks come to mind).

Problem is, those who need are willing to shell out. Those who want to tinker don't need the enormous complexity those programs offer, they want something simpler. Sketch-Up does 90% of what most tinkerer's need.

dcb 04-16-2009 08:41 AM

Hmm, no native sketchup for linux/ubuntu. Looks like there has been some success under wine though:
GoogleSketchup - The Official Wine Wiki

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