Thursday, February 28, 2013

User Feedback: Why CadQuery and not OpenSCAD?

We're still working hard on the beta launch, but in the meantime we've gotten some great feedback from users:

  • We need to be able to import STEP and STL files
  • Its a concern that OpenSCAD modules cannot be used

We're working on file importing, and hope to have  STEP and STL in the first release.

OpenSCAD modules, unfortunately are not on our radar.  Though it is possible, using OpenSCAD modules do not fit our vision for 3D Productivity, for two reasons:

  1. They are very labor intensive to create, requiring many more lines of code than we think should be necessary, and
  2. They run very slowly for complex objects-- too slow, in fact, to be productive for end users.
We understand that a library of components and functions is essential to productivity.  We hope that the user communitity will help build these modules on the CadQuery platform, but we're also commited to making it happen.  Since Parametric Parts can use python scripts, many scripts from FreeCAD and Blender can be relatively easily ported.  Though there are many openSCAD modules, there are many _more_ python scripts out there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Introducing ParametricParts, Productivity for 3d

Content is king, especially for 3d printing.

Meet  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.  

We're excited because we think this tool will change the way people approach 3d.  We need to stop searching for pre-build 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.

We have an alpha product up and running-- you can give it a try for free with no signup

Make sure to check out the ModelScript tab-- one key feature is a 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.

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

Let us know what you think!  
You can reply here or email us :

Founding Parametric Parts: The vision

Why  Parametric Parts?

Parametric Parts will be a platform to produce objects for 3d printing... But in a much more efficient way than cataloging STL files.

Would you have a printer at home if the only things you could print had to be created in Adobe Photoshop?  If you are a business, the answer might be "yes", but for most people the answer is "no".

Most people don't' have the time and money to learn Adobe Photoshop or Quark. But the game changes completely with a "productivity" package like Microsoft Office because it becomes easy enough to create content that many users can afford the learning curve.  The productivity is worth much more than the limitations on what you can create.

That's why the vast majority of content printed on home printers was produced with Microsoft Office or some other 'productivity' software.

With all the buzz lately around 3d printers, its time that we start working on making tools to get 3d content easily and quickly-- for the rest of us, not just the engineers and geeks.

That's what Parametric Parts is:  Productivity for 3D.