While there are always extreme cases, there’s a good chance that if you’re using OpenSCAD, you’re probably working on a CAD model that you intend to 3D print at some point. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s all you can do this in OpenSCAD, but that’s probably what it does best. If you wanted to make artistic models, or maybe render what your new kitchen will look like, there are other tools better suited for such tasks.
But thanks to
lasercut.scad, a library that [Brendan Sleight] has been working for several years, we may have to reconsider our preconceived dimensional notions. Instead of designing parts for 3D printing, its library is about creating parts for subtractive manufacturing. Originally (as the name suggests) it was geared towards laser cutting, but the project has since evolved to support CNC routers, vinyl cutters, and just about anything that can follow a file. DXF.
The library has functions for creating the standard tips used to build things from laser cut parts, like finger joints, captive nuts, and assembly tabs. If this was something you saw once holding together an old wooden 3D printer kit at the time, you can probably recreate it with
lasercut.scad. It even supports a pretty wild rotating piece of carpentry, courtesy of [Martin Raynsford].
Can’t afford to focus enough angry photons on your room? No problem. The library has since been adapted to take into account a parametric kerf width, which allows you to set the amount of bite your particular tool will take from the material when it does its job. There are even special functions for processing very fine cuts, which [Brendan] demonstrate by assembling a box from a sheet of vinyl.
Of course, those who have used OpenSCAD will know that there is no “Export for CNC” button anywhere in the stock interface. So to take your design and produce a file that your cutter can understand, [Brendan] has included a Bash script that will perform the OpenSCAD incantations necessary to produce a 2D DXF file.
[Brendan] decided to send this one out after seeing the Aluminum Case OpenSCAD library we covered recently. If you have your own favorite project that bends any hardware or software as you like, please let us know.