Tag Archives: OpenSCAD

CAD, templates and a couple of glamour shots

I’ve been working today on the design for Felix,  trying to tidy up the space for the electronics. The new body template is designed to fit an Arduino Uno board and an Adafruit 16×12 servo shield.
I’m trying to get up to speed with Autodesk Fusion 360. It’s great software, but to do this sort of stuff I keep coming back to OpenSCAD.

In order to get some “Fusion time”, I exported the template from OpenSCAD to STL format and uploaded it to Fusion 360. I also downloaded 3D models of an Arduino and a HiTech Servo from GrabCAD.com. Then I spend some time playing with the render:


You can grab the OpenSCAD files from the repo:

and the DXF and SVG templates as well:

I still need to add a license file to the repo, but it’s a regular MIT license.

And speaking of CAD, I recently wrote a post for Makezine: http://makezine.com/2015/04/20/understand-1700-mechanical-linkages-helpful-animations/. It’s a short highlight of Mr. Đức thắng Nguyễn’s YouTube Channel. The channel is an amazing collection of complex animated mechanism he has documented with Autodesk Inventor over the last 10 years.

Working on the body design

Yesterday I spend sometime at my local #fablab  #fablabnordvest learning to know their Chinese Laser cutter. I used 4mm. white acrylic.

The design was made with #iDraw and exported to SVG (You can download the SVG here Body.svg). But my Chinese friend only speaks DXF or AI. After importing the converted AI file, I realised that I needed to do some cleanup of the path. Some of the patterns appeared twice(?).

Anyhow, it’s always mesmerising to watch a machine do it’s work.

After playing with the assembly, I want to redesign the way the lid is attached and I will like to make a   smaller version for 9g servos. Probably the easiest way to do this is to use OpenSCAD to create a parametric model with the size of the servos as a dynamic variable, and then create a projection which I can export to DXF.



I have started modelling Felix in OpenSCAD. OpenSCAD is the bees-knees – if you don’t like to move your hands from the keyboard.

OpenSCAD is an Open Source tool to create solid 3D CAD objects. You can create quite complex objects ready to be 3D printed. But this is not a interactive modeller, you describe your model in text.

Many years ago in school i used to model in Form-Z, later in Blender and SketchUp, but allways the point and click drove me mad.

Last year I discovered OpenSCAD, and for the kind of stuff I currently model (mostly mechanical contraptions) it is perfect. I have been a Vim user for many years and by setting  OpenSCAD  to automatically reload and compile (from the Design Menu), I can describe all my geometry in Vim with solid syntax highlighting and (for me) a very natural workflow.

So I begin by modelling the TowerPro servo and the two types of servo horns I plan to use with Felix.



You can follow the development (and download the CAD files) from my GitHub repository.