GhostSCAD: Marrying OpenSCAD And Golang

It’s been at least a couple of months since we’ve seen a different 3D modeling language project, so here’s [Lukasz Janyst] with GhostSCAD: a take on creating OpenSCAD models, using the Go language as the front end, bringing all the delights this modern modular language has to offer (and a few of its own idiosyncrasies.) As [Lukasz] says in the blog, from a programmer’s viewpoint, openSCAD has a number of failings that make it not necessarily hard, just kinda annoying to work with, due to the way the geometry tree works. The OpenSCAD way of working ends up with the programmer requiring knowledge of the internal workings of sub-modules, in order to work at the top level (assembly) which is not an ideal situation from a code reuse perspective.

A programmer would describe this problem as “abstraction leakage” and it doesn’t make modular, reusable coding easy to do without a lot of extra work. [Lukasz] says regarding the example GhostSCAD project, that some parts were modeled in a way that knowledge was needed of some mounting points of sub-modules, but those sub-modules had no way to expose this information to the outside world. GhostSCAD enables the programmer to define parts that expose specific parameters to the world that can be queried, for example, to produce a joining part, or an exploded assembly diagram. These properties can be interpreted without the querying module having any knowledge of the internal structure of the thing it’s working with. GhostSCAD provides a Java3D-like API for defining the geometry tree, which may be familiar to some.

The result of running the Go program is an openSCAD source file, which is not meant to be human-readable but can be subsequently executed and mesh files produced. So why not go check out the GitHub page, and dive into the examples? If you need to learn openSCAD first before you find out its shortcomings, then do check out our guide to mastering openSCAD.

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