A new solid modeling tool called OpenJsCad was released a few days ago. Thingiverse user joostn created it to get around some frustrations that he was having with OpenSCAD, including a feature that many others have clamoured for: variables!
The tool can run in any WebGL-capable browser, and has a separate, offline parser for heavy lifting. It’s too early to guess at what kind of adoption there might be, but the embedding feature could make sharing parametric models even easier.
For example, if someone who has no knowledge of OpenSCAD came across a parametric lens cap holder on Thingiverse, they would need to download and install software, download the script, figure out how to edit it, then export an STL file.
But if OpenJsCad were to take off, a creator might mark certain variables in their script as user-editable, then embed the whole thing on a Thingiverse page where changes could be seen in real-time and exported for printing in one click.
For fun, I took my old 4X LEGO tophat OpenSCAD script and turned it into an OpenJsCad version:
Pretty easy! I may have another modeling tool to share next week, but for now you should check out OpenJsCad here: http://joostn.github.com/OpenJsCad/
(via the MakerBot blog)
Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.