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OpenSCAD User Manual

larger designs; Render uses CGAL as its geometry engine.

OpenSCAD provides two types of 3D modelling,
Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) or extrusion of 2D
primitives into 3D space.
Autocad DXF les are used as the data exchange format
for 2D outlines. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion it is
also possible to read design parameters from DXF les.
Besides DXF les OpenSCAD can read and create 3D
models in the STL and OFF le formats.
OpenSCAD can be downloaded from http://openscad.
org/. You may nd extra information in the mailing list.
People who don't want to (or can't) install new software
on their computer may be able to use OpenJSCAD ( http:
// ), a port of OpenSCAD that runs in
a web browser, if your browser supports WebGL

A pt_BR translation of this document is avaliable on

GitHub repository (not completed/on development)


Teachers: A basic 25 slide presentation is made freely

OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD ob- available under GNUFDL to walk your students through
the process of using OpenSCAD here
It is free software and available for GNU/Linux, MS WinFablab Lannion (France) edited a nice (french speaking)
dows and Apple OS X.
interactive tutorial that you might appreciate.
Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such
as the well-known application Blender), OpenSCAD does First Steps
not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling, but instead focuses on the CAD aspects. So it might be the
application you are looking for when you are planning to 2 Overview
create 3D models of machine parts, but probably is not
what you are looking for when you are more interested in
1. First Steps
creating computer-animated movies or organic life-like
2. The OpenSCAD User Interface
3. The OpenSCAD Language

OpenSCAD, unlike many CAD product, is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 2D/3Dcompiler that reads in a program le that describes the
object and renders the model from this le. This gives
you (the designer) full control over the modelling process
and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling
process or make designs that are dened by congurable

(a) General - READ THIS FIRST. Comments,

variables & input, dxf_dim()
(b) Primitive Solids - cube, sphere, cylinder &
(c) Mathematical Operators
(d) Mathematical Functions

OpenSCAD has two main operating modes, Preview and

Render. Preview is relatively fast using 3D graphics and
the computers GPU, but is an approximation of the model
and can produce artifacts; Preview uses OpenCSG and
OpenGL. Render generates exact geometry and a fully
tessellated mesh, it is not an approximation and as such
it is often a lengthy process, taking minutes or hours for

i. Trigonometric (cos sin tan acos asin atan

ii. Other (abs ceil concat cross exp oor ln
len let log lookup max min norm pow
rands round sign sqrt)
(e) String Functions - str, chr

(f) List Comprehensions
(g) Transformations - Size & placement. scale,
resize, rotate, translate, mirror, multmatrix,
oset, color, minkowski & hull
(h) Conditional and Iterator Functions - for, if &
(i) CSG Modelling - Combine primitives. union,
dierence, intersection & render
(j) Modier Characters - Debugging aids, % # !
(k) Modules - Write your
tive/transformation function



(l) User-Dened Functions

(m) Include Statement
(n) Other Language Features - Special '$' variables, echo, render, surface, search , version()
& version_num()
4. Using the 2D Subsystem
(a) 2D Primitives - square, circle, polygon &
(b) Text - Generate text using installed or user supplied font les.
(c) 3D to 2D Projection - projection
(d) 2D to 3D Extrusion - linear_extrude &
(e) DXF Extrusion
(f) Other 2D formats
5. STL Import and Export
(a) STL Import
(b) STL Export
6. Commented Example Projects
7. Using an external Editor with OpenSCAD
8. Using OpenSCAD in a command line environment
9. Building OpenSCAD from Sources
(a) Building on Linux/UNIX
(b) Cross-compiling for Windows on Linux or
Mac OS X
(c) Building on Windows (Outdated)
(d) Building on Windows (New)
(e) Building on Mac OS X
(f) Submitting patches
10. Libraries
11. Command Glossary - Very short name and syntax


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



OpenSCAD User Manual Source: Contributors: Xania,

Adrignola, Tenbergen, VanishedUser sdu9aya9fasdsopa, Cliordwolf, Clothbot, Markhobley, Kintel, Chrysn, NicholasCLewis, Theorbtwo,
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