Taking a look at ManifoldCAD

I’ve been taking a brief look at ManifoldCAD, a 3DCAD program in the style of OpenSCAD that runs in the browser and uses Javascript. ManifoldCAD is a relative new project from Emmet Lalish. It’s free and open source software (Apache-2.0 license).

In case you are not familiar with these kind of CAD programs, instead of drawing, the 3d model is scripted. As mentioned above ManifoldCAD uses Javascript which may appeal to people that are already familiar with that programming language.

ManifoldCAD has some very interesting features such as a warp, smooth and refine function to create complex and smooth models. Also the interface looks modern and is very easy to work with. It also features a number of examples that can help to get you started.

Once finished models can be exported as GLB files. The GLB file format is the binary version of the human readable glTF file format. Since I’m a 3d printer it’s important that 3d models that I created can be used in my favorite slicers. Unfortunately GLB files cannot be imported into Prusaslicer (version 2.7.1). However it can be imported into Cura (5.6.0).

Manifold is the geometry library where ManifoldCAD is based on. In fact ManifoldCAD is kind of a demonstration of the capabilities of Manifold. Not surprisingly Manifold is from the same author.

If you like Javascript and 3d modeling ManifoldCAD is certainly worth to take a look at. It’s fast, it runs in the browser and it has a nice modern interface. The downside of ManifoldCAD is currently the documentation and support. Although the Manifold library is well documented I didn’t find it suitable as an introduction into ManifoldCAD. Also a forum would be a nice addition for people to ask questions and discuss.

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