Hi folks. My design chops are mostly honed by making things for 3D printing, and in preparation for the eventual arrival of my Glowforge I’ve been trying to to adapt some of my skills for 2D. One of my favorite tools for 3D design is OpenSCAD. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s a CAD program that produces precise 3D models by combining 3D shapes generated by a sort of programming language.
I’ve used the program to make various brackets and other doodads, so I’m pretty familiar with it (though not what you’d call an expert). One of the reasons I like it so much is, if designed correctly, you can make your designs parametric. Drop in a few new measurements and it’ll reconfigure the result to match the new size.
After buying a huge package of AAA batteries I started to think about how one might design a parametric battery dispenser that would adapt to different size batteries. Here’s what I came up with:
After some finagling, I got OpenSCAD to give me a DXF file, then loaded it into Inkscape and got this:
Now, I’ve never designed for 2D before, so I had no idea if this would work at all… So I printed it out and taped it to the box that the batteries came in, with the material settings set to match the thickness of the cardboard. Then I pulled out the exacto knife:
So it worked, though I didn’t put any thought into stuff like kerf thickness so heaven knows how it will work on a real laser and made from something more sturdy than cardboard.
Long story short, I guess I’m wondering if anybody has put any thought into OpenSCAD as a tool for Glowforge design? My file isn’t exactly clean or well commented, but if anyone wants to see the OpenSCAD code that created this (or the resulting DXF or SVG file), I can probably make them presentable enough to post.