MUGNY Launches OpenSCAD Study Group

MUGNY OpenSCAD Study Group

This Thursday evening at the MakerBot Workshop, the New York MakerBot User Group (MUGNY) will launch a monthly Study Group focusing on the parametric CAD application OpenSCAD. OpenSCAD is cross-platform and open-source, a phenomenally powerful tool that has been getting quite a bit of attention on Thingiverse and beyond. And if it is a wee bit under-documented, counter-intuitive, and eccentric, well….that is where a Study Group comes in!

Those of us pulling this study group together (Liz Arum, Jon Santiago, and Matt Griffin) believe strongly that a wider audience of MakerBot Operators (and Thingiverse Modelers) will embrace this tool and push it even further if many of us roll up our sleeves and do the footwork to compile and generate curriculum, tutorials, libraries, and example files that demonstrate practically how to use this application.

We will be kicking off by revisiting MakerBlock and Allan Ecker’s excellent tutorial series on the Thingiverse and MakerBot blogs, investigating in-development tools such as Marty McGuire’s OpenSCAD Polygon Output for Inkscape, experimenting and reporting on the many many OpenSCAD libraries you can grab from Thingiverse and beyond, and generally digging in deep to see what we can find.

If you are MakerBot Operator in the greater New York area and want to attend, please RSVP via Eventbrite for event location details.

Before you arrive to the first session, please take a look at MakerBlock’s OpenSCAD Basics tutorial series — and make sure to get OpenSCAD installed and ready to go before you arrive:

  1. OpenSCAD Basics: The Setup
  2. OpenSCAD Basics: 2D Forms
  3. OpenSCAD Basics: 3D forms
  4. OpenSCAD Basics:  Manipulating Forms


Start Yer Own Study Group

Members of MUGNY decided to jump into OpenSCAD for our Study Group, but there are quite a few topics and areas of research out there in the Thingiverse for other MakerBot User Groups to tackle.

If you’d like to start your own Study Group, please do so! Declare a meeting and get started with your investigations. But once you are underway, let us know what topic your group has picked and when you and your fellow MakerBot Operators and Thingiverse Modelers will be meeting for the second and later meetings so that we can share details here on the MakerBot blog to reach everyone in your area who might be available to chip in!

Some popular topics that MUGNY considered before selecting OpenSCAD:

  • “Finishing Techniques” — Your MakerBot wrapped up printing a part– now what else can you do with it? What paints, sandpapers, adhesives and solvents work best?
  • “Blender for Solid Modelers” — Blender has a reputation for being intimidating that might be shifting away with the release of 2.5 and 2.6. But still, with so many tools and modifiers and techniques — which are the best practices for using Blender for MakerBotting?