What is a CadQuery?
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CadQuery has several goals:
* Build models with scripts that are as close as possible to how you'd describe the object to a human.
* Create parametric models that can be very easily customized by end users
* Output high quality CAD formats like STEP and AMF in addition to traditional STL
* Provide a non-proprietary, plain text model format that can be edited and executed with only a web browser
Using CadQuery, you can write short, simple scripts that produce high quality CAD models. It is easy to make many different objects using a single script that can be customized.
You can find the full cadquery documentation at http://dcowden.github.io/cadquery
Getting Started With CadQuery
The easiest way to get started with CadQuery is to Install FreeCAD (version 14+) (http://www.freecadweb.org/), and then to use our great CadQuery-FreeCAD plugin here: https://github.com/jmwright/cadquery-freecad-module
It includes the latest version of cadquery alreadby bundled, and has super-easy installation on Mac, Windows, and Unix.
It has tons of awesome features like integration with FreeCAD so you can see your objects, code-autocompletion, an examples bundle, and script saving/loading. Its definitely the best way to kick the tires!
We also have a Google Group to make it easy to get help from other CadQuery users. Please join the group and introduce yourself, and we would also love to hear what you are doing with CadQuery. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/cadquery
This resin mold was modeled using cadquery and then created on a CNC machine:
<img src="doc/_static/hyOzd-cablefix.png" width="350"/>
<img src="doc/_static/hyOzd-finished.jpg" width="350"/>
The cadquery script is surprisingly short, and allows easily customizing any of the variables::
import cadquery as cq
from Helpers import show
BS = cq.selectors.BoxSelector
mount_holes = True
# mold size
mw = 40
mh = 13
ml = 120
# wire and fix size
wd = 6 # wire diameter
rt = 7 # resin thickness
rl = 50 # resin length
rwpl = 10 # resin to wire pass length
# pocket fillet
pf = 18
# mount holes
mhd = 7 # hole diameter
mht = 3 # hole distance from edge
# filling hole
fhd = 6
# draw base
base = cq.Workplane("XY").box(ml, mw, mh, (True, True, False))
# draw wire
pocket = cq.Workplane("XY", (0, 0, mh)).moveTo(-ml/2., 0).line(0, wd/2.)\
.line((ml-rl)/2.-rwpl, 0).line(rwpl, rt).line(rl, 0)\
.line(rwpl, -rt).line((ml-rl)/2.-rwpl, 0)\
.line(0, -(wd/2.)).close().revolve(axisEnd=(1, 0))\
.edges(BS((-rl/2.-rwpl-.1, -100, -100), (rl/2.+rwpl+.1, 100, 100)))\
r = base.cut(pocket)
# mount holes
px = ml/2.-mht-mhd/2.
py = mw/2.-mht-mhd/2
r = r.faces("<Z").workplane().pushPoints([
# fill holes
r = r.faces("<Y").workplane().center(0, mh/2.).pushPoints([
Thanks go to cadquery contributor hyOzd ( Altu Technology ) for the example!
Why CadQuery instead of OpenSCAD?
CadQuery is based on OpenCasCade. CadQuery shares many features with OpenSCAD, another open source, script based, parametric model generator.
The primary advantage of OpenSCAD is the large number of already existing model libaries that exist already. So why not simply use OpenSCAD?
CadQuery scripts have several key advantages over OpenSCAD:
1. **The scripts use a standard programming language**, python, and thus can benefit from the associated infrastructure.
This includes many standard libraries and IDEs
2. **More powerful CAD kernel** OpenCascade is much more powerful than CGAL. Features supported natively
by OCC include NURBS, splines, surface sewing, STL repair, STEP import/export, and other complex operations,
in addition to the standard CSG operations supported by CGAL
3. **Ability to import/export STEP** We think the ability to begin with a STEP model, created in a CAD package,
and then add parametric features is key. This is possible in OpenSCAD using STL, but STL is a lossy format
4. **Less Code and easier scripting** CadQuery scripts require less code to create most objects, because it is possible to locate
features based on the position of other features, workplanes, vertices, etc.
5. **Better Performance** CadQuery scripts can build STL, STEP, and AMF faster than OpenSCAD.
CadQuery is licensed under the terms of the Apache Public License, version 2.0.
A copy of the license can be found at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
CadQuery GUI Interfaces
There are currently several known CadQuery GUIs:
### CadQuery FreeCAD Module
You can use CadQuery inside of FreeCAD. There's an excellent plugin module here https://github.com/jmwright/cadquery-freecad-module
### CadQuery GUI (under active development)
Work is underway on a stand-alone gui here: https://github.com/jmwright/cadquery-gui
If you are impatient and want to see a working example with no installation, have a look at this lego brick example http://parametricparts.com/parts/vqb5dy69/.
The script that generates the model is on the 'modelscript' tab.
Installing -- FreeStanding Installation
Use these steps if you would like to write CadQuery scripts as a python API. In this case, FreeCAD is used only as a CAD kernel.
1. install FreeCAD, version 0.15 or greater for your platform. https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases.
2. adjust your path if necessary. FreeCAD bundles a python interpreter, but you'll probably want to use your own,
preferably one that has virtualenv available. To use FreeCAD from any python interpreter, just append the FreeCAD
lib directory to your path. On (*Nix)::
or on Windows::
*NOTE* FreeCAD on Windows will not work with python 2.7-- you must use pthon 2.6.X!!!!
3. install cadquery::
pip install cadquery
3. test your installation::
from cadquery import *
box = Workplane("XY").box(1,2,3)
You're up and running!
Installing -- Using CadQuery from Inside FreeCAD
Use the Excellent CadQuery-FreeCAD plugin here:
It includes a distribution of the latest version of cadquery.
Work is underway on two other installation methods for cadquery:
1. a conda package, which will install CQ and all of its depedencies, if you are using Anaconda
2. a Docker image, which comes ready-to-run after you have installed docker.
Work has also begun on Cadquery 2.0, which will feature:
1. Feature trees, for more powerful selection
2. Direct use of OpenCascade Community Edition(OCE), so that it is no longer required to install FreeCAD
3. https://github.com/jmwright/cadquery-gui, which will allow visualization of workplanes
Where does the name CadQuery come from?
CadQuery is inspired by jQuery, a popular framework that
If you are familiar with how jQuery, you will probably recognize several jQuery features that CadQuery uses:
* A fluent api to create clean, easy to read code
* Language features that make selection and iteration incredibly easy
* Ability to use the library along side other python libraries
* Clear and complete documentation, with plenty of samples.