I have been working on some big changes to Shapesmith that makes it vastly more usable to create and edit models - the introduction of a workplane. The workplane will be the basis for mouse interaction when creating primitives, doing transformations etc. The workplane is centered at (0,0,0) at the moment, with no ability to move it around, but that's coming.
Workplanes, or local reference planes, are very useful things. Often when designing a 3D model, you work within a reference plane. For example, if you are building a car, you might create a reference plane at each wheel location, so modelling each wheel is easier. It allows you to focus on the local work area without distraction.
Up to now, you might have been able to build some really nice models with Shapesmith, but you couldn't share them except for exporting the printable STL version. What if you wanted to publish something for others to customize or improve? Now you can export and import models in a native JSON format, so you can publish and share your designs with others.
It all started with an airfoil. I created Shapesmith because I wanted to design & 3D print a UAV, and the tools available were not what I wanted. Well, I'm happy to announce that I (and YOU*) can design bezier-based, parametric airfoils with Shapesmith 0.7
When I started Shapesmith, my vision was to create a simple, yet powerful 3D modelling application. Up to a few weeks ago my main focus was on creating a strong technical foundation that I could build on, and I'm quite pleased with the current architecture. Usability had been important, but not the top priority. This has changed.
This has taken a bit longer than I had hoped! Welcome to the Shapesmith blog and my first post about shapesmith.net. This is a quick update on the project and the plans for the near future.