Bryan Bishop

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Bryan Bishop is the leader of Open Manufacturing.

Discussion on Open Source CAD

> We are working on a Specification for an open source cloud CAD solution > based on FreeCAD. Have you given thought to a simple Architecture for an > open source cloud CAD solution?

Someone has already implemented this... Shapesmith was a cloud-based wrapper around OpenCASCADE, which is essentially the role that FreeCAD plays, it's just an additional layer around OpenCASCADE. I think that FreeCAD is an excellent effort, but ultimately it is undermined by the bugs and unreliability and unmaintainability of OpenCASCADE. I have spent a tremendous amount of time reading OpenCASCADE source code. It's a mess. There's really no way to get out of this mess. The only way is to start over. I have documented my findings about OpenCASCADE here:

The most promising CAD direction that I have seen recently has been the verbnurbs project. Originally written in javascript, has recently been rewritten in a language called haxe which cross-compiles to multiple other language targets including python, C++, javascript, etc. Was originally intended for CAD in the browser. Peter Boyer <>

Another interesting recent development has been Solvespace:

There is an MIT journal club that has been focusing on open-source CAD, although I haven't been paying attention for the past few weeks.... I think some of the Mach30 people are involved for some reason, I am sure you know them. I made a quasi-offer to eventually fund an open-source CAD project of some kind, or eventually directly participate in the implementation on my own. However, the number one problem is that nobody knows how to actually implement actual NURBS-based surface-intersection, and hiring great people is fairly expensive and blows the budget.....

Anyway the cadquery person has made a python wrapper around FreeCAD, I think he runs as well: Dave Cowden <>

I think the relevant Mach30 person is: Jeremy Wright <>

For the MIT journal club group focusing on open-source CAD, the contact person is: Nancy Ouyang <>

Finally, we totally miss you in ##hplusroadmap on ! We would love to catch up with you as a group sometime...

- Bryan

Austin Fab Lab?

Bryan, Les, Ben, and Dave are building an open source fab lab in Austin - the Austin Fab Lab.

Their business model is renting work space to people.

Cast of Characters

Bryan Bishop - - interest in self-replication; ME student at UT Austin

Les Philip - - pumped and energetic - interested in making it economically feasible - coop model - renting space to people. Is a woodworker. Educated in electrical engineering.

Ben Lipkowitz - installing electronics for Austin Fab Lab, moved from Indiana on Wednesday

Sam Rose - in there

Dave Rauchwerk - - Unpatent - project management system for hardware, more into software and manufacturing automation with 6-axis robot - 1/2000 accuracy

Inventory List - [1] - Austin Fab Lab

Mechmate - OS xy table

SKDB - part mating, cad file system, instruction, packaging

Dave Pinhave - of Ponoko - suggested packaging software

Parametric description -

Wrapper for GNU units

YAML files for fab lab inventories

Automated Design Lab