Julia Ma

Julia enjoys making things from technology, art, or a combination of both. She likes to call her projects “physical puns” as they are often built upon some word play. She currently works as a software engineer on the Google Surveys team.

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Generate, Extrude, Build: creating 3D objects in code

Python & Libraries, Beginner
8/18/2019 | 1:45 PM-2:15 PM | Boardroom


3D printers are becoming more and more accessible, but to create your own objects, you need to know how to generate 3D models. Get started by using OpenPyScad, a Python library that generates 3D-modeling source code.

This talk will go over the challenges I encountered while learning 3D modeling, including deciding on which tools to use and how to think about 3D objects in code.


Intro (2 min): I am a software engineer who likes making physical things, which is my motivation for learning 3D modeling using Python. Which tools I tried and how I picked OpenPyScad (10 min): Brief description on how to think about 3D objects (ie creating a polygon, extruding, adding/subtracting volume using Boolean operations, etc). Then I’ll go into the 3D modeling tools I tried and why I ended up not using them (Solidworks, Blender, Sketchup), which led me to OpenScad and discovering the OpenPyScad library, which lets me programmatically generate 3D models using Python. OpenPyScad library its connection to OpenScad (10 min): Brief overview of the documentation, installing the library, and features of the library that I used to generate my objects. This section will include sample code. I’ll also show some quirks with OpenPyScad/OpenScad that I encountered. Demo of my project (3 min): I’ll show a bit of my code, make simple modifications, click ‘generate’, open resulting object in OpenScad. I’ll also have some of the 3D objects that I’ve printed on hand.