? Blender as environment for Home Design CAD?

A customer of mine has an application [ Autocad + vba + library dwg, with customized menu and macro ] that is like one of the many home designer software you might get around.

Details:
– it designs fences
– it does some calculation (like shortening some bars if You choose some round curve, counting the number of bars if your patio is 5 meters, etc)
– it does at the end the export in .mdb of all necessary elements (the latter is not necessary feature)

I have to re-write it all without Autocad, from scratch. It’s going to be sold via download or cd.

1
is Blender an environment for this kind of application (little rendering, more calculation an drag and drop of elements)?
[ I’m speaking TECHNICALLY,if YES I’ll proceed with NAN to get licence and so on]

2
is !=1, any suggestions?

Long live the free software
From sunny and Hot Italy
e.>

That’s all easy stuff to do with a python script integrated in Blender. The drag and drop part would be harder, but not impossible.

Compared to scripting in VBA, Python is heaven.

Martin

I wrote something similar once - only for truss design. You picked a roof style/pitches and location (for snow loads) etc. and it generated plans and bill of materials.

I don’t think blender is the way for you to go on this

  1. You could only license the pre-gpl release of blender from nan otherwise you would have to approach all contributers since the gpl’ed version and get licences from them (or release the source code on the cd)

  2. You would have to completely re-write the interface. A python script running on top of blender wouldn’t hide the blender interface (although this can probably be gotten around) which would just confuse the hell out of your target audience. Python scripting in the pre-gpl’ed version was pretty limiting compared to what it is now.

  3. It would probably be easier to approach a firm such as http://www.bighammer.com/ and licence their source and the add your fence styles and convert to whatever languages you wish.

Using blender wouldn’t be impossible, but sort of like using a screwdriver for a hammer.

Hope this helps
GreyBeard

EDIT
http://www.bighammer.com/fencebot.asp?sm=ds.fd
This link takes you directly to their fence design software

You can use GPL code for in house tools without having to give away the source code, as long as you don’t redistribute it. Anyhow, for his purpose, I really don’t think modifications to the source code are needed.

  1. You would have to completely re-write the interface. A python script running on top of blender wouldn’t hide the blender interface (although this can probably be gotten around) which would just confuse the hell out of your target audience.

That could probably be solved rather easily by creating a blend file with only a 3D window and a script window. That shouldn’t be too confusing.

The main advantage of using Blender for that would be to have access to all the bells and whistle of the rendering engine. Heck, you could probably even modify the fiber script to automaticly generate grass fields between the fences. :slight_smile:

Martin

Could one code this into a Blender Game? So to hide the Blender interface?
I understand that the Python you can use with the game engine is limited, right? Like, it doesn´t have all the Python modules… Is there any workaround for this?

If I remember correctly, this is only true when you run the blend file in the blenderplayer/as standalone or in the web plugin which used sandboxed version of Python. You should have access to all the modules if you run it directly in Blender.

Martin

I have to re-write it all without Autocad, from scratch. It’s going to be sold via download or cd.

He wants to sell it! Edit Not for inhouse use

That could probably be solved rather easily by creating a blend file with only a 3D window and a script window. That shouldn’t be too confusing.

The market for this stuff is for completely non technical users. You would have to disable splitting of windows, you would have to lock certain views to certain projections, you would have to add a complete dimensioning system, You would have to disable changing of window types. The interface would have to be modified substantially.

Could one code this into a Blender Game? So to hide the Blender interface?
I understand that the Python you can use with the game engine is limited, right? Like, it doesn´t have all the Python modules… Is there any workaround for this?

That is a reasonable possibility although I don’t know enough about the game engine to comment on it.

Still not really a problem as long as he makes the source code available. The question is: is that the case here?

The market for this stuff is for completely non technical users. You would have to disable splitting of windows, you would have to lock certain views to certain projections, you would have to add a complete dimensioning system, You would have to disable changing of window types. The interface would have to be modified substantially.

That would be harder indeed.

Martin