Open source / Open Standard CAD development?

Mats Eriksson datorfixarn at
Wed Apr 9 03:49:41 CEST 2008

Maybe BRL-CAD can be a solution?


Mats Eriksson wrote:
> Hi guys,
> My first post here :)
> I am seeing the OpenMoko project as the first serious project to develop
> hardware in "bazaar-style" fashion. A personal dream would like to build
> a "OpenCar" in "bazaar-style" fashion in the future.
> The reason why I joined list is that I found the CAD files of the
> Neo1973 at the site. It is great that these files are 
> available, even if they are in a proprietary data format (the ProE, 
> not the STEP one), and very likely developed using a proprietary CAD 
> application.
> Personally, I have a software development company, in which I have
> been developing tailored software for my clients, mostly with open
> source technologies, and sometimes with, at least well known, closed
> source techs like .NET . Therefore, it was a shockening moment when I
> during 2007 did a consultancy project for an industrial company
> producing water taps. It meant going back at least ten years in time, 
> back into proprietary hell! Proprietary systems (including proprietary
> interfaces between systems) and proprietary data. CAD was done with
> proprietary software, often with more than one CAD system, resulting in
> incompatible, binary-only data.
> So my questions for the OpenMoko community are:
> * Does there exist any "usable" open source CAD systems? (Is perhaps 
> Open CASCAE a viable semi-open option?)
> * Is it possible to use a human readable format for CAD data? (Is 
> perhaps STEP enough for development, or just a format for interchange 
> between different CAD applications?)
> And the most important question:
> * Is the OpenMoko community interested in  using open source tools 
> (possibly together with a human readable format) for developing 
> "non-software" parts?
> Best regards
> Mats Eriksson

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