GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Code-in 2012 BRL-CAD

Create BRL-CAD-to-Blender tutorial

completed by: John

mentors: Sean

Blender is a open source 3D content creation program.  While it's usually not at all well-suited for engineering, scientific, and other CAD purposes, it's a popular content editor that is really good at some forms of editing (surface editing in particular).

This task has you write a tutorial on how to model something in BRL-CAD, render the geometry, export it to a file, import that file into Blender, and render the imported geometry.  Make a region of two or more primitive objects for export -- a single primitive is insufficient.  Include lots of screenshots for every step along the way.


  • (particularly the MGED tutorial and quick start)


  • blender
  • g-* (we have lots of exporters, use any that blender supports)
  • mged (display and edit geometry, run "tops" and "draw" commands)
  • within mged: rt -s1024 -A0.75 -c {set ambSamples=128} -c {set ambSlow=1}

Note that exporting geometry from our CSG format to a polygonal format can be VERY difficult.  It's a black art.  If you encounter an export failure/bomb/error, you'll need to edit the geometry you're attempting to export, try different tolerances, change your hierarchy, or try a different geometry exporter.