Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

User avatar
jonnybischof
Posts: 191
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 2:48 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
3D Printer(s): UMO

Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby jonnybischof » February 16th, 2016, 12:14 pm

So, I've only just started working with an actual 3D CAD program (used to work with Sketchup 8 until a few weeks a go), and am currently working on getting my designs transferred from Sketchup to CAD (SpaceClaim).

Making parts libraries for often-used components such as standard hardware, ball bearings, linear bearings and so on, can be tedious work. I wonder if there's any interest in making some form of a collaborative parts library?

I know there's many similar projects on the internet (3DcontentCentral for example), but my idea is a bit different. I don't just want to collect heaps and heaps of 3D models until no one finds their way around the place anymore, but instead make one organized and cohesive library.
That means there would be a (one) librarian who manages the models. There would also need to be several (simple) rules every contributor must follow.

Does that make sense? Does it work at all?
I don't know any CAD system apart from SpaceClaim. In SpaceClaim, I can work very well with step models. So, I suggest step to be the file format for all models inside that library. The question is, can other CAD programs work with that just as well?

Is anyone interested in using and/or contributing to such a library?

/edit:
Just to clarify:
I am talking about a library of components that are suitable for being kept in a library. Such as standard hardware (nuts & bolts), commercially available parts, electronics components...
NOT my collection of vases and flower pots, clocks or toilet paper holders.
Best regards,
Jonny

User avatar
Xeno
Posts: 88
Joined: February 12th, 2016, 6:57 am
3D Printer(s): Ultimaker original enlarged

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby Xeno » February 16th, 2016, 12:24 pm

Checking all the 3d models will be a lot of work,
and if you want to be sure, you would have to print all the files.

Step, STL and OBJ are a few of very standard file formats, but part of the problem is files being exported to a low resolution, and some parts will not function or not properly due to low resolution.

There are a lot of sites that collect 3D files, you could just gather links to certain objects, and put them in a database.
would a good start be, to find/collect the better search engines for 3D models ?

reibuehl
Posts: 381
Joined: February 9th, 2016, 9:56 am
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
3D Printer(s): Ultimaker 2

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby reibuehl » February 16th, 2016, 2:35 pm

Not sure if it supports your CAD program, but I have used BOLTS in the past for some OpenSCAD designs.
Reiner.

User avatar
jonnybischof
Posts: 191
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 2:48 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
3D Printer(s): UMO

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby jonnybischof » February 17th, 2016, 3:20 am

Checking and managing is indeed a lot of work. The librarian's work. But it is the only way to make a difference between the "garbage collector" sites that are so big that you actually need so much time to find a good part that you coulda just drawn it up yourself. It also means that some contributions could be rejected by the librarian - with the appropriate reasons of course. There is no need to collect 10 different models for M3x12 hex screws.

No need to print anything, you can measure stuff in a CAD software...
I'm not talking about parts optimized for printing (you can't print M3 screws and nuts anyways). In fact, no printed parts at all. Printed parts aren't standard stuff and therefore aren't meant to be in this library in the first place.

I'm uploading a part of my current library to show an example. This isn't my only parts library. It is the "standard components" library. Every project I do has it's own library that contains the "special components" such as lasered metal sheets, or printed parts. Note that I only just started making that library, so there's little content inside. Work in progress ;)


About resolution: STL is completely useless, because it actually has a resolution (it divides it's "edges and faces" up into "polygons"). Step doesn't (it just exports "edges and faces"), which makes the export "equal" to the source file. The only thing you lose is the history, or any of the features in your source file that aren't part of the geometry (help lines, defined split planes, construction lines...). I don't know OBJ in detail. Is it like STL (polygons) or STEP (edges and faces) ?
Any polygonal file format is useless. Personally, I'd also make it mandatory to have colored models because I want my constructions to look good. This is why imho STEP (AP214) would be the format of choice. Now I need to hear users of other CAD software to know if they are happy with STEP, too.

For example, Sketchup users won't be happy with Step. Unless if there's some plugin they can use. Sketchup pro however (or any kind of pro software) shouldn't have any issues with step.
Attachments
mech-components.zip
example for a library of "standard components". Not much content yet, but I only just got started ;)
(1.64 MiB) Downloaded 9 times
Best regards,
Jonny

User avatar
jonnybischof
Posts: 191
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 2:48 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
3D Printer(s): UMO

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby jonnybischof » February 17th, 2016, 3:33 am

reibuehl wrote:Not sure if it supports your CAD program, but I have used BOLTS in the past for some OpenSCAD designs.


Looks interesting.
But these are parametric "scripts" (if I get that correctly) which are mostly useful for OpenSCAD. Imho, an actual export format that can be imported into any CAD software would be more useful.

We can't have an infrastructure like 3DcontentCentral where you can choose between 20 different file formats when you download a part. Also, the library won't be web based at all. I'm thinking about a svn or git repository, or something similar.
We will have to discuss licensing as well. We can't make the library accessible to the broad public, because some models inside (for example many of the electronics components) will be property of the manufacturer who supplied the original model.

I also want to point out that I'm looking for high quality models only. Every item has to be commented with it's underlying specs. For example, standard hardware parts are usually made according to some DIN or ISO standard. That information must be included with the model (for example in a .txt file that accompanies the model). But that's too many details for this early stage!

First: Which export format? And, anyone really interested in having and or contributing to such a library?
Best regards,
Jonny

reibuehl
Posts: 381
Joined: February 9th, 2016, 9:56 am
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
3D Printer(s): Ultimaker 2

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby reibuehl » February 17th, 2016, 3:49 am

The BOLTS library is also available in IGES format which should be supported by a large number of CAD programs - Fusion 360, AutoCAD, SolidWorks can do it AFAIK, there is an extension for Sketchup. BOLTS is based on GIT and it links all parts back to the respective DIN, ISO, etc. standards.

From my side, I would rather contribute to BOLTS than create a new library.
Reiner.

User avatar
jonnybischof
Posts: 191
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 2:48 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
3D Printer(s): UMO

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby jonnybischof » February 17th, 2016, 9:37 am

Well, IGES is a dead format. Yes, it's supported by most programs, but still the format is old, and lacks some important "new" features that CAD systems have developed over the last years.
http://blog.grabcad.com/blog/2014/10/14/get-over-iges/
Best regards,
Jonny

User avatar
Amedee
Posts: 599
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 11:10 am
Location: Brussels, Belgium
3D Printer(s): UMO / UMO+
Contact:

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby Amedee » February 17th, 2016, 10:04 am

It is not because it is dead that it is crap...
You don't need fancy features (assembly, ...) for a bolt -- an IGES version will be as good as a STEP one.

I don't say that if we make something we should do IGES instead of STEP, but for already available parts IGES is perfectly valid and as widespread as STEP.
Phil.

User avatar
ivan.akapulko
Posts: 352
Joined: February 11th, 2016, 11:27 am
Location: Us-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan
3D Printer(s): Ultimaker 2
Contact:

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby ivan.akapulko » February 18th, 2016, 1:38 am

Interesting idea. About formats there are several reasons: firstly, the principle of backward compatibility dictates the most use and is the oldest still the most common formats. Secondly, let us think, what software will be use to work with this library? The list will be from 5-6 positions. Is there a General acceptable standard for them? If no libraries (that would be ideal), then the files. If yes, we must use this formst. If not, our work are gross in an arithmetic progression.

Anders Olsson
Posts: 390
Joined: February 8th, 2016, 8:37 pm
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
3D Printer(s): UM2 UM2E, UM2Go, UM3, Delta Tower, Form 1+, Form 2
Contact:

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby Anders Olsson » February 18th, 2016, 7:13 pm

I would say that STEP is the only suitable general format.
Some old CAM softwares prefers IGES, but I have had lots of compatibility issues and other weird problems when I had to use IGES.

The policy could be that STEP-files has to be available and other formats are optional to attach.

There is GrabCAD by the way, in case you are not aware of that: https://grabcad.com/library
It is not exactly what you meant I guess though. Lots of things there are either not for free, not complete or not very useful.

User avatar
jonnybischof
Posts: 191
Joined: February 15th, 2016, 2:48 am
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
3D Printer(s): UMO

Re: Discussion: Collaborative 3D model library

Postby jonnybischof » February 19th, 2016, 2:59 am

GrabCAD and 3DContentCentral are perfect examples of what I don't want to make :)
BOLTS is actually much more like it, but it's more or less restricted to OpenSCAD, and it's web-based which would be too much of a hassle to maintain.

Maybe a bit more details about what I'm imagining:

On the user side, it all has to be stored locally in a normal folder structure, so that the CAD program can access the files directly. I'm usually working with SVN to manage and back up my libraries, and I think this system would be ideal here, too. I don't know GIT in detail, but afaik it does pretty much the same as SVN.

I'm still not sure if there's a problem with models that originally came from a manufacturer.
For example, I make lots of electronic components. Especially for connectors, I usually download the manufacturer's 3D model, then apply colors. Now, I suppose I can't just put such a model into a publicly accessible library.
That could kill the project very quickly..
Best regards,
Jonny


Return to “CAD and 3D Modeling Software”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest