Connectors simplify the positioning of parts in OpenSCAD, but require a bit of preparation. Three things need to be added:
The function is added to the
.scad file, and calculates the position and
orientation for the various connector locations from the parameters of the
model. It returns a list containing as first element the origin of the
coordinate system in terms of global coordinates, as second element a list with
two directions for the first and second direction of the connector. In case the
direction is unknown, the function should return "Error".
For the pipes ths function could look like this:
function pipeConn(l,location) = (location == "front-in") ? [[0,0,-l/2],[[0,0,1],[1,0,0]]] : (location == "front-out") ? [[0,0,-l/2],[[0,0,-1],[-1,0,0]]] : (location == "back-in") ? [[0,0,+l/2],[[0,0,-1],[-1,0,0]]] : (location == "back-out") ? [[0,0,+l/2],[[0,0,1],[1,0,0]]] : "Error";
Here only the origin of the connector depends on the length of the pipe, but for other locations other parameters might be required. The function can make use of all parameters that are available to the geometry modules in addition to the location, and the order in which these are passed to the function is not relevant.
To tell BOLTS about this and things like the available selection of locations available. This is done by a additional field in the base file (see also the basemodule documentation). The entries are selfexplanatory, so here is the content of the base file with the connector infos:
--- - filename: pipe.scad type: module author: Johannes Reinhardt <email@example.com> license: LGPL 2.1+ <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1> modules: - name: pipe arguments: [id, od, l] classids: [genericpipe, din11850range2] connectors: name: pipeConn arguments: [l,location] locations: [front-in, front-out, back-in, back-out] source: own work ...
This is a good time to test again. You can use the utility script like shown in the basemodule guide. Make sure all connectors are where they should be and that this remains the case when you use a range of parameters.
The final thing to do is create drawings for the connectors to visually show their location for easy reference. The utility script can do most of the heavy lifting, by creating OpenSCAD scripts for each location that shows the part together with the connector there.
This results in a directory called
connectordrawings in the output directory.
It contains BOLTS for OpenSCAD and a directory called scad that contains scad
files for all classes with connectors that have no drawings. All that remains
to do is to load these scripts into OpenSCAD, find a good angle and export a
Design->export as image.... Make sure that it is easy to understand
from the picture where the connector is located on the part, and how it is
oriented.The images go into the
pipes subdirectory of the
The final step is to add entries to the base file in this folder to tell BOLTS
about all the drawings. Here is an example how it looks for the
- filename: pipe-back-in author: Johannes Reinhardt <firstname.lastname@example.org> license: CC0 1.0 <http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/> type: drawing-connector location: back-in source: own work classids: [genericpipe,din11850range2]
You should add your name as author. The license should be chosen to CC0, as
this makes things easier.
type must be
To check that everything went fine, you can use
and make sure that the classes you have been working on are not listed anymore
Missing Connectors and
You might want to contribute this part to BOLTS, so that every user can profit from your efforts.