What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?


What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#1
Hello everyone,

I am super new to this community and have no idea what I need to get started. I have a list of parts I would like to create in LDraw and know that I should check the LDraw library to make sure they do not exist already before creating and submitting them. However, I have no idea what software I need to create the parts.

What do I need?

Thanks!
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#2
(2020-11-03, 21:13)Miller Wrote: Hello everyone,

I am super new to this community and have no idea what I need to get started. I have a list of parts I would like to create in LDraw and know that I should check the LDraw library to make sure they do not exist already before creating and submitting them. However, I have no idea what software I need to create the parts.

What do I need?

Thanks!

Honestly, you could create a simple part using your computer's basic text editor (and it would be instructive to do so). Definitely read Willy's tutorial—he uses MLCad for the examples, but that program is somewhat deprecated—as well as the documentation at ldraw.org itself.

The "gold standard" parts authoring program is LDPartEditor, but it doesn't play well with my Mac system somehow. So the first parts I authored from scratch were done in LDDesignPad (a text editor with some extra features specific to LDraw) and viewed in LDView, back and forth with manual reloading. :-)
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#3
(2020-11-03, 21:34)N. W. Perry Wrote: Honestly, you could create a simple part using your computer's basic text editor (and it would be instructive to do so). Definitely read Willy's tutorial—he uses MLCad for the examples, but that program is somewhat deprecated—as well as the documentation at ldraw.org itself.

The "gold standard" parts authoring program is LDPartEditor, but it doesn't play well with my Mac system somehow. So the first parts I authored from scratch were done in LDDesignPad (a text editor with some extra features specific to LDraw) and viewed in LDView, back and forth with manual reloading. :-)

Ok. Where can I get this LDDesignPad program?
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#4
(2020-11-03, 21:45)Miller Wrote: Ok. Where can I get this LDDesignPad program?

Here: http://lddp.sourceforge.net/
And for LDView: http://ldview.sourceforge.net/
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#8
(2020-11-03, 23:09)N. W. Perry Wrote: Here: http://lddp.sourceforge.net/
And for LDView: http://ldview.sourceforge.net/

LDView moved to here: https://tcobbs.github.io/ldview/
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#5
(2020-11-03, 21:45)Miller Wrote: Ok. Where can I get this LDDesignPad program?

I'm the only remaining author of LDDP and I'll warn you that there hasn't been a release in quite a long time and there may be some "quirks" that can't be fixed right now because, at the moment, I have no ability to compile the code.
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#6
(2020-11-04, 0:20)Orion Pobursky Wrote: I'm the only remaining author of LDDP and I'll warn you that there hasn't been a release in quite a long time and there may be some "quirks" that can't be fixed right now because, at the moment, I have no ability to compile the code.

Ok. So from what I hear I have two options:

1. Use LDPartEditor and experiences some issues??? @N. W. Perry said that it "doesn't play well with my Mac system somehow"

or

2. Use LDDesignPad which may also have some issues because the latest release is old software.

Are there any other/better options (I am a Mac user btw)
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#7
LDDP is not MacOS software. The only way to use it on MacOS is with WINE (which carries it own issues)

LDPE can be run on MacOS and Nils may have fixed the issues, not sure
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#9
(2020-11-04, 0:59)Orion Pobursky Wrote: LDDP is not MacOS software. The only way to use it on MacOS is with WINE (which carries it own issues)

LDPE can be run on MacOS and Nils may have fixed the issues, not sure

Ok. Where can I get LDPE?
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#11
(2020-11-04, 2:30)Miller Wrote: Ok. Where can I get LDPE?

https://www.ldraw.org/downloads-2/third-...tware.html
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#10
(2020-11-04, 0:59)Orion Pobursky Wrote: LDDP is not MacOS software. The only way to use it on MacOS is with WINE (which carries it own issues)

LDPE can be run on MacOS and Nils may have fixed the issues, not sure

LDDP runs fine for me; the only issues are things common to (almost) any Windows software running on Wine, like different expectations of the file system, inability to poll between programs (differences in executables?), that sort of thing.

LDPE runs under Java on the Mac, so it's not native but should theoretically be fine. For whatever reason, there are some persistent glitches when I use it, most notably the occasional failure of the graphic window editor to appear and other GUI problems. The issues haven't been resolved in the latest updates, and I'll admit I haven't been especially communicative about them with Nils.

That said, I can use LDPE for the most part, but I have to do more quitting and re-starting and other types of workarounds (such as using LDDP for text editing, rather than LDPE's own text interface). It's slow and clunky for me, not reflective of the powerful software I know it to be. It's also my only option for running the command-line tools, because neither they nor LETGUI will run for me under Wine.

LDCad, on the other hand, runs almost flawlessly under Wine, and while it's not intended for parts authoring, I occasionally use it for viewing and measurement purposes, as well as checking how parts render in various other programs.
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#12
(2020-11-04, 3:01)N. W. Perry Wrote: LDDP runs fine for me; the only issues are things common to (almost) any Windows software running on Wine, like different expectations of the file system, inability to poll between programs (differences in executables?), that sort of thing.

LDPE runs under Java on the Mac, so it's not native but should theoretically be fine. For whatever reason, there are some persistent glitches when I use it, most notably the occasional failure of the graphic window editor to appear and other GUI problems. The issues haven't been resolved in the latest updates, and I'll admit I haven't been especially communicative about them with Nils.

That said, I can use LDPE for the most part, but I have to do more quitting and re-starting and other types of workarounds (such as using LDDP for text editing, rather than LDPE's own text interface). It's slow and clunky for me, not reflective of the powerful software I know it to be. It's also my only option for running the command-line tools, because neither they nor LETGUI will run for me under Wine.

LDCad, on the other hand, runs almost flawlessly under Wine, and while it's not intended for parts authoring, I occasionally use it for viewing and measurement purposes, as well as checking how parts render in various other programs.

I am also running LDPE on Mac under Java. I remember it took me a couple of hours to make it work at the beginning and since then I indeed experienced similar issues.

First of all, after some time it was launched LDPE started to get very slow and actually the whole system too so I have to restart as well. Might come from Java and not LDPE, this I don't know...

And since one month ago I started to experience the occasional failure of the graphic window not appearing... It might be due to the new macOS as I think I installed it about one month ago...

Apart from that, LDPE is running most of the time quite well and I use it intensively when creating or reviewing parts.
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#13
You might use any CAD prog that exports to .stl such as Solidworks, Autocad ... and use:

http://marc.klein.free.fr/lego/stl2dat/stl2dat.html

to convert to the dat file format reading the modelling typs carefully:

http://marc.klein.free.fr/lego/parts/modelise.html

w.
LEGO ergo sum
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#14
Ok. So I'm hearing that most of the Mac users end up running the programs in something (such as Java or WINE) and that there's not really a 'simple', native program for parts editing in MacOS?
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#15
(2020-11-04, 16:19)Miller Wrote: Ok. So I'm hearing that most of the Mac users end up running the programs in something (such as Java or WINE) and that there's not really a 'simple', native program for parts editing in MacOS?

Not really; almost everything is written for Windows. That said, installing and using Wine is not nearly as daunting as I’d expected, and certainly opened up a lot more possibilities for me.
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RE: What do I need to get started making parts for the LDraw library?
#16
(2020-11-05, 23:20)N. W. Perry Wrote: Not really; almost everything is written for Windows. That said, installing and using Wine is not nearly as daunting as I’d expected, and certainly opened up a lot more possibilities for me.

Ok. Thank you all for your help!
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