BRL-CAD / News: Recent posts

BRL-CAD Release 7.24.0, Archer Alpha

After nearly an entire year's worth of intense collaborative effort, the 7.24.0 major release of BRL-CAD is now available for download. More information including detailed itemization of changes is available at:

This is the alpha release unveiling of Archer/MGED, a preliminary interface update to BRL-CAD's graphical geometry editor. Some highlights include an integrated graphical tree view, a single window framework, drag and drop geometry editing, information panels, shortcut buttons, improved polygonal mesh and 2D sketch editing, level of detail wireframes, NURBS shaded display support, and much more.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2013-07-10

Google Code-In

Out of only 10 chosen, I'm delighted to announce that BRL-CAD was accepted to participate in Google Code-In (GCI)!

Complementary to the highly successful Google Summer of Code program for university students, GCI is a contest encouraging pre-university students (age 13-17) to get involved with open source. Students will work our "itty-bitty" tasks related to code, documentation/training, outreach/research, quality assurance, and user interface.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-11-13

BRL-CAD Release 7.22.0

After more than six months development, BRL-CAD 7.22.0 is now available! This is a substantial introduction of a new development line encompassing more changes than any prior version since BRL-CAD's release as free open source software. We have robust solid NURBS ray tracing, fixed everything reported by Coverity, updated several geometry converters, worked on a new physics simulation system, made several improvements to BRL-CAD's extensive documentation resources, and provide a vastly improved installer for Mac OS X. In all, seventeen contributors helped deliver about one hundred distinct user-visible changes for this release of BRL-CAD.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-08-08

Open Shading Language

The forwarded announcement below describes an achievement for one of our optional dependencies, the Open Shading Language (OSL) from Sony Pictures Imageworks. OSL is basically an open source shader system that helps rendering tools make better pictures. Kudos to their developers -- it's quite an impressive achievement to have an entire film shaded with just OSL.

A former GSoC participant, developer Guilherme Kunigami, worked on an initial integration of OSL into BRL-CAD's rendering pipeline just last year. It's fun to see a direct industry relation to our development projects, why we work on the things we do, and how they relate to the "bigger picture".... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-05-25

Introducing our 2012 GSoC Students

For BRL-CAD's fourth year participating in the Google Summer of Code [1], we expanded our involvement and accepted a record 11 students. Predominantly evaluated on the student's ability to develop, communicate, and interact, their proposals were selected from among more than 50 received as exceptional candidate developers for BRL-CAD. A categorized summary of this year's projects [2] is as follows:... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-05-22

GSoC 2012 Proposal Submissions

Once again participating in the Google Summer of Code [1], students interested in working on BRL-CAD this summer have been diligently preparing and posting proposals over the past couple weeks. In all, we ended up with about 50 submissions by the deadline with about three dozen or so being considered valid proposals that will go through our review process.

This year, code cleanup seems to be the most popular theme along with a wide range of interest in NURBS, object mathematics, website services, and more. The overall quality seems to be fantastic this year with many students electing to showcase their proposal on the BRL-CAD Wiki with diagrams, prototypes, and patches demonstrating concepts and abilities. Awesome.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-04-09

BRL-CAD and the 2012 Google Summer of Code

The BRL-CAD open source community is once again delighted to be participating as a mentoring organization in the 2012 Google Summer of Code (GSoC)! We will be helping students develop their project proposals through the April 6th application deadline. Any students interested in joining the BRL-CAD development team this summer can get started here: read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-03-23

Coverity Case Study: BRL-CAD Development Testing

A little over a month ago at a week-long coffee-infused hack-a-thon in-person gathering, many of our core developers worked on improving BRL-CAD's source code. The team inspected and fixed more than fifteen hundred issues being reported by Coverity Static Analysis*. Just released, the 2011 Coverity Open Source Integrity Report [1] includes a two-page case study detailing our efforts. The free report is available (registration req'd) through the Open Scan Initiative website:... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2012-02-27

Updated BRL-CAD export plugin for Pro/E

A new version of BRL-CAD's geometry converter plugin for Pro/ENGINEER is now available for download [1]. The ProE-BRL plugin is a production exporter that has been developed over the years as a means of importing geometry into BRL-CAD from Pro/ENGINEER. This update of the plugin for the Windows platform supports Wildfire 4 (64-bit), Wildfire 5 (64-bit), and Creo (32-bit and 64-bit). The plugin will work on other platforms, but will have to be compiled from a source distribution. This binary release is once again being provided with the hopes that it will be useful and should fix problems loading the plugin on Vista.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-11-30

Advanced Joint Effectiveness Model (AJEM)

The Advanced Joint Effectiveness Model (AJEM) [1] development team recently announced the availability of a new AJEM release. As BRL-CAD is incorporated as an integral part of AJEM, a brief overview is provided.

AJEM is a lethality, vulnerability, and endgame computer simulation code capable of analyzing various types of threats against aircraft and ground targets. It combines elements of threat modeling, target modeling, encounter kinematics, generation of weapon burst points, propagation of damage (penetration, fire, blast, etc.), evaluating system relationships (functionality, redundancies, etc.), and evaluating remaining capability or loss of function. Supported by JTCG/ME [2], JASPO [3], and others, AJEM is the U.S. Department of Defense standard computer simulation suite for performing verified and validated trauma, survivability, lethality, vulnerability, and signature prediction analyses.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-11-29

BRL-CAD Release 7.20.4

After a few month release hiatus, BRL-CAD 7.20.4 is now available providing several dozen bug fixes and feature enhancements. Our support for NURBS geometry continues to stabilize with improved step-g import support, ray tracing enhancements, better wireframes, and numerous robustness improvements. MGED/Archer continues to approach an alpha release with support added for interactive editing of pipe primitives, improved visualization, new BoT mesh healing capabilities, and more. After many months of effort, our OBJ importer receives a comprehensive overhaul with improved behavior all-around for polygonal mesh OBJ geometry. There is a new exporter to the DOT format used by Graphviz for creating graphs and visualizations of geometry model hierarchies. Efforts to overhaul and enhance BRL-CAD's documentation system were revitalized with effort under way to regenerate and improve our tutorial series.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-11-02

Logo Competition Finalists

The results are in! We're happy to announce the winners of the BRL-CAD logo competition. Over the past two months, there were lots of excellent submissions conveying many different skills and interesting logo concepts. The competition was tight with a tie-breaker vote needed to sort out the finalists. On that note, on to the selections! read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-08-17

ESA Summer of Code in Space

BRL-CAD has been accepted to participate as a mentoring organization in the European Space Agency's Summer of Code in Space! Modeled after the Google Summer of Code, SOCIS is an ESA pilot project offering students the opportunity to get paid (€4000) developing space-related Open Source software. Interested students should apply soon, before the July 27th deadline.

Students from higher-education institutions within the European Union propose space-related BRL-CAD software development projects and, if selected, receive a €4000 EUR (approx. $5750 USD) stipend over a three month timeframe (Aug-Oct) to work on their projects. Eligible students [1] interested in applying should visit our project ideas page [2]. As this is a pilot program, it's being conducted very quickly, so applications must be submitted [3] to the ESA by July 27, 11AM (UTC)!... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-07-22

BRL-CAD Release 7.20.2

BRL-CAD 7.20.2 is now available! The 7.20 release marks the introduction of a new CMake-based build system for BRL-CAD. Improvements continue on geometry conversion and tessellation to polygonal formats. Progress is made merging MGED and Archer for an upcoming combined alpha with numerous command improvements, bug fixes, and interface enhancements. Experimental enhancements to BRL-CAD's rending system are also under development in support of programmable shaders. ... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-07-11

BRL-CAD Logo Competition

The BRL-CAD open source project is interested in a new logo so we're holding a competition for inspiring ideas from the community! You have the chance to win cold cash, make friends, and obtain world-wide notoriety. The competition is simple:

1. Design an awesome logo
2. Submit your design before August to
3. Profit! (if selected)

There are cash prizes for first, second, and third place selections plus an optional bonus. Winning selections will be announced by August 15th. See the BRL-CAD website -- -- for more details and basic competition rules.

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-06-01

BRL-CAD Release 7.18.4

BRL-CAD release 7.18.4 is now available. This release includes numerous bug fixes and feature enhancements to MGED, geometry converters, image processing tools and more. Also included with this release is the initial (yet phenomenally impressive) integration of our high-performance Triangle Intersection Engine (TIE) with BRL-CAD's LIBRT raytrace library. There is a new geometry importer for Shapefile data and the revolve primitive receives support for transformation matrix editing.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-04-12

Calling all devs: Coverity scan of BRL-CAD

Last week, we were finally able to get a FULL valid Coverity scan of the BRL-CAD source code! If you're interested in helping resolve the issues detected, please join in our development discussion on the brlcad-devel [1] mailing list or our IRC channel and introduce yourself.

[3] read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-04-11

BRL-CAD participating in GSoC 2011

We're delighted to announce that BRL-CAD has once again been accepted as a mentoring organization for the 2011 Google Summer of Code (GSoC)! [1] The student application deadline is April 8th so students should get started on their project proposals today. Any students interested in joining the BRL-CAD development team and working on a project this summer should visit our wiki page for more information.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-03-23

BRL-CAD applying to participate in GSoC 2011

BRL-CAD has once again applied to participate in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program! GSoC is an open source program hosted by Google where every year they pay students a stipend of $4500 to work on specific open source projects. It's a highly competitive, challenging, and fun program both for the students and for the mentoring organizations. If accepted to participate, this will be BRL-CAD's third year as a mentoring organization[1].... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-03-12

BRL-CAD Release 7.18.2

We are delighted to announce the availability of BRL-CAD 7.18.2!

The biggest change provided in this release is initial support for reading some older (platform-dependent) binary v4 geometry database files regardless of their originating platform. While our current (platform-independent) v5 geometry file format has been the default since release 6.0 in 2002, there are numerous v4 files in prevalence that could only be read on a matching platform. Binary-incompatible v4 geometry database files can now be opened read-only within MGED where geometry can be inspected, drawn, exported via the "keep" command, and updated to the newer format via the "dbupgrade" command. In order to override the otherwise automatic binary-incomaptible v4 detection, MGED's "opendb" command provides a new -f flip option and all applications can override behavior with a LIBRT_V4FLIP environment variable. ... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2011-02-09

BRL-CAD Release 7.18.0

We are pleased to announce the availability of BRL-CAD 7.18.0. Since our previous public release announcement, there was another 7.16 stabilization release and there have been more than 50 user-visible changes to BRL-CAD. Among those changes include significant development on NURBS support, MGED enhancements, geometry conversion, Windows portability, documentation, and more.

BRL-CAD's support for NURBS boundary representation geometry continues to be a primary development focus area so BRL-CAD may faithfully represent external CAD models without having to convert to a polygonal representation. Support for NURBS ray tracing continues to advance steadily with improved wireframes, enhanced surface evaluation, and overall robustness improvements. Enhancements to NURBS wireframes provides a much better visualization of surface contours and ray tracing improvements resolve the majority of previously observed rendering problems.... read more

Posted by Cliff Yapp 2010-12-09

Converting Geometry

A common source of frustration with BRL-CAD is importing and exporting geometry. Objects are converted through BRL-CAD's NMG (polygon) and BoT (triangle) representation formats because we convert file formats such as STL, DXF, and X3D. They are predominantly polygonal file formats. BRL-CAD's support for converting polygonal boundary representations is extensive an unparalleled in the open source realm, but there are several problems. This is an overview of what is being done [1] to address those problems.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2010-12-04

BRL-CAD export plugin for Pro/ENGINEER 

A developer version of BRL-CAD's geometry converter plugin for Pro/ENGINEER is now available [1]. The ProE-BRL plugin is a production exporter that has been developed over the years as a means to import geometry into BRL-CAD from Pro/ENGINEER (aka Pro/E).


Please note that this is a developer version of ProE-BRL. While the converter has been in production use for some time, this is a developer compilation that is being provided "as-is" without any release testing. Also noted in the posted README.txt file [2], there is no guarantee that the plugin will work within your environment. The installation and setup require familiarity with Pro/E and Pro/E plugins that are beyond our support scope, but there are some installation notes provided. The included INSTALL.txt file may be of assistance.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2010-08-21

BRL-CAD Source Release 7.16.8

After a couple months of concerted stabilization effort, I'm happy to announce the availability of BRL-CAD 7.16.8. This is our largest patch release ever, with more than 50 bug fixes, minor enhancements, and other user-visible changes to BRL-CAD.

BRL-CAD's ray tracing support for NURBS boundary representation geometry objects continues to be developed towards providing a robust foundation for supporting multiple-representation geometry. This release includes several NURBS ray tracing bug fixes, robustness improvements, and trimming enhancements.... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2010-05-05

BRL-CAD not applying to GSoC 2010

After two consecutive and successful years of participation, BRL-CAD will not be applying to take part in the 2010 Google Summer of Code (GSoC). [1] [2] While we still openly and eagerly welcome new contributors to BRL-CAD, we remain mindful of the major commitment that GSoC participation requires. As development continues to progress rapidly on the development and initial release of a new graphical user interface for BRL-CAD geometry editing, our priorities need to remain focused this year on the complex integration tasks ahead of us. ... read more

Posted by Sean Morrison 2010-03-17