I'm very delighted to be able to announce that after more than five years of on-going effort by more than 25 people, BRL-CAD is now available on Gentoo's main portage tree . Gentoo Linux users should be able to simply "emerge brlcad" and have a functioning install of BRL-CAD.
What took so long? The nitty gritty details are included in the Gentoo tracking system (#77197, ), but a couple of the main reasons are passive tasking and "open source growing pains".... read more
I'm happy to announce the availability of the BRL-CAD 7.16.6 source code. We are nearing the end of the 7.16 release line as features continue to be added and stabilized. Barring any unexpected issues, we expect to only make one more patch release before moving on to the 7.18 release line after next month.
Considerable effort continues to go into improving BRL-CAD documentation. Janine Gettier has now converted documentation for approximately 200 of MGED's commands into the Docbook XML format. Jesica Guidice has translated 4 of MGED's 16 introductory tutorials to Spanish. Cliff Yapp continues to work extensively with both to get their efforts integrated so that HTML and PDF documentation are cleanly and automatically generated.... read more
BRL-CAD Community Profile
Included in following is a perspective vignette from within our user community regarding a student project where BRL-CAD was used for an interesting academic purpose. It's a science project from three young ladies who, in the span of just a couple months, went from knowing pretty much nothing about modeling and BRL-CAD to creating a 3D model of their concept with rendered images and animations. Raquel, Marta, and Teresa used BRL-CAD for their project to model and visualize a spacecraft they designed.... read more
It's been a very LONG time since our last public release announcement but regardless, I'm happy to announce the availability of the BRL-CAD 7.16.4 source code! Binaries are not expected for this release, but we will likely be posting them for the next upcoming release.
My records show that our last mailing list release announcement was for the 7.12.4 release (!). Since then, there have been eight releases made totaling more than two hundred user-visible changes to BRL-CAD including major feature enhancements, new tool additions, many bug fixes, and much much more. There are far too many changes to itemize here, so the details can be found (as always) in our NEWS file:... read more
For those that haven't heard about it yet, Ohloh  is a site dedicated to categorizing, analyzing, and tracking software projects. While BRL-CAD has been indexed and tracked there  for some time now (we were one of the first), the statistics are continually updated and expanded upon. Among those recently updated, Ohloh found that more than 17 people have directly contributed to BRL-CAD in the last 12 months. They mention that "[t]his is a relatively large team, putting this project among the top 10% of all project teams on Ohloh." There are presently about 430,000 project teams on Ohloh.... read more
I am happy to announce that we have selected five individuals to work on BRL-CAD for the 2009 Google Summer of Code!
We had many more desirable students than we have capacity to mentor, but we were able to finalize selections after an extensive review process that helped us get to know the students, their interests, and their capabilities. Sincere thanks and appreciation go out to everyone that submitted an application. With that said, here are those selected:... read more
For our second year in a row, I'm delighted to announce that BRL-CAD has once again been accepted into the 2009 Google Summer of Code (GSoC)! GSoC is a summer program hosted by Google every year where they pay students a stipend of $4500 to work on specific open source projects. It's a highly competitive program both for the students and for the mentoring organizations. This year, there were approximately 400 open source organizations that applied with 150 being selected to participate.... read more
Of the many enhancements included in this release, MGED gets a powerful new command called 'search' that is very similar to the UNIX find command but specifically tailored to geometry hierarchies. Included in the implementation of 'search' is the ability to list geometry that matches a specified name using glob patterns or regular expressions. You can also search for objects that have specific attributes set, that are referenced in combinations, are at a particular depth in the geometry hierarchy, and much more. You can combine search expressions together using boolean logic as well for even more powerful searching and listing operations.... read more
Included below are some BRL-CAD project statistics that have been tabulated for the past fiscal year, from October 2007 to October 2008. It was rather interesting to pull the numbers to see how we compare to the previous year, so I thought I'd share with you some of the details. Since, we've not ever (publicly) done this before, a few words are worth mentioning before getting to the results...... read more
This release enhances the formatting options available "out of the box" for the NIRT tool, allowing users to easily select different data reporting options without having to define their own custom configuration files. Comma-separated value (CSV) output options also allow for quick and easy import into spreadsheets. The new -L option lists available formats.
The tire tool's behavior has been improved - it will no longer overwrite pre-existing files and a "w" flag now accepts a value of "0" to disable creation of the default wheel rim for modelers wishing to supply their own rim. A number of small but visual flaws in the tread geometry definitions were also corrected.... read more
I'm happy to announce the availability of BRL-CAD 7.12.4. This release contains numerous enhancements to MGED's mirror command, now with the ability to mirror an object across arbitrary vectors or points along a standard axis. Additionally, NIRT now has a new "gap" options for reporting the empty spaces between objects with additional formatting options under development. The release also has a new procedural database geometry tool.... read more
With a few minor updates, bug fixes, and tweaks, the 7.12.2 release is now available. Contrary to the 7.12.0 release notes, we're *actually* finally providing an updated installer for Windows (really .. it's already uploaded!). With much thanks and appreciation, we now have a new and improved installer for BRL-CAD on Windows due to the efforts of Jonathan Bonomo. There are also useful enhancements to RT, RTAREA, and MGED's clone and saveview commands among other enhancements.... read more
I'm very pleased to announce the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student selections for BRL-CAD! After a detailed evaluation and review period, we requested and were approved to mentor four students over the upcoming summer. Our students were selected from among nearly two dozen applicants based on their potential as a new long-term developer, their ability to communicate effectively, the quality of their project proposal, their technical ability, and our ability to effectively mentor them.... read more
BRL-CAD has been accepted as a mentoring organization in the 2008 Google Summer of Code ! The program pays students a stipend of $4500 over the course of summer to work on open source projects. The student application period is open March 24th through March 31st. Students interested in participating should visit the BRL-CAD GSoC wiki pages  for more information about the submission process and details on some of our suggested project ideas .... read more
We are proud to announce the release of BRL-CAD 7.12.0, bringing together many months of effort from the BRL-CAD developers. This version is the most feature-filled backwards-compatible release to date, providing more than 75 new features, bug fixes, and other enhancements. Included in those efforts are enhancements to the Windows port, a new INTAVAL geometry importer, return of the "clone" command to mged, Tcl/Tk dependency enhancements, and much more.... read more
Once again, I'm proud to announce another release of the BRL-CAD package. This 7.10.4 release contains more than 111 enhancements, bug fixes, and new features additions since the previous 7.8.0 public announcement. There have been several unannounced source and binary releases since the 7.8.0 release, each filled with dozens of changes, though for brevity the entire list of changes is not going to be provided in this announcement. The full list of changes since the 7.8.0 release can be seen in our NEWS file at http://brlcad.cvs.sourceforge.net/\*checkout*/brlcad/brlcad/NEWS?pathrev=rel-7-10-4 ... read more
After more than 20 years of development, BRL-CAD is now available for the Microsoft Windows platform. This new availability marks the beginning of the official adoption of the Windows operating system as a fully supported BRL-CAD development and release platform. Binary and source distributions are available on the BRL-CAD project website at Sourceforge project website: http://sourceforge.net/projects/brlcad/... read more
After an extended development cycle, I'm glad to announce that BRL-CAD 7.8.0 is now available. This release marks a major milestone in the massive effort by the BRL-CAD developers and the open source community to provide a complete port of BRL-CAD to the Microsoft Windows platform. This effort includes particular support and contributions from SURVICE Engineering, Inc., TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory, the U.S. Army Research Library (ARL), and others. The Windows port effort was started several years ago, primarily through efforts of friends at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and CG2, Inc. Over the past year, the development effort was accelerated to a stable status through the work of SURVICE under the direction and support of ARL.... read more
Continuing with the newly added point collection and reverse modeling techniques provide in the previous release, this release improves upon that support fixing several issues and refining the modeling techniques. Additionally, after more than a year of passively researching and investigating, this release now accounts for the majority of known contributors to BRL-CAD over the project's existence. This is part of an on-going effort to document the history of BRL-CAD over the past 20 years.... read more
This release adds several bug fixes and feature enhancements including a new geometry creation interface to mged. This new interface supports reverse modeling geometry from existing objects through point collection techniques. New geometry creation commands read point data sets in a simple text file format, recognizing categories and collections of points representing prescribed geometric shapes. Using point-acquisition devices such as X-Station Vulcan advanced surveying systems from Arc Second Inc., points may be collected and provided to mged factilitating the generation of geometry models. Collection techniques are recognized and already implemented for polygonal plates, cylinders, spheres, point clouds, and more. More details will be provided in a later release as these new features continue to be tested, improved, and documented.... read more
This release of BRL-CAD includes the addition of a new geometry "Quantitative Analysis" tool called g_qa. This tool is a new tool that combines some of the features of rtweight, rtcheck and g_lint, providing a robust means for computing the weight and volume of objects while also allowing a means to report overlaps, air gaps, external air regions, bounding box dimensions, and more.
Continuing with the impressive ADRT tool suite is the addition of the Interactive Shot Selection Tool (ISST). Using ISST, you can spin large facetized models around in real-time, slice through them with rays, and examine the geometric components along a given path. The tool will take advantage of clusters and SMP hardware similar to RISE, providing a master job manager, a slave compute daemon for network distributed processing, and a client for interacting with and viewing the models.... read more
I'm happy to announce that there will be a BRL-CAD "Birds of a Feather" (BoF) session at the 2005 ACM Siggraph computer graphics conference, being held from 31 July to 4 August this year in Los Angeles, California. The BoF is entitled "BRL-CAD: Open Source Solid Modeling" and will be held on Monday before lunch. All Siggraph attendees are welcome to attend for an informal overview of the package, discussions, and more.... read more
BRL-CAD is a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools. This release of BRL-CAD includes, among many new and improved features, the following enhancements since the last announcement (7.4.0 and 7.2.6 enhancements): the addition of an impressive high-performance triangle path-tracer, a completely rewritten rtarea tool for computing exposed and presented surface areas, benchmark suite enhancements, installation of a benchmark tool, and the inclusion of example geometry in the installation.... read more
BRL-CAD is a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools. This release marks the beginning of a series of benchmark suite enhancements. The benchmark suite will now iteratively increase the number of rays being shot until a minimum amount of time has elapsed per render. The resulting computations provide a more stable ray-trace figure of merit (rtfm) and allows the benchmark tests to scale more effectively to increasingly higher-performance machines without requiring intervention. The current default testing time window minimum of 60 seconds elapsed wallclock time implies that the benchmark suite will now take about 15 minutes to complete.... read more
BRL-CAD is a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, image and signal-processing tools. See the BRL-CAD website at http://brlcad.org/ for more information.
This release of BRL-CAD includes several updates since the previous 7.2.0 release including many bug fixes and feature enhancements:... read more