Open CASCADE

Open CASCADEReaders might be familiar with Open CASCADE, but for those who aren’t it’s an open source software development framework that “includes components for 3D surface and solid modeling, visualization, data exchange and rapid application development.”

The software is produced by Open CASCADE S.A., who make their money by providing consulting, support and custom development, as any good open source company should. But many folks use the open source version on their own.


Open CASCADE has a long heritage, having been initially created in the 1990’s. So how does one use it today? One good way is to use PythonOCC, a “3D CAD/PLM development library for the Python programming language” built on top of Open CASCADE. PythonOCC is available on major platforms in both 32 and 64 bit versions, providing these features:

  • 3D hybrid modeling
  • Data exchange (support of STEP/IGES file format)
  • GUI management support (wxPython, PyQt, python-xlib)
  • Parametric modeling
  • Advanced meshing features

In fact, they’ve just released PythonOCC version 0.4, which includes these features:

  • pythonOCC 0.4 comes with new advanced meshing features coming from the smesh project
  • many new samples
  • the OCC wrapper was improved (few missing modules were added, typical C++ mechanisms were pythonized)
  • 64 bits support
  • New graphical backends (PyQt and python-xlib)
  • MacOSX Snow Leopard support
  • better installation script
  • as usual, many minor fixes/enhancements in the whole API

Via OpenCASCADE, PythonOCC and the PythonOCC Blog (Hat tip to Bryan)

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