Here are two phrased I’d like you to let sink in for a few moments. Share and sync models from GitHub. Edit models with OpenSCAD in the browser. If you just frightened your boss with a high-pitched squeal as he walked by, you’re not alone. However, you may also be wondering, “What the gravy is this ‘GitHub’ and ‘OpenSCAD’ business??” GitHub is an online file collaboration site (mostly used for code/software development). OpenSCAD is free software to create 3D models (hosted on GitHub as a matter of fact). FabFabbers is a new site that has not only brought the two together with the ability to share and download files, they’ve also created an implementation of OpenSCAD in the browser.

fabfabbers-screenshot-01

Git on the Fabbing

FabFabbers, based in London, has different spin on the CAD file repository. While there’s an ever-increasing availability of sites with models, FabFabbers is aimed at creating a platform that uses existing technology to facilitate the sharing and creation of 3D files. We asked founder (and fabber) Marcos Scriven what drove the interest in creating the site.

“I was motivated to do this from discussions on the RepRap forums,” Marcos says “People seemed to have become disenchanted with some aspects of the Thingiverse terms of service, ownership/licensing of models, etc.”

The link to GitHub is the first benefit Marcos sees FabFabbers providing. People can add any public GitHub for viewing and link to their own GitHub repository “allowing models to be GitHub backed (and automatically stay in sync). This means people only have to update in one place, and FabFabbers automatically gets the update.”

Integrating OpenSCAD into the site is the other benefit for fabbers with a penchant for programming. “With the OpenSCAD integration, they can customise the model directly in the browser. Thingiverse does this of sorts, but server-side, rather than Javascript, so it’s not interactive. Also, being server-side limits the ability to scale–paying for servers to do that en masse is really quite expensive.”

The site is fairly bare-bones as you are currently only able to add a model from a GitHub repo, view, download or open an .scad file for editing. Future plans for the site also include reviews, tutorials, and interviews on the world of 3D printing.

Do you use GitHub to store your 3d model source code? Have you used OpenSCAD to create models? This is surely a small niche in the realm of 3D model creation, but the integration of SCAD in the browser, even though javascript variations exist, is an interesting feature and a great learning tool.

The OpenSCAD session running in Chrome allows the ability to edit and save the 3D model as an .stl file.
The OpenSCAD session allows the ability to edit and save the 3D model as an .stl file.
Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.