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    Advent of / open-source-software · Monday, 7 December, 2020 - 09:36

OpenSCAD Advent Calendar 2020

I suppose most people here are familair with the Advent of Code, an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. Thorsten Paul has created a neat advent calendar website of work created with OpenSCAD. These are not puzzles but small programs that can be downloaded and opened in OpenSCAD. An excellent way to get to know OpenSCAD a little better and if you have a 3D printer you're able to print most of them.

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    Solvespace 3.0 is finally nearing its stable release / open-source-software · Thursday, 29 October, 2020 - 11:17

Solvespace 3.0, an easy to use 3D CAD program, is nearing its stable release. It has many changes under the hood and the developers can surely use help from people willing to test it. The current stable version is Solvespace 2.3 and is from December 2016 so it's safe to say that update is much needed. Unfortunately, as is the case with many FLOSS projects, Solvespace has only a couple of active developers and the main developer had health issues. As a consequence the project practically came to a stand still for several years. Luckily things turned around when a new developer joined the project and was able to dedicate a significant amount of time to it.

IMHO Solvespace serves a niche market but it's very good at what it does, making 3D CAD accessible to a more general public. I think it's also an excellent tool to learn students the basics of geometric constraint solving and parametric modelling.



#3dcad #3dprinting

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    3D printing the FLOSS way / open-source-software · Thursday, 22 October, 2020 - 09:52

#3dprinting is rather unique in that every step in the process can be done with free and open source hard- and software. This ranges from design software that produces the 3D model, the slicer for the G-code, the firmware and even the bootloader of the 3D printer. On top of that all hardware parts can be 3D printed or bought.

I must add that not all manufacturers of 3D printers are adhering to the rules. The Prusa printers of Joseph Prusa belong probably to the most #FLOSS ones while Creality is currently doing an effort to be (partly) FLOSS. Others are probably in violation with the GPL license by using the Marlin firmware for their printers but not releasing their source code.

Some people argue that the design software is the achilles heel of this FLOSS workflow since Blender, OpenSCAD, FreeCAD and Solvespace all have their limitations compared to something like Fusion360. I'd say that for most if not all hobbyist the FLOSS programs are more than capable and no proprietary software is needed.

  • Prusa3D - Open-Source 3D Printers from Josef Prusa

    Prusa Research is a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded by Josef Prusa, one of the core developers of the Open Source project RepRap, in 2012 as a one-man startup and grows to a 400+ team now. His open-sourced Prusa i3 design is according to 3DHubs the most used 3D printer in the world. We are shipping more than 6000 Original Prusa i3 printers per month to over 160 countries directly from Prague. Our MK3/S printer is the best 3D printer for 2018 and 2019 according to MAKE: Magazine US and the best FFF printer according to 3D Printing Industry Awards.

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    Short update on PeerTube (Sepia Search) / open-source-software · Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 09:53 · 1 minute

While the fund raising campaign for #PeerTube has reached over 45.000 euro, the developer of PeerTube, Framasoft, introduced a search engine for channels and videos in hundreds of PeerTube instances (currently 533). The name is Sepia Search. This is a long awaited feature. PeerTube instances are due to different policies, not automatically federated with each other. As an example, my current PeerTube instance is federated with only a dozen other instances. This means that if I search on my instance I can only find videos and channels on these dozen instances and not all other instances.

Sepia Search changes all that and now I can find a video or channel that remained otherwise hidden to me. I've tested Sepia Search briefly and I was already able to find a channels of interest. This also means that my own videos can be found more easily and potentially watched more frequently (I'm not making these videos for myself you know).

It's also worth noticing that Sepia Search has handy filter options that enable the user to filter on e.g. license, publishing date or language.

PeerTube is currently a dwarf compared to YouTube but thanks to Sepia Search I became pleasantly surprised by the amount of content already present. Hopefully this will be an important step to disclose PeerTube to a much wider audience. It would be well deserved.

  • Op chevron_right is shutting down, now what / open-source-software · Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 08:25 is a website, based on the Invidious software, that functions as a ethical alternative front-end for YouTube. Unfortunately the front-end of is going to shut-down on September 1th. Luckily the lead developer of Invidious, Omar Roth, made the software free and open source. Already a number of other website with Invidious exists. Here is a link to the list of other instances:

For those interested, here is a link to the blog post of explaining his decision:

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    Support the development of PeerTube! / open-source-software · Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 - 14:12 edit


#PeerTube, the free and decentralized alternative to YouTube, is already great but to make it even better with global search, moderation improvements, plugins and playlists and live streaming donate for the new version 3. Funds are being raised progressively over six months of development, so that you can help Framasoft in the efforts.

  • JoinPeerTube

    PeerTube is a decentralized video hosting network, based on free/libre software. Join the federation and take back control of your videos!

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    Mindustry proves that FOSS games can be great (but we knew that already) / open-source-software · Saturday, 11 April, 2020 - 08:12 edit · 1 minute

I haven't gamed much these last years but being so much in and around the house that changed (a lot). If you like resource management, building and strategy I can really recommend #Mindustry. Calling Mindustry a tower defence game wouldn't do it justice. The goal is to build a defence to defend against waves of enemies but the building becomes very complicated and this is where the game shines. In order to be able to build you need to mine multiple resources (copper, lead etc) and some resources have to be processed into another more useful resource (e.g. coal to graphite). All the resources have to be transported over a conveyor belt to the core (the main building) or to the defences. For other parts of the build energy is needed so you need to generate that. I could go on for a while because the possibilities seems endless and the more efficient your build the better the defences become.

I also played multiplayer with my sons and we had tons of fun because you're all relying on the same resources so it's easy to create a deficit which always seems to happen when the enemy arrives.

The source code can be found on

If you download it don't forget to pay the developer.