How do I start BRL-CAD?

BRL-CAD includes many programs for various tasks. Most users will be interested in using mged for editing geometry. Documentation on mged can be found in the share directory where BRL-CAD was installed.

How do I get a hard copy of what I'm looking at in MGED?

The File->Raytrace and File->Render_View->RT_Script menu options in MGED will generate a raster image of MGED's current view. The pix-png utility can be used to convert from BRL-CAD's .pix raw image file format to the .png file format, and can then be printed or embedded into other documents using other tools.

Additionally, the other File->Render_View options for generating standard Plot and PostScript output files of the MGED wireframe suitable for printing. The pl-fb and fb-png tools can be used to rasterize a Plot file to the .png format.

Finally, there are a variety of renderers and lighting models available in BRL-CAD that are useful for various purposes. The rt tool is the primary ray-tracer that is used for shaded view rendering. The rtedge and rthide commands are used for hidden-line renderings similar to what you'd want for generating drafting documents. rtwizard is a graphical 'wizard' tool that can be used to generate a variety of hybrid renderings.