Difference between revisions of "Google Summer of Code/Project Ideas"

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|align=left width=62%|'''[[OpenCL GPGPU Raytracing]]:''' We have about two dozen primitives that need to have a ray-object intersection function converted from C to OpenCL.
|align=center|[[Google_Summer_of_Code/Project_Ideas#Mentors|Yapp, Rossberg]]
|align=left width=62%|'''[[Coherent Raytracing]]:''' Our current raytrace pipeline dispatches and processes one ray at a time.  Send bundles and convert the pipeline into phases.
|align=center|[[Google_Summer_of_Code/Project_Ideas#Mentors|Yapp, Rossberg]]
|align=left width=62%|'''[[NURBS Intersections]]:'''  Evaluate the intersection of two NURBS surfaces.  You'll get a 3D curve or a point, line segment, or even a plane depending how the surfaces overlap.
|align=left width=62%|'''[[NURBS Intersections]]:'''  Evaluate the intersection of two NURBS surfaces.  You'll get a 3D curve or a point, line segment, or even a plane depending how the surfaces overlap.

Revision as of 03:58, 27 February 2014

If you want to work on computer-aided design (CAD), geometry, or graphics, you've come to the right place! Help us improve open source CAD.

Well prepared proposals have an outstanding chance here. We consider proposals for all skill levels. Possibilities range from simple to crazy hard and everything in between. Introduce yourself.

We plan on selecting 6-12 students to work on web projects, C/C++ projects, and more. This year, BRL-CAD is coordinating with three other communities that will get 1-2 students each to help bridge our work and encourage collaboration. Projects that help exchange data or share code are desired!

BRL-CAD_gear_logo_w_name_256.png Under development for 30+ years, it's big, it's complicated, it's powerful. BRL-CAD will consider just about any project that relates to computer graphics or existing infrastructure.
logo.png LogoLibrecad_logo.png STEPcode_logo_sm.png
OpenSCAD: rich syntax, programmable geometry. Lots of possibilities to make it interoperate with BRL-CAD and LibreCAD. LibreCAD: specializes in 2D CAD modeling, drafting, drawings. Help build a bridge to BRL-CAD or add STEP support. STEPcode: file format on steroids, STEP is a complex standard for geometry used by nearly every pro CAD system.

Unless there isn't a quality proposal, we intend to select at least one student for each of BRL-CAD's main categories as well as at least one student each for OpenSCAD, LibreCAD, and STEPcode.

Remember that project descriptions are just initial ideas. You must expand with considerably more detail. Change the goals to fit your experience and interests. See our checklist to get started.

Project titles link to a page with more details.

BRL-CAD Projects

Web Development

Languages Difficulty Contacts
Benchmark Performance Database: BRL-CAD's Benchmark has been used for two decades to compare performance across configurations. Build a database website. Depends (likely PHP or Python) EASY Morrison
Synchronize Wiki with Docbook: We use Docbook for most of our user documentation but find editing a wiki page much easier to use. Set up a system so the two are always in sync. Depends (likely PHP or Python) MEDIUM Yapp
Online Geometry Viewer Interface: Continuation of existing work, improve our interface for viewing geometry online. Focus on the front-end usability. Depends (likely PHP or Python) MEDIUM Morrison
Online Geometry Viewer Back-end: Continuation of existing work, improve our interface for viewing geometry online. Focus on the back-end infrastructure. Depends (likely PHP or Python) HARD Morrison
Mediawiki 3D Geometry Extension: Write an extension for Mediawiki that will visualize our .g files. Maybe leverage LLVM C->Javascript translation. Depends (likely PHP or Python) HARD Morrison
Materials Database: Create a Materials Database web site for collecting, managing, and providing programmatic interfaces to material properties. Depends (likely PHP or Python) MEDIUM Morrison, Yapp


Languages Difficulty Contacts
NURBS Editing Support: BRL-CAD doesn't currently have support for editing NURBS primitives. Fix that. C/Tcl MEDIUM Yapp
Vector Drawings from NURBS: Huge impact here if you can update one or more of our raytracers to provide vector output instead of raster. Perhaps render directly to PDF or SVG. C and/or C++ EASY Rossberg
Plate Mode NURBS raytracing: Imported NURBS geometry often does NOT enclose space (i.e., not solid), so add support for specifying an implicit thickness. C/C++ HARD Morrison
STEP exporter: We have an importer, we need a comprehensive exporter with support for implicit CSG, NURBS, or polygonal mesh geometry. C/C++ EASY Yapp, Morrison
STEP importer improvements: We have an importer, but it's preliminary. Add support for importing hierarchy information, polygonal geometry, and implicit geometry. C/C++ MEDIUM Yapp
Convert BoT to Pipe: Command line interface to convert facetted fluid/electrical line geometry into BRL-CAD native pipe solids. C/C++/Tcl MEDIUM Morrison
IGES import improvements: We have extensive support for the International Geometry Exchange Standard (IGES) with our g-iges and iges-g converters, but they need updating. C MEDIUM Morrison
Geometry Conversion Library: Probably our biggest open source asset is our extensive collection of importers and exporters. Turn them all into a universal conversion library. C/C++ EASY Greenwald, Morrison, Rossberg
Voxelize command: Convert geometry into voxel data sets by shooting a grid of rays. The finite element analysis and volumetric rendering folks will love you. C EASY Greenwald, Morrison, Rossberg
COLLADA Importer: Create an importer for the COLLADA file format. C/C++ MEDIUM Morrison
X3D Importer: Create an importer for the X3D file format. C/C++ MEDIUM Morrison
OpenSCAD Importer: Create an importer for OpenSCAD's format. C/C++ EASY Morrison
OpenSCAD Exporter: Create an exporter for OpenSCAD's format. C/C++ EASY Morrison

Performance & Quality

Languages Difficulty Contacts
OpenCL GPGPU Raytracing: We have about two dozen primitives that need to have a ray-object intersection function converted from C to OpenCL. C/C++ MEDIUM Yapp, Rossberg
Coherent Raytracing: Our current raytrace pipeline dispatches and processes one ray at a time. Send bundles and convert the pipeline into phases. C/C++ MEDIUM Yapp, Rossberg
NURBS Intersections: Evaluate the intersection of two NURBS surfaces. You'll get a 3D curve or a point, line segment, or even a plane depending how the surfaces overlap. C/C++ HARD Yapp, Rossberg
NURBS Optimization and Cleanup: We have a fantastic implementation of NURBS evaluation but haven't gone back to clean up or speed it up. Make it purdy. C/C++ MEDIUM Yapp, Morrison
Fix Bugs: We take pride in our breadth of functionality and time-tested stability. We still have bugs. Identify some and fix 'em! C EASY TBD
NMG Raytracing Performance Improvement: BRL-CAD's structured mesh geometry (N-Manifold Geometry = NMG) needs some time in a profiler. Malloc during raytracing is bad. C HARD Morrison, Greenwald
Mesh library cleanup: BRL-CAD has an extensive n-manifold polygonal mesh library that needs some refactoring, testing, and optimization rework. C MEDIUM Morrison, Rossberg
Code Reduction: BRL-CAD is more than 1M lines of code. Approximately 10% of that is duplication. Help reduce that percentage. C EASY Greenwald, Morrison


Languages Difficulty Contacts
Add exec option to search: Our LIBGED library provides a search command very similar to the UNIX find command for scanning through geometry. Implement the -exec option. C EASY Yapp
Geometric Constraint Solver: Our LIBPC parametric constraint library is the work-in-progress foundation of being able to validate and describe geometry relationships. C/C++ HARD Morrison
MGED to Archer Command Migration: Our next-generation editor (Archer) needs to have the same (700+) commands that are in MGED. Help make our next CAD interface awesome. C and Tcl EASY Yapp
General Tree Walker: We have a half dozen or more functions that will traverse a geometry hierarchy in different ways. There only needs to be one. C EASY Greenwald, Yapp, Morrison
Rework of libbu/libbn to not require Tcl: Tcl's C API is used throughout BRL-CAD providing great abstractions, but we want our basic utility and numeric libraries (LIBBU & LIBBN) to stand alone. C EASY Morrison, Yapp, Greenwald
Consolidate image processing: We have 100+ image processing tools that independently read and write file data. Needs much reuse love. C EASY Greenwald
GED Transactions: Migrating functionality from our MGED geometry editor into our LIBGED library provided excellent code reuse, but now we need transactions so that actions can be undone. C EASY Morrison
Add exec option to search: Our LIBGED library provides a search command very similar to the UNIX find command for scanning through geometry. Implement the -exec option. C EASY Yapp
Geometry Selection Functionality: Implement a new selection command that lets you temporarily group objects based on spatial, attribute, or geometric properties. C EASY Morrison
Space Partitioning for Tessellation: Technically an optimization task, make our geometry converters run an order of magnitude faster by using spatial partitioning during tessellation. C HARD Greenwald, Yapp, Morrison
Astronomical units: We already go "big", but accurately modeling at a galactic scale redefines that notion... C EASY Morrison, Greenwald

User Interface

Languages Difficulty Contacts
New Cross-Platform 3D Display Manager: BRL-CAD uses display managers for visualizing 3D geometry in a window. We want one that uses a cross-platform toolkit such as Qt + OGRE. C/C++ MEDIUM Morrison
New Cross-Platform 2D Framebuffer: BRL-CAD uses framebuffers to display 2D imagery. The merits of having a single interface for most platforms is self-evident. C/C++ EASY Morrison, Yapp
GUI Integration of Analysis Tools: There are a lot of visualization tools in BRL-CAD, but most aren't integrated with the GUI. Visualizing directly within the GUI would improve usability. C MEDIUM Rossberg
NMG Editing: Our structured polygonal mesh geometry (N-Manifold Geometry = NMG) is a common export format, but our NMG edit support is non-existent. We need something. C HARD Morrison, Rossberg
Visualizing Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG): CSG forms a directed acyclic graph. Tree view widgets show a simple hierarchical representation, but we need something better. C/C++ EASY Morrison
Overlap tool: Resolving geometric interferences (aka overlaps) is a common geometry editing activity. Design an awesome interface for resolving conflicts. Tcl EASY Yapp, Morrison, Greenwald

Rendering & Scientific Analysis

Languages Difficulty Contacts
Shader Enhancements: We have a functioning custom shader system in BRL-CAD, but there are now folks that specialize and there's lot of room for improvements. C EASY Morrison, Greenwald
Material and Shader Objects: This one is a biggie but easy. Implement new object entities for describing shaders and material properties, use them during ray tracing. C EASY Morrison
Generalized abstracted spacial partitioning capability: Need more be said? If you're familiar with BSPs, KD trees, and grid structures, then this one is for you. C HARD Greenwald, Morrison
High Dynamic Range Support: We don't have displays supporting this yet, but that's never stopped us before. Implement support for images with more than 8-bits per channel. C and/or C++ EASY Greenwald, Yapp
Analysis Library: There are various tools in BRL-CAD for calculating weights, moments of inertia, and more. They're stand-alone applications. Turn them into a library. C HARD Yapp, Morrison
Celestial mechanics particle system: Simulate solar systems and galaxies. C/C++ MEDIUM Greenwald
Non-vacuum gravity simulator: Simulate falling to earth. C/C++ MEDIUM Greenwald, Morrison, Yapp
Polarization: We already do multispectral ray tracing, but don't simulate polarization effects. Implement ray splitting and filtering. C HARD Morrison, Rossberg
Density functions: Accurately represent everything from atmosphere to bone. Implement support for parametric density functions for homogenous materials. C HARD Rossberg, Morrison
Bending light: Think gravity wells and satellite cameras. C MEDIUM Morrison

<An Idea of Your Own>

Do you have an idea of your own? Maybe you need more ideas to inspire you? We're very open to areas of academic research, industry applications, and ideas that get you hooked on open source CAD development.


  • Passion for the task being suggested

OpenSCAD Projects

OpenSCAD is a parametric solid 3D modeling tool which uses a Domain Specific Language to specify designs as plain text. It is specifically designed with 3D printing in mind.

Languages/Tools Difficulty Contacts
Issue Handling: Day-to day issue and community management, fix incoming and existin issues. Good place to get started. C++ EASY Marius
Test Framework Improvements: Improve tests and test framework. Good place to get started. C++ EASY-MEDIUM Marius
Thingiverse Customizer and Sculpteo customizer support: Design and implement a customization GUI similar to Thingiverse Customizer. C++ EASY-MEDIUM Marius
User interface brushup: General brushup of the user interface. C++ Qt EASY Marius
Improve DXF import: Look into using an external library for DXF import (and export?). C++ EASY Marius
OpenGL framework: Rewrite the OpenGL rendering code to use a rendering framework. Focus on compatibility with OpenGL ES2 and rendering performance. C++ OpenGL MEDIUM Marius
Persistant caching: Implement a disk-based version of the internal memory caches C++ MEDIUM Marius
Multi-threaded Geometry Evaluation: Implement multi-threaded evaluation of geometry. C++ MEDIUM Marius
Web front-end: Experiment with decoupling the user interface from the backend by writing a web front-end and defining how to interface with the backend Web + some C++ MEDIUM Marius
Larger tasks for particularly experienced people: Various harder tasks which are not fully specified and requires significant effort to design and implement. C++ HARD Marius

The OpenSCAD team is also open to new ideas. Please get in touch to discuss your ideas and convince a mentor to back it.

LibreCAD Projects

LibreCAD is a free Open Source CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.

Languages Difficulty Contacts
LibreCAD 3 kickoff: LibreCAD is a popular 2D CAD tool but is based on a old (10 years old) codebase that is hard to add features to. LibreCAD 3 aim's to completely rewrite LibreCAD in different different libraries to make coding against librecad easer. C++ MEDIUM R. van Twisk

STEPcode Projects

Languages Impact Difficulty Contacts
STEP Coverage Test: Write a program that links against STEPcode and generates a STEP output instantiating every entity for a given schema. Goal is a comprehensive program and data file for testing STEP import/export. ANY (C/C++, Python, Java, Perl, ...) EASY Mark, Charlie
STEP Incremental Loading: Basically take a work-in-progress to the next level. Modify the STEP parser to only read what it needs when it needs it, test, clean up, profile, and optimize. C++ EASY Mark, Charlie
STEP Multiple Protocol Parsing: Currently creates a parser that works with a specific application protocol (e.g., AP203, AP214). Make it work with multiple simultaneously. C++ MEDIUM Mark, Charlie
STEP AP 242 Parser: We already parse a subset of AP203, but the new kid on the block is AP242. Make AP242 work with BRL-CAD's step-g importer. C++ EASY Mark, Charlie
STEP Libraries: We took over NIST's STEP Class Library (SCL) project during our development of a STEP importer. SCL has since turned into a larger community collaboration. The code needs cleanup. C/C++ EASY Mark, Charlie
STEP Viewer: STEP is a common CAD file format supported by just about every major CAD system. Given we have an importer and an interface for displaying geometry, a stand-alone STEP file viewer has some great potential. C/C++ MEDIUM Mark, Charlie


BRL-CAD operates under group mentorship. That means you can contact anyone, not just the person assigned to you, for assistance. The mailing list and IRC channel are the preferred communication methods.

  • Christopher Sean Morrison
    • brlcad on irc.freenode.net
    • Org admin, BRL-CAD open source project lead
  • Erik Greenwald
    • ``Erik on irc.freenode.net
    • Org admin, BRL-CAD core dev
  • Cliff Yapp
    • starseeker on irc.freenode.net
    • BRL-CAD Mentor, core dev
  • Daniel Rossberg
    • d_rossberg on irc.freenode.net
    • BRL-CAD Mentor, core dev, math expert
  • H.S. Rai
    • hsrai on irc.freenode.net
    • BRL-CAD Mentor, math expert
  • Tom Browder
    • BRL-CAD Mentor, analysis expert
  • Mark Pictor
    • mpictor on irc.freenode.net
    • STEPcode Mentor
  • Charlie Stirk
    • cstirk
    • STEPcode Mentor
  • Marius Kintel
    • kintel on irc.freenode.net
    • OpenSCAD Mentor
  • Torsten Paul
    • teepee on irc.freenode.net
    • OpenSCAD Mentor
  • Dongxu Li
    • dli on irc.freenode.net
    • LibreCAD Mentor
  • Jose Rallaz
    • rallazz on irc.freenode.net
    • LibreCAD Mentor
  • Ries van Twisk
    • ries on irc.freenode.net
    • LibreCAD Mentor
  • Jasleen Kaur
    • jasleen on irc.freenode.net
    • LibreCAD Mentor