dactyl-manuform-r-track - keyboard with trackball

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qurn
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:49 pm

dactyl-manuform-r-track - keyboard with trackball

Postby qurn » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:36 am

This is the dactyl-manform-r-track, a keyboard with integrated trackball and features you usually don't have on either of them (enabled through the firmware [QMK])

Image

I it's very nice to use FreeCAD with it. Typing numbers, clicking Gui, turning, zooming etc.
It's not a pure FreeCAD project and from project design perspective not optimal since it carries on a lot of historic cruft with it.

The manuform keyboard was a FreeCAD project. The dactyl project uses closure to generate openscad code. The dactyl-manuform is like the dactyl.

I use FreeCAD to add my last changes (mainly the track ball socket).

It would be nice if FreeCAD would be more attractive to coders so its used in the first place instead of this closure - openscad mix.

I described the project here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyb ... ures_on_a/
Last edited by qurn on Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
vocx
Posts: 4641
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:18 pm

Re: dactyl-manuform-r-track

Postby vocx » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:57 pm

qurn wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:36 am
...
It would be nice if FreeCAD would be more attractive to coders so its used in the first place instead of this closure - openscad mix.
...
FreeCAD has a pretty solid programming interface; perhaps you should describe what you think is lacking to see if it is already there or if it can be implemented.

By the way, it is my impression that people who like to write code (programmers) tend to prefer OpenSCAD and similar ways of building geometry; however, the majority of users of FreeCAD are more hands-on people, mechanical engineers, architects, wood, steel, welding technicians, etc. I'd say most people prefer FreeCAD for the point-and-click drawing capabilities rather than the programming capabilities, but there is not reason why the second aspect couldn't be improved.
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qurn
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:49 pm

Re: dactyl-manuform-r-track

Postby qurn » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:21 am

Pure FreeCAD would be the better choice for this project IMO. No tessellation, no preprocessor (closure), python and faster graphical representation.

If I had the time and knew others would use the project I would rewrite it. But in this take I just wanted a feasible and fast solution without notable compromises in the end product. I allowed compromises in the process of making it to achieve a fast solution.

Main reason it is not so attractive is its so unfamiliar to programmers i guess.
When I think of it a bit more I guess the documentation from programmer perspective is better on the openscad side. When you compare:
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_ ... ifference
https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Part_Cut

Its impressive that Matt Adereth (dactyl creator) made a whole preprocessor for openscad instead of using freecad (2015).

And Jeff Gran (manuform creator) had complains about freecad too (in 2013).
Quote: "It's still under development though and not quite full-featured, IMO (at time of writing)."
vocx
Posts: 4641
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:18 pm

Re: dactyl-manuform-r-track

Postby vocx » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:00 pm

qurn wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:21 am
...
When I think of it a bit more I guess the documentation from programmer perspective is better on the openscad side. When you compare:
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_ ... ifference
https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Part_Cut
...
These two pages cannot be compared because one is programming documentation, and the other is just user documentation for graphical usage.

FreeCAD also has some pages on programming, although they are old and relatively neglected; somebody at some point has to go through them and make them cleaner, Topological data scripting.
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