News Digest

Since the last post a bunch of fixes, additions and smaller improvements happened.

None of these changes are spectacular enough to justify a own blog post. But I have been so quiet on this blog and wanted to show a sign of life, so I decided to write a post with a recap of the last weeks developments. I will just list them with short explanations:

  • I reintegrated bolttools in the BOLTS git repo. This avoids submodules and all the problems and confusions they cause.
  • Types for parameters in blt files files are now mandatory. I got bitten too often by strange errors that were caused by forgotten types. blt files get a bit more verbose by that, though.
  • OpenSCAD connectors are now documented on the specification pages, see for example here. For every connector a picture is shown that shows the position and orientation of the connector with respect to the part. I also created a bit of infrastructure to semi-automate the creation of these pictures.

Connector position documentation

  • Fabrizio Pollastri started a collection for connecting bars. He also uncovered a problem with FreeCAD drawings module, so drawings are still missing for this collection.
  • Some users had problems connected with the PySide Migration, that I could not reproduce. In the development thread on the FreeCAD forum, arcol found the solution. One needs to have the pyside-tools package installed, otherwise BOLTS would fail with a cryptic error message. Now the error message should be more informative.
  • In the same thread the idea of coloring faces of parts to indicate threads was discussed, and I implemented it

Color coded threads

  • I added a new parameter type for angles specified in degrees. This allows to have more checks and better output for the online documentation. I also refactored the code that is responsible for that and simplified it a lot.
  • In FreeCAD, parts now set the label instead of the object name. This makes BOLTS parts in the treeview nicer, as spapces are not converted to underscores.
  • The Python functions that create the parts for FreeCAD can now throw ValueErrors to indicate invalid parameter combinations. The user is presented with a ErrorDialog with details about the problem.

All these improvements are available in the most current development snapshot.