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Friday, March 24, 2017

3D Modelling Software on Ubuntu 16.04 (OpenSCAD, FreeCAD, gCAD3D, Blender)

In addition to the previous post with 3D printer control software, you will likely want something to make models with!


This modeller uses a C-like programming language to create models. For example, to create a 20mm cube you type cube([20,20,20]);

Install with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openscad/releases
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openscad

Run with openscad

I also find the scad-utils repository to be useful, the morphology plugin has a fillet tool:

OpenSCAD website:
OpenSCAD documentation:


A graphical modeller. This has many more features than OpenSCAD though I don't like the interface as much. A good workflow might be to make shapes in OpenSCAD and then import into FreeCAD to polish.

Install with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freecad-maintainers/freecad-stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install freecad

Run with freecad

FreeCAD website:
FreeCAD documentation:


This looks like a simpler version of FreeCAD

A deb package download is provided on the website for 32-bit and 64-bit.

Once downloaded, install with:

sudo dpkg -i gCAD3D*.deb

Run with gcad3d

gCAD3D website:
gCAD3D documentation:


I have not played with this much yet, but it's very popular

Install with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender
sudo apt update
sudo apt install blender

Run with blender

Blender website:
Blender support and docs:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

3D Printing Software on Ubuntu 16.04 (Cura, Slic3r, Pronterface, Repetier Host)

I recently got a cheap 3D printer and wanted to get started printing with Ubuntu. Some of the software is not so obvious to install, so here's how I got these popular applications going:


Cura is available in the PPA. To install, just:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thopiekar/cura
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cura

Launch with the cura command.

Cura website:

Slic3r (Slicer)

The version in repos is the latest (1.2.9) at the time of writing, however the package is missing some dependencies. This installs all that's required:

sudo apt install slic3r wx-common libopengl-perl libwx-glcanvas-perl

Launch the GUI with the slic3r --gui command

Slic3r website:

Pronterface (aka Printrun)

This requires python-wxgtk2.8 which is removed in Ubuntu Xenial 16.04, and the replacement python-wxgtk3.0 does not work well with Printrun.

There are some instructions around the internet suggesting to install the Wily 15.10 version, but that led to messy dependencies for me.

Luckily, WebUpd8 package python-wxgtk2.8 for 16.04 in their PPA, thanks!

First, install the dependencies Printrun requires with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install python-serial python-wxgtk2.8 python-pyglet python-numpy cython python-libxml2 python-gobject python-dbus python-psutil python-cairosvg git

Now change to the directory where you want the application to be and fetch the software with:

git clone

To run, change to the Printrun directory with cd Printrun and run the python command.

Pronterface website:

Repetier Host

This uses Mono to run the Windows binary, install requirements with:

sudo apt install monodevelop libmono-system-serviceprocess4.0-cil

Download and uncompress:

tar xf repetierHostLinux_1_6_2.tgz
cd RepetierHost

Run with:

mono RepetierHost.exe

Repetier Host website: