Updated BRL-CAD Released

brlcad 101 Aug 08, 2012 at 07:14 modeling geometry

After more than six months development, BRL-CAD 7.22.0 is now available. This is a substantial introduction of a new development line encompassing more changes than any prior version since BRL-CAD’s release as free open source software. We have robust solid NURBS ray tracing, fixed everything reported by Coverity, updated several geometry converters, worked on a new physics simulation system, made several improvements to BRL-CAD’s extensive documentation resources, and provide a vastly improved installer for Mac OS X. In all, seventeen contributors helped deliver about one hundred distinct user-visible changes for this release of BRL-CAD.

See a comprehensive itemization of changes at https://sourceforge.net/projects/brlcad/files/BRL-CAD%20Source/7.22.0/

This release includes hundreds of fixes for source code defects, logic and memory management bugs, potential security vulnerabilities, and numerous other issues reported by Coverity Static Analysis. Having participated in the Coverity Scan Initiative since inception in 2006, this release marks a major completion milestone. For more than 2100 issues reported, every issue was inspected, code modifications were reviewed, critical features were tested, user-visible changes were documented, and now all reported issues are resolved.

Development of BREP/NURBS representation support within BRL-CAD is now mature with the completion of a thorough review for modeling and analysis suitability. The successful validation and verification review compared objects in implicit, polygonal mesh, and NURBS forms across more than a dozen tests examining rendering results, presented areas, volume, and other properties. This release provides ray tracing, wireframe, and performance improvements. Progress continues to be made implementing conversion of traditional geometry to NURBS format.

This release introduces numerous major feature developments including the initial implementation of a new physics simulation capability, a new ambient occlusion rendering mode, and the integration of rtwizard into Archer. The simulation system, developed under the European Space Agency’s 2011 and 2012 Summer of Code in Space (SOCIS) program, allows geometry to dynamically interact with each other (e.g., collision detection, friction) or their environment (e.g., gravity). Ambient occlusion is a shading method that helps add considerable realism and feature definition to renderings, enabled within rt using the “set ambSamples=128” option. The rtwizard rendering interface was extended to work as a command-line tool (useful for scripting) and is integrated within Archer as a rendering interface.

Among more than 40 user-visible bugs fixed is a significant database corruption issue on 64-bit big endian platforms (e.g., IBM Power Series supercomputers) when writing out ebm, dsp, vol, and hf primitives. Along with fixing the corruption, the STEP importer receives several updates including support for importing assembly hierarchies and is in the process of being tested on Windows. Conversion support continues to be a development priority with several enhancements included for the OBJ, COMGEOM, FASTGEN, and RAW geometry importers.

BRL-CAD’s documentation has been extended, improved, and translated due to the sustained efforts of numerous contributors. Manual page documentation is made available on Windows through the ‘brlman’ command and within MGED’s built-in help interface. Many other utilities and commands receive documentation updates, corrections, and other improvements. The introductory “About BRL-CAD” article is now available in Russian, Italian, and Armenian.

Many extended thanks to the voluminous hands that contributed to this release including Abhijit Nandy, Carl Moore, Christopher Pitts, Ilya, Karen Mgebrova, Lee Butler, Mike Tegtmeyer, Daniel Roßberg, Wu Jianbang, Keith Bowman, Erik Greenwald, Bob Parker, Richard Weiss, Tom Browder, Sean Morrison, Nick Reed, and Cliff Yapp.

This is a backwards-comparible source AND binary release. After several years inactivity, this update of BRL-CAD for Mac OS X is provided as a fully self-contained drag-n-drop application bundle. Updated binaries are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Please visit the BRL-CAD website to download the latest version: http://brlcad.org/d/download

![New BRL-CAD disk image installer for Mac OS X][1] [1]: http://brlcad.org/images/mac_239x256.png

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