Questions and Answers

What is NURBS?

NURBS is an acronym for Non-Uniform Rational Basis Spline and it represents a mathematical model for generation of geometric shapes in a flexible way. It is a well-accepted industry standard and used as a basis for nearly all of the 3-dimensional modeling and CAD/CAM software packages as well as modeling and visualization frameworks.

Although the mathematical theory of behind the splines dates back to early 1900s, the spline theory in the way we know is coined by Isaac (Iso) Schoenberg and developed further by various researchers around the world.

The following books are recommended for individuals who prefer to investigate the technical details of NURBS:

Why NURBS-Python?

NURBS-Python started as a final project for M E 625 Surface Modeling course offered in 2016 Spring semester at Iowa State University. The main purpose of the project was development of a free and open-source, object-oriented, pure Python NURBS library and releasing it on the public domain. As an added challenge to the project, everything was developed using Python Standard Library but no other external modules.

In years, NURBS-Python has grown up to a self-contained and extensible general-purpose pure Python spline library with support for various computational geometry and linear algebra algorithms. Apart from the computational side, user experience was also improved by introduction of visualization and CAD exchange modules.

NURBS-Python is a user-friendly library, regardless of the mathematical complexity of the splines. To give a head start, it comes with 40+ examples for various use cases. It also provides several extension modules for

  • Using the library directly from the command-line
  • Generating common spline shapes
  • Rhino .3dm file import/export support
  • ACIS .sat file import support

Moreover, NURBS-Python and its extensions are free and open-source projects distributed under the MIT license.

NURBS-Python is not an another NURBS library but it is mostly considered as one of its kind. Please see the Motivation page for more details.

Why two packages on PyPI?

Prior to NURBS-Python v4.0.0, the PyPI project name was NURBS-Python. The latest version of this package is v3.9.0 which is an alias for the geomdl package. To get the latest features and bug fixes, please use geomdl package and update whenever a new version is released. The simplest way to check if you are using the latest version is

$ pip list --outdated

Minimum Requirements

NURBS-Python (geomdl) is tested with Python versions 2.7.x, 3.4.x and higher.

Help and Support

Please join the email list on Google Groups. It is open for NURBS-Python users to ask questions, request new features and submit any other comments you may have.

Alternatively, you may send an email to nurbs-python@googlegroups.com.

Issues and Reporting

Bugs and Feature Requests

NURBS-Python project uses the issue tracker on GitHub for reporting bugs and requesting for a new feature. Please use the provided templates on GitHub.

Contributions

All contributions to NURBS-Python are welcomed and I appreciate your time and efforts in advance. I have posted some guidelines for contributing and I would be really happy if you could follow these guidelines if you would like to contribute to NURBS-Python.

Opening a new issue on GitHub to discuss what you would like to implement for NURBS-Python will be also appreciated.

How can I add a new feature?

The library is designed to be extensible in mind. It provides a set of abstract classes for creating new geometry types. All classes use evaluators which contain the evaluation algorithms. Evaluator classes can be extended for new type of algorithms. Please refer to BSpline and NURBS modules for implementation examples. It would be also a good idea to refer to the constructors of the abstract classes for more details.

API Changes

I try to keep the API (name and location of the functions, class fields and member functions) backward-compatible during minor version upgrades. During major version upgrades, the API change might not be backward-compatible. However, these changes will be kept minor and therefore, the users can update their code to the new version without much hassle. All of these changes, regardless of minor or major version upgrades, will be announced on the CHANGELOG file.