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 curves and surfaces in a flexible way. It is a well-accepted industry standard and used as a basis for nearly all of the 3D modeling and CAD/CAM software packages as well as modeling and visualization frameworks.

Please see the related Wikipedia article or The NURBS Book, a very nice and informative book written by Les A. Piegl and Wayne Tiller.

Why NURBS-Python?

NURBS-Python started as a term 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 an open-source, object-oriented, pure Python NURBS library and releasing on the public domain. As an added challenge to the project, everything was developed using Python Standard Library but no other external modules. This challenge was specifically added as we were struggling with installing & compiling external modules for embedded Python distributions.

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 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$ pip list --outdated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 is tested on Python versions 2.7.x and 3.4.x+. The core library does not depend on any additional packages or require any compilation steps; therefore, you can run it on a plain python installation as well as on a distribution, such as Anaconda.

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.

Issues and Reporting

Contributions to NURBS-Python

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.

Bugs and Issues

Please use the issue tracker on GitHub for reporting bugs and other related issues.

I would be glad if you could provide as much detail as you can for pinpointing the problem. You don’t have to provide a solution for the problem that you encountered but it would be good if you would provide steps (preferably, as a list) to reproduce it. You may directly upload any data files required for testing to the issue tracker or email me if you feel that is more convenient for you.

Comments, Questions and Feature Requests

You are encouraged to use the issue tracker on GitHub for your questions and comments. I would be glad if you could use the appropriate label (comment, question or feature request) to label your questions or comments on the issue tracker.

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.

Installation Issues on Mac OS

Installation of six package from PyPI might cause some issues on some Mac OS versions. Six is a Python 2 to 3 compatibility library and allows NURBS-Python to run under both Python 2 and Python 3. If you are having issues regarding to installation of six package on Mac OS, please use the following command to install NURBS-Python (geomdl):

$ pip install geomdl --ignore-installed six

and to upgrade NURBS-Python (geomdl):

$ pip install geomdl --upgrade --ignore-installed six

or alternatively, you can use conda.

Please refer to the following issue on pip issue tracker for more details: https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/3165