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 (useful for non-Python and automated systems)
  • 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 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.

Since Python 2.7.x and v3.4.x are reaching their end-of-life very soon, NURBS-Python project will only support Python 3.5+ starting with v6.0.0.

Please see the following page for more details: https://python3statement.org/

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

Bugs and Feature Requests

Please use the issue tracker on GitHub for bug reporting and requesting a new feature.

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.

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.

Conda Package on Python 2.7

You need to install functools_lru_cache module manually if you are using a Python 2.7 distribution managed via conda package manager (e.g. Anaconda, Miniconda).

The following command will install these packages in your active Python environment:

$ conda install functools_lru_cache