This question I get a lot: Where can I get the software to re-create this and what does it cost?

Short answer: We made a ‘Notchflap’ Blender plugin. Blender is free. The plugin is not.

And here comes a bunch of problems: Due to Blender being subject to the GPL license, add-ons are infected by the GPL, even if their core code is not GPL and does not use any GPL code whatsoever. This is considered ‘broken by design’ for commercial development.

There are legal ways out of this:

  • Don’t link your executable module: Use IPC or client server strategies to transfer data back and forth. The communication add-on however must still be open source.
  • Publish the plugin as .so, publish the wrapper in open source and let the community do the rest. This is based on the assumption that the proprietary license is stronger than the GPL, which is eventually to be sorted out by a legal entity when the GPL enforcer or the FSF would sue you.
  • Simply don’t publish the plugin

I am deciding for the last method for the time being. Why? A few months of development have gone into this:

  • Proprietary unwrapping of 3D into 2D patches (this being GPL incompatible)
  • Novel half edge based structures had to be developed to optimize output to 2D curves for a cutting plotter as well as a force based optimization model
  • Adaptation of plotting routines to output directly to a Cameo Silhouette plotter model from Blender

Since publishing the plugin introduces future costs for maintenance and potentially free user support, I am afraid that this software is not made available until I find a reasonable way of handling the entire licensing overhead for the Blender community.

Future versions will move towards a different mesh editor that offers a better way of sane mesh structure editing, i.e. not allowing stray vertices, edges or inconsistent face (normal) definitions.

Categories: Allgemein