Projects / BRL-CAD


BRL-CAD is a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support, and image and signal-processing tools.

Operating Systems

Last announcement

Google Code-In 13 Nov 2012 05:36

Out of only 10 chosen, I'm delighted to announce that BRL-CAD was accepted to participate in Google Code-In (GCI)! Complementary to the highly successful Google Summer of Code program for university students, GCI is a contest encouraging pre-university students (age 13-17) to get involved with open source. Students will work our "itty-bitty" tasks related to code, documentation/training, outreach/research, quality assurance, and user interface. See for more information.

Recent releases

  •  10 Jul 2013 04:13

    Release Notes: This is the alpha release unveiling of Archer/MGED, a preliminary interface update to BRL-CAD's graphical geometry editor. Some highlights include an integrated graphical tree view, a single window framework, drag-and-drop geometry editing, information panels, shortcut buttons, improved polygonal mesh and 2D sketch editing, a level of detail wireframes, and NURBS shaded display support.

    •  08 Aug 2012 00:34

      Release Notes: This is a substantial introduction of a new development line encompassing more changes than any prior version since BRL-CAD became free open source software. It has robust solid NURBS ray tracing, fixes everything reported by Coverity, updates several geometry converters, has work on a new physics simulation system, makes several improvements to BRL-CAD's extensive documentation resources, and provides a vastly improved installer for Mac OS X.

      •  02 Nov 2011 15:12

        Release Notes: This release provides several dozen major feature enhancements and fixes. Support for NURBS continues to improve with better STEP import, ray tracing fixes, better wireframes, and numerous robustness improvements. MGED/Archer continues to approach alpha status with support added for interactive pipe editing, improved visualization, new mesh healing capabilities, and more. After many months of effort, the OBJ importer receives a comprehensive overhaul improving polygonal mesh import. There is a new exporter to the DOT format used by Graphviz for graphic visualization of geometry hierarchies.

        •  11 Jul 2011 04:13

          Release Notes: This release marks the introduction of a new CMake-based build system. Improvements continue on geometry conversion and tessellation to polygonal formats. Progress was made merging MGED and Archer for an upcoming combined alpha with numerous command improvements, bug fixes, and interface enhancements. Experimental enhancements to BRL-CAD's rending system are also under development in support of programmable shaders.

          •  12 Apr 2011 19:51

            Release Notes: This release includes numerous bugfixes and feature enhancements to MGED, geometry converters, image processing tools, and more. This release includes the initial (yet phenomenally impressive) integration of the high-performance Triangle Intersection Engine (TIE) with BRL-CAD's LIBRT raytrace library. There is a new geometry importer for Shapefile data, and the revolve primitive receives support for transformation matrix editing.

            Recent comments

            06 Apr 2009 12:08 brlcad


            That is probably because the .deb file is incredibly old. That is a contributed release that we don't directly maintain and nobody has stepped forward to update the .deb file for Debian users.

            I would recommend downloading the latest source distribution and compiling BRL-CAD yourself. There are pretty extensive instructions in the INSTALL file.


            19 Dec 2008 04:57 brian2009

            Can't find glibc_2.4 in Debian

            I really appreciate all the help that these forums has provided. Now I have a question:

            I can run brlterm, but when I try running mged or any of the other functions for that matter it says

            mged: /lib/ version "glibc_2.4" not found (required by /usr/brlcad/lib/

            As I understand, Debian doesn't have a glibc_2.4, but when I do an "aptitude search glibc" I have many versions of it installed, including 2.3.6-2 and 2.7-1.

            Question: should I seek out a version 2.4? (Apt-get doesn't find one) Can I get Brlcad to recognize the libs I've got?

            Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks again for all the help!


            14 Jul 2005 21:32 brlcad

            Re: BRL-CAD

            > First of all when I untar the **tar.gz

            > it create a director where I download

            > the package named /usr/brlcad.. and

            > under this I find a lot of others

            > folders.

            The binary distributions of BRL-CAD expect to be installed in

            /usr/brlcad so depending on your version of tar, unpacking

            the tarball will either result in placing the files in /usr/brlcad

            off your root or in a usr/brlcad directory in your current

            directory. If it's the latter, you'll need to move the usr/

            brlcad directory to /usr/brlcad in order for the modeler to

            work correctly.

            As for the rest of the problems you mentioned referring to

  ,, etc -- you're reading old

            installation steps for installation from a source distribution.

            Once you copy the installed files to /usr/brlcad from a binary

            distribution and add /usr/brlcad/bin to your path, you're

            "done". The 7.4.0 release now installs more up-to-date

            installation instructions that includes steps for both binary

            and source installations. You can view this file here:

            <a href=" /


            03 Jul 2005 08:38 jerryluis

            Re: BRL-CAD
            Sorry, but even if I read some description about this software I can't install it! Well I download the latest version (7.2.6) for linux, I read The html instruction but I find something of different.
            First of all when I untar the **tar.gz it create a director where I download the package named /usr/brlcad.. and under this I find a lot of others folders.
            First step I lauch sh -v (fortunatly I find this under /usr/brlcad/bin.
            Than I should run "sh" that I can't find anywhere.
            I should run "sh all" that I can't find to and identical for "sh install".
            because I don't understand how I can install it can someone help me?
            I have a linux redhat (CENTOS 4.1) box.
            I think to start to create a /usr/brlcad/cad directory where I copy everythng I untar, or I can copy what I untar under /usr/....
            Thank you all

            03 Apr 2005 15:13 brlcad

            Re: Binaries for Win32
            There is a beta build of BRL-CAD available for developers
            only at this time, and more specifically only to developers
            that received the 6.x release keys through the former non-
            open-source agreement. Work is presently under
            development to improve the Windows support of BRL-CAD.
            When it's ready, an announcement will be sure to be posted.
            Join the brlcad-news mailing list (
            brlcad) if you would like to get notification of that release.


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