I’m a mechanical engineer, I use Solidworks. Solidworks Visualise, starting from the 2019 version, supports NVidia MDL files as a form of appearance, which makes the first time that some form of Solidworks renderer is able to render procedural 3D wood.
I’m no beginner to programming so I looked up how to write MDL code and started working on it, it’s going well (I’m quite disappointed the standard NVidia MDL library doesn’t have any 3D woods, so I’d like to submit mine for inclusion when they’re done). But the iteration time is very long…Visualise 2019 doesn’t support any kind of ability to alter defined parameters or to reload an MDL from scratch (and I can’t afford to buy another version of Solidworks), which means closing and reloading it, which takes at least a full minute, it’s a severe bottleneck to my work speed.
So I tried building the MDL SDK from scratch on an Ubuntu VM, since I thought that mdl_browser thing might be what I’m looking for (there’s no documentation for or description of any of the examples, so I’m not completely sure) and that’s not working out. It’s got some strange build errors about 96% of the way through that I don’t know how to fix the root cause of because I’m not a *nix guru. After a week of struggling with it, I’m giving up for now.
So I finally created an NVidia Developer account just so I can download the precompiled binaries, only for it to turn out the precompiled binaries don’t include any of the examples included in the SDK, which I feel is quite misleading.
So what is the best solution? I’d like a program which can render an MDL file on a simple model or models and quickly reload and recompile it from disk so I can reduce my iteration time.