What is BOLTS?
The aim of BOLTS is to build a free and open-source standard parts library for CAD applications. It does so by providing a common database that can be utilized by many different CAD applications.
What is a standard parts library?
When you use a CAD software to create a design, this design consists usually of two different types of components: Custom parts that are specific to your purposes and have to be custom made (e.g. by 3D printing), and standard parts like nuts and bolts that you can buy in a hardware store.
A standard parts library relieves you from the tedious task of modeling standard parts by providing them readily usable, so that you can focus on the interesting aspects of your design.
While many commercial vendors offer standard parts libraries with their tools or for a fee, there is no free (as in freedom) standard parts library, yet. BOLTS tries to fill this gap.
BOLTS leverages the parametric abilities that most CAD applications provide. This allows to obtain a huge number of different sizes and variants of a part from a single model.
Dimensions and metadata of all the sizes and versions of the part are kept in special files. BOLTS can then use this data and the parametric models of the parts to automatically build standard parts libraries (“BOLTS for …”) for different CAD tools, that the user just can simply download and use.
So in a sense BOLTS is a tool to create standard parts libraries.
Dependencies for use
To use BOLTS for OpenSCAD
- OpenSCAD (http://www.openscad.org/)
To use BOLTS for FreeCAD