I play with different educational manipulatives for a living. (Visit www.weirdrichard.com). Over the years I have built different themed models using all
sorts of toys. I document what I build with a variety of CAD programs.

For my birthday, my sweetie wife gave me an ASUS eee pc. I primarily use it for communication when I travel. It is small, lightweight, and tough.

At some point, I decided to install one of the manip CAD programs on it. This instructable will describe how to install LeoCAD on the ASUS eee pc.

LeoCAD is a CAD program that uses bricks similar to those found in many toys. Since it can access the LDRAW library, I have succefully imported a variety of manip systems on my PC including fischertechnik and K'NEX. LeoCAD is a great 3D editor for Linux. It supports some basic animation and can export to 3DStudioMax,POV-Ray, and Alias Wavefront.

Disclosure: I am new to Ubuntu and Linux. I pieced together the install from descriptions on www.leocad.org, www.ldraw.org, and a post by Robert van Dijk on Lugnet. I read about installing and using alien at (http://kitenet.net/~joey/code/alien/) and (http://www.howtoforge.com/converting_rpm_to_deb_with_alien). These links were all sources of information and inspiration.

Oh yeah, I did this last week, and I am referring to notes I made then. And I have young children. I hope I am not forgetting anything too crucial.


Of couse you need an ASUS eee pc. I am using the EeePC 8G,

According to www.leocad.org, you should check for the following to run LeoCAD in your computer. This includes:

*OpenGL driver. You can check if you have one already by typing the following in a terminal window:

/sbin/ldconfig -p |grep libGL

You should see libGL.so listed in the output. If you can't find it, then you can use Mesa 3D, or check for hardware accelerated drivers. My eeePC checked out.

*GTK+. LeoCAD uses GTK+ 2.0 for its interface. Check if it is installed by typing the following in the terminal window:

pkg-config --atleast-version=2.0 gtk+2.0

If there are no errors, you have GTK+ and all of its dependencies. Otherwise you can download it from the GTK+ Homepage. My eeePC checked out.

*Alien. Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and
slackware tgz file formats. The installation package for LeoCad is a .rpm file, and
you need a .deb for Ubuntu. Alien is available in the normal Debian repositories. It
can be installed by typing this in the terminal window:

apt-get install alien

NOTE: Alien is rather experimental software. According to the experts, there are
many bugs and limitations. Remember, I am new to this.


Download the LeoCAD executable and the pieces library to a temporary directory from
( http://www.leocad.org/files/ ).

The LDRAW library files (for updated manip files) are available at ( www.ldraw.org ).


Convert the LeoCAD rpm file to a deb with alien. Do this by first changing to the temporary directory where the leocad download is located, and type
the following in the terminal window:

alien leocad-0.75-1.i386.rpm

Afterwards, type:

ls -l

alien should have created the file leocad-0.75-2.i386.deb.

NOTE: Notice that alien has counted up the version number, it is now 0.75-2 instead
of 0.75-1. To keep the original version number, use the -k switch:

alien -k leocad-0.75-1.i386.rpm

This will create the file leocad-0.75-1.i386.deb.

To install the new .deb file, use dpkg -i:

dpkg -i leocad-0.75-1.i386.deb

Finally, extract the pieces library to "/usr/local/share/leocad/"

Viola! You should have a working edition of LeoCAD on your ASUS! You can access
LeoCad either through the terminal window or the file manager. There are tutorials
on LeoCAD at (http://trac.gerf.org/leocad/wiki/BasicTutorial)


I installed LeoCAD, and ran into the same issues that Robert van Dijk posted on
Lugnet. Among them:

*The preferences menu is flawed: the general tab is completely empty. I cannot
change some settings. I cannot access the LDRAW library, so I cannot import other
parts (such as fischertechnik). (Yet).

*It seems that LeoCad is unable to remember the screen layout, reverting back to the default look.

If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it!
<p>what about the .tgz file? I am using Porteus Linux... I have only dealt with .deb files.</p>
totaly hot chick up top
I am able to run MLCAD/LDRAW from a flash drive using WINE. The advantage is that I can access the entire LDRAW library. Thought to share.
I'm trying to run this program under wine on a laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 but when I try to run I can see neither the piece nor the main screen.<br /> These zones are black with some ramdom pixels I think this is the piece.
I have successfully run LDRAW/MLCAD under WINE on my Asus. In any case, I have heard of this&nbsp; problem...but why not try to install the linux version of Leocad? <br /> <br /> Thanks for the note! I appreciate people are checking into this.-R<br />
I didn't use the linux version because I'm not using the lego pieces but the <a href="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1076721/LDraw/LDrawTente_Ultima.zip" rel="nofollow">tente ones</a> (<a rel="nofollow">another Spanish brick game</a> with diferent pieces) and I couldn't load the new categories.<br /> Finaly, I'm using the native linux version, modified and recompiled by me.<br /> I change the library.cpp file adding the new categories, also this may be a good idea for expand the lego categories.<br /> I put this in a Tente Leocad's&nbsp;manual of use, by the moment <a href="http://es.tente3d.wikia.com/wiki/Tente3D:_Instalaci&oacute;n_y_puesta_en_marcha_de_LeoCad" rel="nofollow">only on Spanish</a>.
It will not let me export an image. I can take screenshots using GIMP to create step-by-step plans. I am going to do this for my next ft-ible as an experiment.
Although I have the updated ldraw file, I am still working on being able to access it from the Linux version of LeoCAD. SO at this time, it is not crucial to have the LDRAW library.
Received a note from Leo. He says that the Parts Library Manager is not available yet for the Linux version, and that a patch is due out soon.
Yeah! I got povray 3.6 to work on the Asus eee pc. Next, export a LeoCAD file into the pov format and render it.
Done! Worked fine. So there is the whole process on the eee. Next, can I get LeoCAD to access the ldraw library, and import new parts?
so would this work on normal windows xp or do i have to download and install linux?
I use a combination of LDRAW/MLCAD for XP. My specific goal here was to get something to work in an Ubuntu environment. I am pursuing some other programs now.
I am going to attempt to install KLDraw and/or Klotz. I will keep this updated.
I expect this would be quite different on another variety of Linux, perhaps not even work. I have been using Puppy Linux 4.1 from a Live CD for a few months, mostly for Internet connections when I am traveling. Please comment, if you are able. Thanks.
I do not know enough, although LeoCAD's description is fairly generic for Linux. Perhaps you should give it a try on Puppy and see if it works.
I am a Linux newbie, too. I have learned to make Puppy do what I really want from it and can easily slip back into Windows XP when I need other things. I tried installing a Linux based program with Puppy and the results were not completely to my liking. I have a Windows version of the same program and use it more regularly.
Cool 3d models, I wouldn't prefer it on such a small-screened laptop.
Howdy, Thanks. It is not optimal, but since I am on an airplane for lengthy periods of time, I have plenty of time to develop models. And I can render the art on a system with a larger monitor at a later time.

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