Node: Introduction, Next: , Previous: Top, Up: Top


3DLDF is a free software package for three-dimensional drawing written by Laurence D. Finston, who is also the author of this manual. It is written in C++ using CWEB and it outputs MetaPost code.

3DLDF is a GNU package. It is part of the GNU Project of the Free Software Foundation and is published under the GNU General Public License. See the website for more information. 3DLDF is available for downloading from The official 3DLDF website is More information about 3DLDF can be found at the author's website:

Please send bug reports to: and

Two other mailing lists may be of interest to users of 3DLDF: is for people to ask other users for help and is for sending announcements to users. To subscribe, send an email to the appropriate mailing list or lists with the word "subscribe" as the subject. The author's website is

My primary purpose in writing 3DLDF was to make it possible to use MetaPost for three-dimensional drawing. I've always enjoyed using MetaPost, and thought it was a shame that I could only use it for making two-dimensional drawings. 3DLDF is a front-end that operates on three-dimensional data, performs the necessary calculations for the projection onto two dimensions, and writes its output in the form of MetaPost code.

While 3DLDF's data types and operations are modelled on those of Metafont and MetaPost, and while the only form of output 3DLDF currently produces is MetaPost code, it is nonetheless not in principle tied to MetaPost. It could be modified to produce PostScript code directly, or output in other formats. It would also be possible to modify 3DLDF so that it could be used for creating graphics interactively on a terminal, by means of an appropriate interface to the computer's graphics hardware.

The name "3DLDF" ("3D" plus the author's initials) was chosen because, while not pretty, it's unlikely to conflict with any of the other programs called "3D"-something.