Analytical CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) library


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BSD-3-Clause licensed by Dmitry Dzhus
Maintained by [email protected]
This version can be pinned in stack with:csg-,2689

Module documentation for

CSG: constructive solid geometry library

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CSG is a constructive solid geometry library with support for ray casting. CSG allows you to define a complex solid as a composition of primitives. It also provides functions to perform ray casting (find an intersection of a ray and the defined solid) or test whether a point belongs to the solid (for Monte Carlo volume calculation).

-- "Data.CSG" uses 'Vec3' to represent vectors and points:
>>> let p1 = fromXYZ (5, -6.5, -5)
>>> toXYZ (origin :: Point)

-- Define some solids:
>>> let s = sphere origin 5.0
>>> let b = cuboid (fromXYZ (-1, -1, -1)) (fromXYZ (1, 1, 1))

-- Test if a point is inside the solid:
>>> origin `inside` (s `intersect` b)

>>> origin `inside` (s `subtract` b)

-- Find the distance to the next intersection of a ray with a solid, along with the
-- surface normal:
>>> let axis = fromXYZ (1, 2, 10)
>>> let solid = cylinder origin axis 2.0 `intersect` sphere origin 3.5
>>> let ray = Ray (p1, origin <-> p1)
>>> ray `cast` solid
Just (HitPoint 0.7422558525331708 (Just (CVec3 0.7155468474912454 (-0.6952955216188516) 6.750441957464598e-2)))

-- Load a solid definition from a file:
>>> import Data.CSG.Parser
>>> Right solid2 <- parseGeometryFile "examples/reentry.geo"
>>> ray `cast` solid2
Just (HitPoint 10.877824491509912 (Just (CVec3 (-0.5690708596937849) 0.7397921176019203 0.3589790793088691)))

Please consult the Hackage page for csg for full documentation.

By default csg is built using CVec3 from simple-vec3 to represent vectors and points, which according to benchmarks shows better performance with Unboxed and Storable vectors. Build csg with triples flag to use (Double, Double, Double) instead which may be a more convenient programmatic interface that needs no fromXYZ/toXYZ.

See alternatives too.


The package also includes csg-raycaster executable, which is a simple interactive GUI for the ray casting algorithm.

csg-raycaster takes a geometry defintion file as input. See cube.geo:

solid box = orthobrick (-150, -150, -150; 150, 150, 150);

solid rounded = sphere (0, 0, 0; 200);

solid roundedbox = rounded and box;

solid cylinder1 = cylinder (-160, 0, 0; 160, 0, 0; 100);
solid cylinder2 = cylinder (0, -160, 0; 0, 160, 0; 100);
solid cylinder3 = cylinder (0, 0, -160; 0, 0, 160; 100);

solid cross = cylinder1 or cylinder2 or cylinder3;

solid cutout = not cross;

solid top = roundedbox and cutout;

tlo top;

Please consult the Hackage page for Data.CSG.Parser for full format specification.

csg-raycaster may be run as

csg-raycaster cube.geo

Run as csg-raycaster --help to see all options.

csg-raycaster demo

When run without a file argument, csg-raycaster will try to display an arbitrary CSG solid.

In the GUI window the following controls are supported:

Input Function
Left mouse button + drag Rotate
Right mouse button + drag Pan
Mouse wheel up Zoom in
Mouse wheel down Zoom out
r Reset zoom level and camera position


csg library performs no surface interpolation when doing ray casting. Instead, we only solve ray-surface intersection equation numerically. The library was written with Repa/vector compatibility and performance in mind.

There’re other Haskell libraries for CSG:

  • GlomeTrace:

    • Has more ray tracing-specific features, such as light sources, different textures and materials.

    • Unlike csg, has no tests or benchmarks.

    • In csg solids use the same type as opposed to different types with an existential box in GlomeTrace.

  • implicit:

    • Offers a much richer operation set.

    • Uses function representation for CSG solids.

    • If implicit had ray-casting support in early 2012 then I probably wouldn’t write csg.

  • mecha:

    • Only provides types and functions to define solids and export definitions to external formats.

    • No support for ray casting.


Changelog - 2018-08-20


  • Dependencies bump - 2018-07-16


  • Benchmark dependencies bump - 2018-06-29


  • Test suite dependencies bump - 2018-05-12


  • Test suite dependencies bump - 2018-05-11


  • GHC 8.4.x support

  • Use doctest-driver-gen to run doctests

0.1 - 2018-03-20