Download L3P for Windows/DOS

First some info about how to run L3P

L3P is a DOS program, a console program. You can NOT run it by double-clicking on it in the Explorer. You must run it in a DOS window (a DOS-box). Open a DOS window (Start/Programs/MS-DOS-prompt)
Linux (i386) and Mac (OSX) users can go to this download page and download zipped versions for their platforms.

There are two (or three) requirements to run L3P:

  1. DOS must know where to find the l3p.exe command.
  2. L3P must know where LDraw is installed, i.e. in which directory L3P can find the P, PARTS and MODELS directories.
  3. If you plan using the LGEO PovRay parts you must also do this.

1. DOS must know where to find the l3p.exe command.

Where have you put l3p.exe?
Let's say it is in the c:\Download\Lego\L3P directory, then you have to put c:\Download\Lego\L3P in your PATH.
In a DOS-box type:
   set PATH=%PATH%;c:\Download\Lego\L3P
(PATH is set to the old PATH plus c:\Download\Lego\L3P)
Now DOS will search for l3p.exe in c:\Download\Lego\L3P too. This means that you can stay in any directory, e.g. where your models are or where your POV files are, and start L3P. DOS can now find l3p.exe because you have told it where to look.

If you want to see where else DOS looks for programs, simply type [1]:

The "set PATH=%PATH%;c:\Download\Lego\L3P" command can be appended to your c:\autoexec.bat (use any text-editor e.g. Notepad, and paste the "set PATH=%PATH%;c:\Download\Lego\L3P" command at the end).
Now the "set" command will be executed each time you start a DOS-box and the PATH is automatically updated, and you save typing the set command.

If you don't want to mess with the PATH environment variable, then you can simply place l3p.exe in e.g. c:\Windows or any other directory that is already in your PATH, see [1].

Or as the very simplest way you can just put l3p.exe in the same directory as Ldraw.exe and Ledit.exe (the LDraw directory, see next paragraph). However, you will have to go to that directory to run l3p.exe, exactly as you will have to go there to run Ldraw.exe or Ledit.exe.

2. L3P must know where LDraw is installed

L3P needs to know where to look for the LDraw parts, i.e. where the P, PARTS and MODELS directories are located.
If you are using LDAO or LDLite then L3P will already know where to find the parts, because the directory containing the P, PARTS and MODELS directories is then specified as the BaseDirectory setting in the [LDraw] section of the file ldraw.ini in c:\Windows (or whereever %windir% points). You are now ready to run!

Otherwise you will need to tell L3P where to find the parts. You must set the environment variable LDRAWDIR to the directory containing the P, PARTS and MODELS:

If you have installed LDraw in c:\Lego\LDraw, then your computer has these directories:
and these files (among others):

So your LDraw directory (LDRAWDIR) is c:\Lego\LDraw.
You must call the DOS-command "set" before any calls to L3P (don't use a trailing backslash in the directory and only one blank (between set and LDRAWDIR)):

C:\> set LDRAWDIR=c:\Lego\LDraw
C:\> l3p car.dat
C:\> l3p car.dat newview -cg30,45 -b -f
This should result in two POV-files c:\car.pov and c:\newview.pov

If you have POV-Ray for Windows installed then type in a DOS-box:

C:\> set LDRAWDIR=c:\Lego\LDraw
C:\> cd PovFiles
C:\PovFiles> l3p -b -f car.dat
C:\PovFiles> start car.pov
This will launch POV-Ray for Windows and you can press the Run button.

It is convenient to put "set LDRAWDIR=c:\Lego\LDraw" in your c:\autoexec.bat, then you don't have to type the "set" command everytime you open a DOS-window.

The LDRAWDIR must be specified in 8+3 format, the old DOS naming convention: max 8 characters + a dot + max 3 characters extension. I.e. you should use e.g. c:\ldrawf~1 rather than the long name c:\LDrawFiles.

On Windows NT, the environment is loaded from the registry, instead of a batch file. To set your environment go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/System and select the Environment tab. You'll probably want to set LDRAWDIR in the user environment, not the system enviroment. Enter LDRAWDIR as Variable, and e.g. c:\Lego\Ldraw as Value. Click on the Set button. After setting the LDRAWDIR environment variable, you will see it in new DOS boxes (type "set"), not in already open DOS boxes.

The environment variable LDRAWDIR was originally suggested by Tore Eriksson.

You may also want to have a look at a graphical user interface for L3P, the L3PAdd-On (L3PAO) by Jeff Boen (Onyx).

Then download...

L3P comes in two flavours, a normal 32 bit version (Win32) designed to run in a DOS box in Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP, and a 16 bit version for the few who has a very old computer or who want to run in a DOS emulator on another platform. The 16 bit version may start choking after 3-4.000 parts!

Included in the zip files is the documentation l3p.txt.
Windows logo L3P (Win32) v1.3 20010120 (74 kB)
MS-DOS logo L3P (DOS) v1.3 20010120 (62 kB) the 16-bit version for very old computers. To distinguish the executable from the 32-bit version, the 16-bit version is called l3p16.exe. However, you can rename l3p16.exe to l3p.exe if you want to.

Please enjoy and let me know what you think.
Linux logo Linux (i386) and MacOSX logo Mac (OSX) users can go to this download page and download zipped versions for their platforms.

Lars C. Hassing's Homepage

Last updated June 16, 2000