Discussion:
"FreeCAD" 3D modeling software - Any users/reviews?
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pyotr filipivich
2016-03-27 02:19:12 UTC
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I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.

I'd been using Solidworks since tech school - most recently to
make the 2x4s, standard plywood sheets, etc, to assemble a shop.
"Neat" a PITA, and overkill. But the student license hath expired,
passed on, rung down the curtain - snuffed it. There went not just my
2x4 models but all drawings not saved as PDFs (they are still there,
maybe I'll take a refresher course and print stuff out). Nerts. Three
grand for a regular license. Ouch.

Anyway, stumble across a recommendation for FreeCAD. The Price is
right (Free) but it is in release 0.15 (yes, Zero point one five) -it
works, but I think I'm going to have to keep convert.exe where I can
hit it often, as it is being built in Metric, and while it recently
added inch displays, um, it tends to convert to feet/yards along the
way. So that 96" panel become 2.66 yards.
Past time for me to split

tschus
pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich
"With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
Erminio Ottone
2016-03-27 07:05:20 UTC
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Post by pyotr filipivich
I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.
I'd been using Solidworks since tech school - most recently to
make the 2x4s, standard plywood sheets, etc, to assemble a shop. "Neat"
a PITA, and overkill. But the student license hath expired, passed on,
rung down the curtain - snuffed it. There went not just my 2x4 models
but all drawings not saved as PDFs (they are still there, maybe I'll
take a refresher course and print stuff out). Nerts. Three grand for a
regular license. Ouch.
Anyway, stumble across a recommendation for FreeCAD. The Price is
right (Free) but it is in release 0.15 (yes, Zero point one five) -it
works, but I think I'm going to have to keep convert.exe where I can hit
it often, as it is being built in Metric, and while it recently added
inch displays, um, it tends to convert to feet/yards along the way. So
that 96" panel become 2.66 yards.
Past time for me to split
tschus pyotr --
pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age
travels alone."
I use FreeCAD every day with satisfaction, on Linux
Tim Wescott
2016-03-28 16:50:56 UTC
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Post by pyotr filipivich
I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.
I'd been using Solidworks since tech school - most recently to
make the 2x4s, standard plywood sheets, etc, to assemble a shop. "Neat"
a PITA, and overkill. But the student license hath expired, passed on,
rung down the curtain - snuffed it. There went not just my 2x4 models
but all drawings not saved as PDFs (they are still there, maybe I'll
take a refresher course and print stuff out). Nerts. Three grand for a
regular license. Ouch.
Anyway, stumble across a recommendation for FreeCAD. The Price is
right (Free) but it is in release 0.15 (yes, Zero point one five) -it
works, but I think I'm going to have to keep convert.exe where I can hit
it often, as it is being built in Metric, and while it recently added
inch displays, um, it tends to convert to feet/yards along the way. So
that 96" panel become 2.66 yards.
Past time for me to split
tschus pyotr --
pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age
travels alone."
I've used it to design a few of parts, one of which went off to a 3D
printer and came back as a solid printed thing in a box (along with many
helpful comments on how to design things so they'll 3D print well).

It was an uphill battle all the way, but I think that at least 80% of
that was my total unfamiliarity with 3D CAD. Perhaps even 100%.

There is a very active support community out there -- there's been at
least one time when I posted a file along with a question about how to do
something, and had my file posted back with all my desired changes made,
better than I could have done.

It _is_ a bit clunky, and upgrades _are_ happening fast enough that
sometimes your best solution to a problem is to download the latest build
and live with (perhaps) a different set of bugs than the last time. But
it definitely seems to be a usable product.
--
Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
http://www.wescottdesign.com
Bob La Londe
2016-03-29 16:52:11 UTC
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Post by pyotr filipivich
I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.
Its been a couple years since I last tried FreeCAD, but I found it was ok
for geomtric stuff if a little buggy and unstable. Save often if you use
it. I have heard it has made some improvments so YMMV.

If you want a true 3D CAD program take a look at Fusion360 from AutoCAD.
Its cloud based, but its free to hobbyists, students, startups and small
businesses with less than a a certain net profitability. I've been playing
with it off and on for a little while, and I am still butting up against my
own learning curve for the most part, but the problems are mostly my own
style of working with solid models I learned working with ViaCAD. It deos
demand a modestly current 64bit OS. I am running it on an i5 with 64bit W10
at the moment, but I'll be setting it up on my W7-64-Pro laptop soon enough.

I really haven't found any glaring bugs or had any unexpected crashes yet,
but I must admit I have not really learned enough to push its limits yet
either.
Tim Wescott
2016-03-29 19:17:45 UTC
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Post by Bob La Londe
Post by pyotr filipivich
I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.
Its been a couple years since I last tried FreeCAD, but I found it was
ok for geomtric stuff if a little buggy and unstable. Save often if you
use it. I have heard it has made some improvments so YMMV.
If you want a true 3D CAD program take a look at Fusion360 from AutoCAD.
Its cloud based, but its free to hobbyists, students, startups and small
businesses with less than a a certain net profitability. I've been
playing with it off and on for a little while, and I am still butting up
against my own learning curve for the most part, but the problems are
mostly my own style of working with solid models I learned working with
ViaCAD. It deos demand a modestly current 64bit OS. I am running it on
an i5 with 64bit W10 at the moment, but I'll be setting it up on my
W7-64-Pro laptop soon enough.
I really haven't found any glaring bugs or had any unexpected crashes
yet, but I must admit I have not really learned enough to push its
limits yet either.
For me the ideal CAD tool would involve a virtual-reality setup with
goggles and gloves with haptic feedback, coupled by a virtual machine
shop with "magic" cutters. If I want it cylindrically symmetrical I
chuck it up in the lathe (with magic chucks, of course), if I want it
free-form I put it on the milling machine, if I need something more I
grab the (magic) bottle of glue, etc.
--
Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
http://www.wescottdesign.com
pyotr filipivich
2016-03-30 23:31:29 UTC
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Post by Tim Wescott
Post by Bob La Londe
Post by pyotr filipivich
I've run across 3D modeling software "FreeCAD" and wondering what
others might think. Or have any experience with it.
Its been a couple years since I last tried FreeCAD, but I found it was
ok for geomtric stuff if a little buggy and unstable. Save often if you
use it. I have heard it has made some improvments so YMMV.
If you want a true 3D CAD program take a look at Fusion360 from AutoCAD.
Its cloud based, but its free to hobbyists, students, startups and small
businesses with less than a a certain net profitability. I've been
playing with it off and on for a little while, and I am still butting up
against my own learning curve for the most part, but the problems are
mostly my own style of working with solid models I learned working with
ViaCAD. It deos demand a modestly current 64bit OS. I am running it on
an i5 with 64bit W10 at the moment, but I'll be setting it up on my
W7-64-Pro laptop soon enough.
I really haven't found any glaring bugs or had any unexpected crashes
yet, but I must admit I have not really learned enough to push its
limits yet either.
For me the ideal CAD tool would involve a virtual-reality setup with
goggles and gloves with haptic feedback, coupled by a virtual machine
shop with "magic" cutters. If I want it cylindrically symmetrical I
chuck it up in the lathe (with magic chucks, of course), if I want it
free-form I put it on the milling machine, if I need something more I
grab the (magic) bottle of glue, etc.
I understand that such is actually available, but for big bucks
(of course).
--
pyotr
Job creation and destruction are both relentless.
The small difference between the two is what we call prosperity.
Erminio Ottone
2016-04-29 13:58:47 UTC
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Post by Bob La Londe
Its been a couple years since I last tried FreeCAD, but I found it was
ok for geomtric stuff if a little buggy and unstable.
it has evolved since than and it will soon have its own CAM module
DanP
2016-04-04 22:28:04 UTC
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To view your old drawings try thishttps://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/edrawings/e2_downloadcheck.htm

DanP
pyotr filipivich
2016-04-20 02:18:58 UTC
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Post by DanP
To view your old drawings try thishttps://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/edrawings/e2_downloadcheck.htm
Thanks, I may have that, or something similar. Not only can I
look at the drawings, but the models as well. Cool.
--
pyotr filipivich
"With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
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