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FreeCAD sketcher

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Pierre
(@pierre)
Posts: 7
Active Member
Topic starter
 

You may know FreeCAD, it's a free and open source software like SolidWorks, fusion306 and so on.

I spend a fair amount (= way more than I should) of time working on the Sketcher of FreeCAD.

Currently I'm working on offset, circular pattern, constrain contextually and many more.

I made a youtube channel to present the new features if you want to have a look. I also try to make some coding video to help new contributors gettings started.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGMTmJjQuxDDyNiPSSEhBHA

This topic was modified 6 months ago by Pierre
 
Posted : 09/04/2022 7:39 pm
Roxi and Roxi reacted
Sandy
(@sandy)
Posts: 29
Eminent Member
 

Thanks for all your work, Pierre 😊 

 

I currently use Fusion360 but I keep trying to motivate myself to learn FreeCAD as I try to use FOSS where I can. Hackspace, from Raspberry Pi Press, has been doing a guide for the last couple of months so maybe I should finally set some time aside.

 
Posted : 09/04/2022 8:58 pm
DIY Perks
(@diyperks)
Posts: 62
Estimable Member Admin
 

I'm with Sandy, that's great work! Please, no one laugh, but I actually use Sketchup and Inkscape for my cad stuff 😆 I'll check out your guides for sure - it's time to learn something more advanced!

 
Posted : 17/04/2022 4:16 pm
thoger0
(@thoger0)
Posts: 4
New Member
 

Looks great Pierre! 
- Matt, if you are looking for something more serious that's easy to use, I would suggest starting with Fusion360. It's free, the community of users is huge, and the guides are endless. It's extremely intuitive. More than any other CAD software I have tried, counting Solidworks, Inventor, Creo and more. It has a LOT of powerfull tools as well, but you get really far with the basics. You'll be up and running in no time in Fusion 360. Let me know if you need any help. 
(Wow I sound like I'm sponsored.. I just really like the usability of Fusion!) 

 
Posted : 20/04/2022 10:16 am
Pierre
(@pierre)
Posts: 7
Active Member
Topic starter
 
Posted by: @sandy

Thanks for all your work, Pierre 😊 

 

I currently use Fusion360 but I keep trying to motivate myself to learn FreeCAD as I try to use FOSS where I can. Hackspace, from Raspberry Pi Press, has been doing a guide for the last couple of months so maybe I should finally set some time aside.

I had a lot of trouble to find the motivation to use FreeCad too to be honest 🙂
I can't stand the current constraint tools and the missing 'automatic constraint' that make life so much simpler. So after a while I decided to code it and it's so much better now. Hope it'll get merge soon but it seems that merging takes a lot of time.

@Matt I think you really should try parametric 3D softwares. They seem hard but they make life so much easier. On my first 3D project I actually used Sketchup and was struggling all the way. Then someone pushed me to use a parametric software and it was so much easier. I really don't regret the initial effort.

Regarding my videos, they are tutorial to learn how to contribute code to FreeCAD, not to actually learn FreeCAD, so they won't be much help 🙂

Regarding @Thoger0 opinion I'm afraid that I would have to somewhat agree with him. A lot of ease-of-life features are missing in the sketcher of FreeCAD, which makes it difficult/frustrating to newcomers to learn. I never used fusion360 but I wouldn't be surprised that it's much easier to learn. I think in about 1 year that probably won't be true anymore with all the changes that we're actually merging 🙂

Though there's the fact that it's always better to learn FOSS softwares than commercial ones for many reasons. Fusion360 is free today, but what of tomorrow? The day they start charging money and you have all your models in their cloud you're stuck.

So afterall personally I would still go for learning freeCad.

 
Posted : 11/05/2022 9:48 am
MikeTheLion
(@mikethelion)
Posts: 3
New Member
 

@pierre i always tried to learn freecad but the interface and commands compared to fusion made take too much time for way simple tasks. but your answer made my curiosity grow: is there a place where i can read those changes? for real one year is all that takes for freecad to be better than fusion360 (or other autodesk counterpart, you get the point)?

 
Posted : 12/05/2022 2:05 pm
Pierre
(@pierre)
Posts: 7
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Well it depends on what you're waiting for to be honest.

For me the main issue with FreeCAD was that the sketcher was missing a lot of features. So I can talk on that workbench specifically.

But to be honest the sketcher is where people doing 3D design spend most of their time isn't it? 

Personally I use only sketcher + part design.

And part design is doing the job fairly correctly already. (Though there are some bugs, especially due to the topological naming problem, but that should be fixed in the year by RealThunder merge.)

So that left me with the sketcher to improve. I have done almost all changes that I had in mind, but now they need to get merge, which is quite slow.

If you want a broad idea of the features I made you can check my youtube videos : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGMTmJjQuxDDyNiPSSEhBHA/videos

There's roughly one for each feature.

The most important are : 

- Tool widget

- Constrain contextually.

 

Then a lot of missing stuff : 

- Offset

- Rotate/circular pattern

- Scale

- A good rectangular array

- arc slot tool

- chamfer (right there isn't a chamfer tool up until now...)

- Group mouse dragging

- CtrlC ctrl-V sketch geometries

 
Posted : 24/05/2022 3:28 pm