forking Blender+qCAD into a SolidWorks/Inventor killer

I’ve been seeing that programs SolidWorks and Inventor, as well as having an exorbitant license cost, forces most professionals (such as product designers and engineers) to use such programs into operating systems like MS-Windows (from XP to 7).

In a simple way, a program like SolidWorks or Inventor is not much more than a 3D modeling program with CAD functionality, and i see that the code base of free software like Blender and qCAD is minimally mature to be joined in a fork project to face these proprietary software, and provide more freedom to users like engineers and designers missing this kind of freedom in this kind of software, with a minimum quality to be used professionally, as in small workshops, as in departments of large industries, as academically from the most known universities.

How should we do, or what is the most efficient way to catalyze developers and users to develop this project, so necessary for these professionals?

Feed the troll !!!

Very simple. Just get a team of coders together, download the source and start making the app of your dreams… Keep us posted of your progress.

The best way, of course, would be to start coding it yourself.

Do you know that there are already Open Source 3D CAD modelling software ?
HeeksCAD
http://code.google.com/p/heekscad/

FreeCAD
http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page

Salome
http://www.salome-platform.org/

But if you absolutely want to fork Blender, you can begin by contacting writers of CAD Tools for blender2.49.
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.4/Py/Scripts#CAD_Tools

thank you all, and thanks zeauro in special for the links provided! :slight_smile:

just want to mention that QCad now has it’s full Open Source “clone” CADuntu:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/caduntu/

based on QCad Community Edition

It’s a fork of the community edition not a clone.

continue dreaming :wink:

this will never happen - what makes SW etc powerful is not only the parametric modeling but also the physics engines !!!

but truly a nice idea but it will never happen.

Only the Blender internal engine would be saved. Everything else would need hugue refactoring of from scracht a start.

I think QCad is irrelevant to this. Opencascade looks like a great library for the solids modelling, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a decent general purpose application built on it. FreeCAD is trying but is still at an early stage. It would I’m sure be possible to incorporate Opencascade into blender - as another object type - but I’m sure this would take at least as long as integrating Nurbana is taking. I’d love a good parametric open source solids modeller (particularly if not totally aimed at mechanical engineering) but the effort involved in getting this into Blender would be huge.

HeeksCAD / CAM is also built on OpenCascade, but is really more of a hobbyist app ATM… its kinda being patched together haphazardly without any real thought to workflow or proper structure. Thus, despite the active development, it will take a loooong time for it to become usable for real-world pipelines, and even longer for it to get adopted to any “critical mass” sort of level. But its pretty cool for what it is right now! :smiley:

The difficulty with marrying OSS with CAD is the business model. Sure, there are a lot of small businesses, freelancers, educators and entrepreneurs out there who have a need for this kind of tool, but most have it within their budget to purchase such a tool with a reasonable ROI. This is because you usually use CAD to design something to sell, either the design itself or the product which gets designed, and thus have a profit potential. You typically don’t just put a set of blueprints together for the artistic expression of it (though I suppose some do…) Also, there are a few very good inexpensive options available to fill those market niches (with Alibre starting at ~$100 I think? And KOMPAS pretty cheap too - along with several free 2D options which often suffice for small operations.)

The reason for the level of success with Blender is that its a tool that is focused on producing artistic expression, which can be used either for profit or for pleasure. Thus it has a large amateur userbase as well as many who use it in their business workflow. But its the non-proffesional dilettante who really got it rolling at the start. Then the value-add folks come alongside to keep it going. Could the same thing apply to a CAD app? Not sure, but doesn’t seem likely.

EDIT: The other thing that goes alongside the economic aspect of CAD is the need for specific features / functionality. While the feature set of CAD is somewhat more established than DCC, the need for given features would be much more urgent being driven by customer requirements. Would an OSS project be able to deliver when such need arises?

I know that’s one of the frustrations for many with Blender: features either missing or partially implemented, not allowing them to be used to meet a customer request. (I’ve got one right now where I could use Freestyle to do something, but its not ready for prime-time just yet, so I’m likely having to forego the sale.) With a CAD app, the stakes seem like they’d be higher, so one would just go get a commercial app to get the job done, asap.

That reminds me how is that nurbs project going ? Is it still been worked on ?

In the past (years ago) I’ve played with the trial version of Rhino and one thing that struck me was how easy nurbs made it to model mechanical things.

I’ve tried playing with Ayam but that things is seriously lacking some documentation and tutorials. I could “skin” things but from the moment that I wanted to combine things I couldn’t get further and I gave up.

I cant image Blender transformed into some kind of SW or Inventor clone, but i can see it as a good 3d prototyping and presenation tool for 3d Design.
With grease pencil, image painting, uv mapping , nurbana and lots of love, we could get something similar to Alias Studio.

Throw V-Ray and Modo into that mix and you might be onto something. :wink:

I think the nurbs branch is progressing, albeit sllloooowwwwwllly.

i am developing such system for some time, look at CADtools project

Very old thread. Closed