It has been a long time since they’ve put out a new version and I tried to use 0.13 and I couldn’t use it due to bugs. I tried this latest release and WOW! I have years of experience with Pro-E and Solidworks and Free CAD is actually usable now! For those that do not know… this is a parametric modeler and is fundamentally different than blender in that geometry is ‘built’ one operation at a time and you can go back and edit any of these operations at any time. Free CAD is a manifold modeler in that all geometry is enclosed so the software knows the inside and outside of a part. It is also dimension driven allowing you to edit dimensions to alter your geometry at any time. The software is meant for mechanical engineers, but has a LOT of development in architectural realm as well. It has a LOT of import export capability. Unfortunately the Assembly mode is still under development and has bugs, but once these have been ironed out the real power of parametric modelling will come into play and this package will be amazing.
Yeah it’s worth a try, I’ve always kept an eye on FreeCAD because Blender just doesn’t do the same things. If you want to make art… blender. You want to make real/mechanical stuff… parametric modeler… apples and oranges.
If it’s faster and more flexibel in modelling and still stable as Sketchup then it could become interesting for architecture modells.
Especially if it creates cleaner STL-files for 3D-Printing.
I hope I find some time one day to test the hole workflow with it.
It crashed immediately on me when I tried clicking on the part file icon at the startup screen. I found a workaround and managed to play with it a bit. Seems it’s off to a good start but I don’t think I’ll be giving up on Solidworks just yet. I do hope that they continue to develop this!
I really like the idea of parametric modelling, but would love to see it properly implemented into Blender for the purpose of animating these things. Is there any way to do such a thing in Free CAD and then export to Blender to render it out? I’m guessing probably not, but I can dream I guess!
I find this a very good addition to my toolchain. I can open and process many more filetypes that were previously unaccessible. I often work with client engineering files in .step or .iges format (filetypes I can’t even open in autocad), and I would need to ask them to export to .stl for me. Now I can handle file conversions on my end. Definite improvement for me, and a fully opensource toolchain to boot!
There’s a new version 0.15. http://www.freecadweb.org
I noticed it now successfully converts Solid Works generated .STEP files that a previous version had problems with.
Very useful program, they should include cycles rendering