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Leadhead
07-09-2017, 10:49 AM
Any of you guys using Freecad. I have just spent some time Utubing and downloading the programme and as an ex Solidworks user I find Freecad absolutely brilliant. Solidworks it is not, but once you get used to the module based interface. It is quite amazing for free. If you need 3D design software and you have the time to get your head round it.
You will discover a very useful tool indeed. I referance this video as a taster among the many on Utube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=882quRdDaY4

Greeny
07-09-2017, 12:57 PM
I used it quite a lot about 18 months ago and found it very powerful.
Steep learning curve, but once i got my head round it I liked it a lot.
Unfortunately it was quite buggy at that time and i ended up switching to fusion360.

Fusion 360 is excellent, but you have inspired me to have another look at freecad.
Always good to have options 😊

Cheers

Leadhead
07-09-2017, 02:58 PM
I use Fusion360 mostly also. Just fascinated by the development of Freecad 0.17 from the last time I looked at it 18 months or so back. I also like the thought of not having all my eggs in one basket (cloud)

Boyan Silyavski
07-09-2017, 06:02 PM
I use it mainly for the purpose of making solids from Openscad. In other words, importing Thingiverse files into my solid drawings for the purpose of integrating some elements and combining them.

The procedure is : Openscad-Export SVG-open in Freecad-Export as IGES-Import and sew surfaces in NX

Discovered after a lot of fiddling and i am not aware of any similar procedure to do that.

magicniner
07-09-2017, 09:58 PM
I use it for conversion of STL back to a usable CAD file formats, at the moment it has too many limitations for creation of complex 3D models so I use other CAD and Blender.

vidya31
09-03-2019, 06:36 AM
Can someone give the difference between Freecad and Solidworks (https://crbtech.in/programmes/mechanical-design-training-programme) ?

magicniner
09-03-2019, 10:00 AM
There are differences at every level.
Solidworks is an integrated commercial product / FreeCad is a collection of bundled Open Source "Apps"
Solidworks is very expensive / FreeCad is free
Solidworks is professionally supported / FreeCad is supported by the user group on a forum

If you want to get into CAD/CAM Fusion 360 is a great product with free licensing to hobby users and startups.

routerdriver
09-03-2019, 09:14 PM
I have used Freecad to generate toolpaths for my homebrew machine as it has an inbuilt postprocessor for LinuxCNC.It works very well for that purpose.It isn't the most intuitive piece of software,but the capabilities are impressive and the price can't be beaten.With just a little more improvement it could knock several expensive software suites into oblivion as they would offer nothing more for the considerable purchase price.

magicniner
09-03-2019, 10:13 PM
With just a little more improvement it could knock several expensive software suites into oblivion as they would offer nothing more for the considerable purchase price.

You could say the same of LinuxCNC regarding controllers, but it doesn't, and it won't.

Development by nerd committee, when they are not competent, driven, productive machinists themselves never yields optimal results.

This is why Tormach had to spend their own money to develop LinuxCNC into a usable product for non-nerds, PathPilot.

routerdriver
10-03-2019, 12:22 PM
To an extent I agree with that comment and my previous post said it needed just a bit more development.The Freecad forum is quite a good place to ask questions and there is a steady stream of developments which are often well presented on youtube and there are others on youtube which needed editing and critiquing before being posted as they say very little over rather too much time.

The comments about LinuxCNC are probably a little harsh as there is a nucleus of very well informed people developing the platform.Again,documentation is a bit indigestible and often more accessible from a good youtube video.I'm just happy that people are improving these systems and sharing them with us and would be even happier if the documentation was improved at the same rate.A benevolent technical author or editor would earn a lot of thanks.

A_Camera
11-03-2019, 12:18 PM
I have used Freecad to generate toolpaths for my homebrew machine as it has an inbuilt postprocessor for LinuxCNC.It works very well for that purpose.It isn't the most intuitive piece of software,but the capabilities are impressive and the price can't be beaten.With just a little more improvement it could knock several expensive software suites into oblivion as they would offer nothing more for the considerable purchase price.

I have been using Freecad for almost two years now and I think it is an excellent software, once you get over the top of the steep learning curve. As you say, it isn't the most intuitive software, but I find the parametrized way of handling design extremely useful, especially when changes are needed to be made, or want to have high accuracy.

However, I use it exclusively for my 3D printer model designs, but never really managed to create anything for CNC. I guess that's my own fault for not spending enough time to learn how to do it, but I never managed to create any g-code for milling. 3D printing works fine, as a two step g-code generation, first to stl and then to g-code via slic3r. I can of course generate 2D dxf file and them manually, using DXF to G-code (another freeware) generate the g-code, but it is complicated and pocketing is not working for me, so I find that I might as well use other software tools for milling. I wish I could do it in Freecad, but I just can't seem to get it how to do it.

routerdriver
12-03-2019, 09:15 AM
I found this video very helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4JUnB1AHdY .The more recent series on Path topics from sliptonic was also very useful.It also helps that there is a post processor for my controller bundled with Freecad.I am increasingly impressed by the most recent developments in 3D surfacing and pocketing and hope to try using them in the next few days.There are some clever people donating their work to the project and I am thankful that they do so.

A_Camera
13-03-2019, 01:21 PM
I found this video very helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4JUnB1AHdY .The more recent series on Path topics from sliptonic was also very useful.It also helps that there is a post processor for my controller bundled with Freecad.I am increasingly impressed by the most recent developments in 3D surfacing and pocketing and hope to try using them in the next few days.There are some clever people donating their work to the project and I am thankful that they do so.

Thanks for the link. It seems that my version is crashing for circular pockets. Tried to find some solution, but nothing seems to work. There also seems to be quite a few "dialects", even if 0.17 is the latest version. Mine is still 0.16 and I will see if updating to the last version helps, but a some googling says that there is still a bug.

Edit:
0.17 seems to work well at least on the computer I have tested.

A_Camera
15-03-2019, 07:12 PM
Unfortunately, even FreeCAD 0.17 has some serious limitations regarding the use for CNC designs.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62431594

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=34953

Those are just a few bugs or shortcomings I have detected during the one day I tested it. Unfortunately, those render FreeCAD useless for milling, except for some simple work. It is however excellent (in my opinion) for 3D modelling items which are 3D printed.

routerdriver
15-03-2019, 09:49 PM
The post on the Freecad forum was a clue.The windows version is a bit behind the latest Linux release.I added the daily update ppa for version 0.18 and by enabling the experimental features,I quickly approximated your sloping surface and generated the toolpath that hopefully shows in the attached screenshot.

25534

magicniner
16-03-2019, 12:54 AM
It's like the 1990s with apple updating Mac versions first :D

Voicecoil
16-03-2019, 01:47 PM
I found this video very helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4JUnB1AHdY .The more recent series on Path topics from sliptonic was also very useful.It also helps that there is a post processor for my controller bundled with Freecad.

Which controller is that may I ask please?

routerdriver
16-03-2019, 09:06 PM
Which controller is that may I ask please?

LinuxCNC in my case.There are also post processors for a number of others including GRBL and smoothie.

A_Camera
22-03-2019, 03:06 PM
The post on the Freecad forum was a clue.The windows version is a bit behind the latest Linux release.I added the daily update ppa for version 0.18 and by enabling the experimental features,I quickly approximated your sloping surface and generated the toolpath that hopefully shows in the attached screenshot.

25534

Thank you. So you mean that it works under Linux and/or 0.18 plus the experimental features enabled?

Anyway, my opinion on the 0.17 is that it is made far too complicated compared to 0.16. Simple objects are suddenly complicated to create because the "new thinking". In 0.16 I could basically do everything simply from the Part design, with the 0.17 that is not possible. So personally, I don't like the 0.17 at all.

routerdriver
22-03-2019, 06:00 PM
I'm using 0.18 Daily build under Linux and with the experimental feature enabled.I do agree that the whole program is in need of tidying,but it is so useful for generating toolpaths that I forgive that minor matter.If you have your object saved it doesn't seem to matter which version you use as the backward compatability seems to be very good.