FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.
FreeCAD is based on OpenCasCade, a powerful geometry kernel, features an Open Inventor-compliant 3D scene representation model provided by the Coin 3D library, and a broad Python API. The interface is built with Qt. FreeCAD runs exactly the same way on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux platforms.
- Rock-solid OpenCasCade-based geometry kernel, allowing complex 3D operations on complex shape types, and supports natively concepts like brep, nurbs, booleans operations or fillets
- Full parametric model allowing any type of parameter-driven custom objects, that can even be fully programmed in python
- Complete access from python built-in interpreter, macros or external scripts to almost any part of FreeCAD, being geometry creation and transformation, the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry (scenegraph) or even the FreeCAD interface
Experiece from commercial CAD or not? It is just a matter about the way you are used to work. Once I got the hang on how to use FreeCAD it was really usefull to me. People praise Solidworks and Autodesk products simply because they are expected to be good, and people take the time and learn how to use them. CATIA would provide even more possibilities if you learn how to use it. At the end, the young and hungry generation might learn how to work in FreeCAD at start, then competing tools will not be as appealing at first glance. I really urge experienced CAD users to take the time to truly learn FreeCAD before giving up. Also for an opensource tool it must be easy to get started for a novice, because no one will pay for expensive education if you haven't spent a fortune on the software license. So I strongly agree with the concept of having an intuitive user interface, but I won't argue that FreeCAD can evolve even further, I really hope it does...
FreeCAD rocks!!!! The people complaining should realize that if they don't know what they are looking at they really shouldn't comment. I've yet to have it even work properly on my 64 bit windows system to get moving with it, a graphics issue, but I can see the API started, showing an entry point, Python being used, examples, and the transformation matrices are right there to be had!!! You might not understand what this is very important for, but I do!!! I'm going to give it a go. If I can help I will. I can't thank the people who have put this together enough. All those 'features' that people are asking for can be added by them for the most part. The important work is not only decent, but available where other CAD softwares will hide that functionality to control usage and sales. It's finally time to write some Python for me. I like the idea that I may be able to write something that works for someone else and then them not getting taken advantage of by the OS and CAD companies afterwards. I can't think clearly when I code if I can clearly see that what I develop will be used as a tool to take advantage of the people that I am trying to help in the first place. Kudo's to the crew regardless. You have done a great job already.
I've been using it for a few weeks now. It started out promising and I was able to make some good models for 3D printing. Then I hit a wall trying to do boolean operations. Apparently the OpenCasCade library that FreeCAD uses for booleans is not too robust. The end result is that I can't get the results I want which ultimately makes this a dead end for me. I'll keep using it for basic work, but I would never promote this to my peers/colleagues as a tool that gets real work done. I'll change my review when I can get consistent/quality results from boolean ops.
I have been trying to lean CAD for a long time. Apart from not being able to afford AutoCAD I have tried the Demo version and by the end of it I'd be lucky if I could draw a cube. I have been using FreeCAD for a little over a year now to draw mainly things that I need to visualise, till this my only option was a sheet of paper and a No2 Pencil if I was lucky I'd have a ruler handy. FreeCAD falls in with my mindset 100% its not over complicated there are very nice tutorials to get you drawing and the only things I could think of to improve would be screw threads I have drawn some but they are hollow and 3D printers don't like that. Gears would be nice and maybe a way to curve an object EG curve a cone into a something like a horn shape for an air duct. Now If you are a CAD designer with "real" CAD experience you will be falling of your chair laughing at the fact that I don't know some technical term for what I asked, but that's who this is aimed at. At the end of the day I have used FreeCAD to design many really cool things if you would like an example I have shared a few on thingyverse search for my username redsalamander all of it's done in FreeCAD. It simply works for me and my feeling is until they find something that can draw what I'm thinking this will do very nicely thank you.
Cool app, works great!