Some interesting links about FreeCAD on the web.
This is my first post and I hope it will be the first of many. I am very new to the CNC scene, but I am extremely excited about it.
But back to the topic. I am a huge fan of opensource software, because it empowers people like me to enjoy a hobby without breaking the bank. After a very long search and finding out that there is very little choices when it comes to opensource CAD, but at least choices. BRL-CAD and Salome being the the top contenders, with BRL-CAD seeming to be the best choice for designing. After much reading in the forums I found that BRL-CAD does not seem to get used because of its high learning curve and Salome enjoys popularity but it is first and foremost a modeling tool for analysis, not design.
After reading some more on these forums I found that Blender is also used as CAD, but as with Salome it is not geared for design. After using the trusted old search engine some more I found FreeCAD and I am excited yet again as this seems to be the answer for designing. But unfortunately it is still in alpha development. I have stumbled across HeeksCAD/CNC and this will most definitely be my choice for CAM, but for CAD personally I would like to play with something else. (Maybe all of them.)
So what I would like to start with this thread is two things:
1) Give some exposure to FreeCAD, as I know there are people like me who would like to see its continued development and growth.
2) Ask what is your top three opensource/freeware choices for CAD design and why. Even if it is a package not specifically intended for design.
It would be wonderful if some discussion of the different packages could also flow from this.
Thanks mate, just downloaded free cad, still learning cad programs, seems like a good program. Graham
Mastercam is a great program but for the hobbyist it is not. I used it for awhile, learned it fairly well after watching some online videos but its designed for moldmaking and complicated machining processes.
I still haven't found a program that I like as a cad program, for a hobbyist it needs to be simple and fast. The easiest program I found for designing is Sketchup but its only 3d and unless u fork out big bucks does not output dxf files.
I think aliebre (spelling) has a free cad, you can only save a few parts per model but worth looking into.But sketch up is good as well, so is blender. Graham
try DraftSight 2D, it is not open source but is free and made by one heck of a company...they makers of solidworks.
The DraftSight 2D CAD Product. Public Beta Now Available.
DraftSight is a professional-grade, open 2D CAD product for users who want a better way to create, edit and view DWG files. DraftSight is easy to use and is available for professional CAD users, students and educators to download and activate for free.*
Based on advanced architecture, DraftSight has a small footprint, should take less that a few minutes to download, and runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows XP®, Windows Vista® and Windows® 7.
and click on the links tab, it has heaps of links to free and trial software for Cad, Cam and CNC software.
The Essentials tab also has reviews on good software for home CNC use.
free 3d modeler with limitations but seemed pretty decent when I when i played with it
look for the personal edition
A poet knows no boundary yet he is bound to the boundaries of ones own mind !! ........
I agree about sketchup. It is awesome for fast 3d design. Sadly some really nice features are either not in the free edition('trim' in version 8 and the dxf export as examples). But in version 7 they removed then reapplied the dxf/stl export. There is or at least was a download, from google, that would give you the option again, in version 7 only.
I love solidworks for cad. Sketchup I find is faster for me right now but solidworks has more options. I used sketchup for concept and SW for the finished design.
Mastercam makes me want to punch things. I am sure if i had a factory and large assembly lines, it is perfect. I just want a simple 2.5D cam program. I am playing with a friends version of artcam pro, which also frustrates me.
Do a search for plug in for sketchup and you'll find loads of plugins, or check out here
http://forums.sketchucation.com , they have some plugins.
Realseeker if you need a 2.5 cam program try cut3d, very simple to use and not that expensive. It dose not do any modeling just a cam program. Graham