[Fab] free-cad - the one true free mechanical CAD package that will save the world!

poppy poppy at foostache.com
Thu Mar 22 17:59:56 PDT 2012


I'm interested; unfortunately their Mac build is 10.7 only right now. I 
filed a bug about it, but I'm not interested in spending the time to get 
a monster of a build system running just to try out the program. You say 
it's worth it?

http://sourceforge.net/apps/mantisbt/free-cad/view.php?id=635

I've been learning Art of Illusion instead, in the meantime. (I tried 
learning blender several times over the years, but it's just a mess to 
me compared to other apps. #nopatience) Wings is also somewhat 
interesting to me, but the UI seems mostly impenetrable so far.

+ p

On 2012-03-22 17:29, Michael Prados wrote:
>
> My background is in mechanical engineering, so I'm only being slightly
> hyperbolic in the subject heading.
>
> http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page
>
> I have spent some time with Blender, Bricscad, and Openscad, and they
> are each useful for many tasks.  But I am convinced that the fundamental
> architecture and philosophy of these projects means that they will never
> displace mainstream mechanical CAD programs, even with focused attention
> and support.  That is fine, because they are intended for different
> purposes.
>
> Free-cad, on the other hand, has strategically tied together several
> free software projects to create a package with the potential to win the
> hearts and minds of people doing mechanical design, given enough support
> from the community.  I have been watching it for a couple of years, as
> it surpassed several other nascent projects to become the prototype of
> something that could transform how we interact with physical objects.
>
> It isn't there yet, but its developers seem capable and determined, and
> I think it is time they got some love.  Last Sunday, Stallman cited CAD
> as one of the three most important areas for free software development.
> I find this fact very encouraging, since he, unlike me, has no reason to
> be especially passionate about how objects are designed.
>
> I want to see if there is interest at Noisebridge in aggregating a
> special interest group devoted to free and open source mechanical CAD
> software.  My intention would be to focus on free-cad, but if another
> serious contender should arise, I'd be interested in learning about this
> too.
>
> The goal that inspires me is a future where free-cad is a strong
> alternative to Solidworks, Pro/Engineer, and Inventor, to at least the
> same extent that Gimp is an alternative to Photoshop, and ideally to the
> extent that gcc is preferrable to many proprietary compilers.  Some of
> the things that I think a special interest group at Noisebridge could
> focus on are:
>
> * learning to use the package as it is
>
> * creating new tutorials
>
> * evangelizing to people doing mechanical design, who generally don't
> know much about free software
>
> * studying the architecture and workflow of the program, and how it
> compares to proprietary alternatives
>
> * reaching out to the core developers, and providing feedback
>
> * writing code, at any of three levels - bolt on extensions, patches,
> and contributing to the core
>
> * exploring how free-cad might be better tied in to rendering, 2d cad,
> 3d printing, CAM, 3d object scanning, open source robotics, openscad,
> and online 3d repositories like thingiverse and google 3d warehouse
>
> Unfortunately, I'm sort of committed until late April, but I wanted to
> get the idea out there while it is on my mind.  Am I the only one
> interested in this topic, or am I in good company? Are there people
> interested in meeting to talk about this?
>
> -Mike
>
>
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