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

Corey McGuire coreyfro at coreyfro.com
Tue Mar 27 01:27:32 PDT 2012


BRL cad was given some "summer of code" love a year or two ago. I don't
know how it materialized or if, indeed, it did.  Have you touched it since
then?

I hope I can make Wednesday. As of now, quintuple booked.
On Mar 27, 2012 12:19 AM, "Michael Prados" <mprados at gmail.com> wrote:

>
> ps I noticed that in my original post I wrote Bricscad, which is the name
> of a proprietary package I know little about, whereas I meant BRLCAD, a
> FOSS package I've poked around at a bit.  Mea culpa, caveat lector.
>
> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 7:44 PM, Michael Prados <mprados at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> All right, since you asked so nicely!  Not sure I've got an hour of demo
>> with freecad so far, but I think there is definitely an hour's worth of
>> discussion of what makes an effective mechanical cad tool and why.  I can
>> be there a little after 8pm Wednesday.
>>
>> -Mike
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM, miloh <froggytoad at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 5:29 PM, Michael Prados <mprados at gmail.com>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
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Mike, I know you said you were busy until late April, but can you come
>>> in and present Freecad and your vision for Freecad for an hour at
>>> Replicator Wednesday this week (03/28/2012)? I'm really interested in the
>>> project and I think I can get some others in the community interested in
>>> checking it out.
>>>
>>> We can have a few presentations using the big screen and audio. I'll ask
>>> Matt to come and show off his http://reconstructme.net/ kinect based
>>> scanner, and I'll present some things I made with the  elegant and simple
>>> http://www.openscad.org/
>>>
>>> Of course Andrew Rutter will also bring in Type A Machines prototypes
>>> and have them printing samples.
>>>
>>> Replicator wednesday isn't just for the 3D printer types, in lieu of any
>>> other regular meetings we are the de facto regularly meeting fab group at
>>> Noisebridge, focusing on all the things to make all the things.  If you
>>> want an introduction to the Noisebridge tools shop, the Makerbots or
>>> Repraps at Noisebridge,or the Nb Laser cutter, come to Replicator Wednesday
>>> the first of the month (04/04/2012 in April) and we'll give everyone an
>>> introduction.
>>>
>>>
>>> -R. Miloh
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>
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