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

Michael Prados mprados at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 18:02:49 PDT 2012


I took a look at your site- cool,  I didn't know about Narocad.  Seems they
made an odd choice to do free software development with Visual Studio, and
to ignore the potential of reaching out to OSX and Linux users, who are
mostly left in the cold by the proprietary tools.  But I'll definitely try
it out, I think it will be interesting to compare it to free-cad.

Glad to see I'm not the only one!

-Mike

On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 5:36 PM, Chris Reilly <creilly at saic.edu> wrote:

> Mike, I'm definitely interested. I've also tested Free-CAD, and lots of
> other open-source CAD packages. Free-CAD has some real advantages (see
> details here <http://diylilcnc.org/forum/**topic/software-workflows#post-*
> *640 <http://diylilcnc.org/forum/topic/software-workflows#post-640>>),
> but as you say... it needs some love. I am in LA, but could
> tele-collaborate on any of the development points you mention.
>
> Let's keep the ball rolling!
>
> Chris
>
>
> --
> Chris Reilly
> The DIYLILCNC Project
> Open-source plans for a low-cost, easy-to-build CNC mill.
> http://diylilcnc.org
> info at diylilcnc.org
>
>
>
>
> On 3/22/12 5:29 PM, 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<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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>> Fab at lists.noisebridge.net
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>>
>
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