[Noisebridge-discuss] [Fab] free-cad - the one true free mechanical CAD package that will save the world!
creilly at saic.edu
Thu Mar 22 17:36:55 PDT 2012
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
<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!
The DIYLILCNC Project
Open-source plans for a low-cost, easy-to-build CNC mill.
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.
> 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?
> Fab mailing list
> Fab at lists.noisebridge.net
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