[Noisebridge-discuss] FreeCAD! Start using it!

Corey McGuire coreyfro at coreyfro.com
Sun Apr 21 19:07:17 UTC 2013

Hey all you Noisebridgers,

I am meeting with lots of people in our community of people who have a good
deal of Parametric

This group is NOT ready for the uninitiated and I have been very selective
with the invitations because I want to focus on developing curriculum and
leveraging the User Experiences of engineers, architects, machinists,
inventors, developers, etc, who already have Solidworks or Inventor


I want the general community to know so that any self starters out there
(there's a few....right? ;-)  Could get busy with FreeCAD.

FreeCAD is a free tool, an opesource tool, a powerful tool, a tool that is
designed to compliment and facilitate the creation and fabrication of
things.  It is a project (as opposed to product) that is showing massive
potential to break us free of expensive, closed, cumbersome, tools that
don't play nice with the rest of the industry.

What this tool promises is an end...to the seemingly endless...battle with
software for designing and building our world.

The nuts and bolts of this tool are in place.  It's like a BMW, in all
its precision .. just without the sporty interior, the fenders, the
windows.  We can expect it to do what we need it to do, but the interface,
which is very intuitive, is also not complete.

So, while we are not ready to open up our general discussion, we are ready
to sew the seeds of interest.

How do you use a parametric modeler?  This is one of the questions we hope
to answer with FreeCAD, but we aren't there yet.

WHY...WHY do you use a parametric modeler?  This is something we are ready
to answer.

CAD, and parametric modeling, include, is a tool to ARTICULATE ideas and to
express COMPLETELY your DESIGN INTENT to other people and to machines so
your ideas can become reality.  Parametric Modeling is distinct from other
forms of 3D modeling in that it allows you to define your models precisely
such that there is NO AMBIGUITY to your design intent.  Every constraint is

Parametric Modeling also allows you to make changes to your design in an
order that allows the changes to be inherited by the rest of your design
that is dependent on the constraints that may have changed.  This is so
that a small modification to length, width, spacing of screw holes, etc,
does not require the reworking of all your dependent parts.  If you need to
make one change that effect multiple part, you make one change, and
ultimately, that change is propagated through out your design.

So, GO ON! Get happy!  Get excited!  Get building in FreeCAD, and take
notes and reflect on your user experience, because THIS SOFTWARE...it will
shape the world.
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