Skip to main content

Survey: do engineers dream of architecture tools?

· 2 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

FreeCAD puts swiss army knives to shame with its plethora of tools and workflows shipped by default: mechanical design and FEA tools, architecture and BIM tools, 2D drafting tools, CAM tools etc. It’s a very impressive achievement for a project that is operated entirely by volunteers in their spare time. But it’s also a bit of a curse.

One of the things that users consistently tell us is that FreeCAD can be overwhelming. When we look at proprietary alternatives, they mostly don’t try to do everything. AutoCAD, Inventor/F360, and Revit are all separate products aimed at different users and use cases. And even though F360 comes with a set of machining tools, there are also other advanced CAM options available for the program as well.

So we think there’s a potential for learning something here, and for that we’d like to get a larger sampling of opinions.

Some of what we would like to learn about FreeCAD users:

  • Who you are, what you do, and what you need from your CAD software.
  • Whether you use both mechanical design and architecture workflows at the same time.
  • What you start with when you work on a project and what you produce as output.
  • How you manage your files is important and we want to learn how you do it today and how you’d like to do it tomorrow.
  • Which features and capabilities are essential to your work.
  • And ultimately, whether you prefer a more tailored user experience or a single, more powerful tool that might be harder to learn.

We've prepared a quick survey which takes less than five minutes to complete. Of course, we’ll share any interesting insights with the community.