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41 posts tagged with "freecad"

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· 5 min read
Brad Collette

Free and Open-Source Software has a reputation for poor usability and user experience (UX). FreeCAD is no exception. Some of the most common complaints raised by users are about the steep learning curve, inconsistent workflow, and ugly, confusing user-interface (UI). There are dozens of threads on the forum going back years where someone has come forward with a vision to ‘fix’ the usability problem. These efforts always devolve into bike-shedding, and nitpicking. Nothing changes.

· 9 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

The basics of an integrated assembly workbench in FreeCAD are now functional and will be ready for wider testing once another pull request is merged. This means you can play with it now in the development version of FreeCAD and when version 1.0 is out, you will be able to create or link parts, create joints between them, and solve the assembly — in just a few clicks, out of the box, without installing any add-ons.

· 4 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

We’ve already introduced some improvements to sketching with constraints before, when Pierre-Louis Boyer implemented contextual constraints. But there are more usability gaps there, and we are targeting them one by one. There’s another major change currently undergoing code review: on-viewport tool widgets to create fully constrained sketches and tool settings to set various properties and choose drafting behavior.

· 8 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

There’s well over 200 various addons for FreeCAD available just in the official add-on manager. Many more possibly flew under the radar or simply never have been shared with anybody.

For some developers, creating an add-on is a way to test ideas and see if they resonate with a larger audience. For others, it’s the first step towards contributing to FreeCAD itself. The add-on ecosystem is hugely important for the community at large.

· 3 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

One of the hallmark features of FreeCAD is that various parts of its UI have a lot of similar options, which means a lot of cognitive load, especially for beginners. A very popular “offender” here is the geometry constraints toolbar in Sketcher. It has 18 different constraint options, more than most popular commercial CAD offerings like Fusion 360, Onshape, and Creo. That's not a bad thing on its own, but it adds a lot of mileage when you need to dimension an entire complex sketch.

· 7 min read
Brad Collette
Alexandre Prokoudine

Historically, the duration of FreeCAD development cycles has been uneven, anywhere between a few months and 2+ years.

Timeline of FreeCAD releases

We already talked about reasons and ways to make releases more predictable in one of the recent posts. But the truth is, this is a much older conversation that has been going on in the community for years now: at FOSDEM, in the forum, and in various other venues and social channels. The hackathon in Vancouver was a perfect opportunity for the developers community to set some boundaries for v1.0.