- 18 Reviews
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FreeCAD is a general purpose parametric 3D CAD modeler. The development is completely Open Source (LGPL License). FreeCAD is aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits in a wider range of uses around engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties.
FreeCAD features tools similar to Catia, SolidWorks or Solid Edge, and therefore also falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx and CAE. It is a feature based parametric modeler with a modular software architecture which makes it easy to provide additional functionality without modifying the core system.
As with many modern 3D CAD modelers it has many 2D components in order to sketch 2D shapes or extract design details from the 3D model to create 2D production drawings, but direct 2D drawing (like AutoCAD LT) is not the focus, neither are animation or organic shapes (like Maya, 3ds Max, Blender or Cinema 4D), although, thanks to its wide adaptability, FreeCAD might become useful in a much broader area than its current focus.
FreeCAD makes heavy use of all the great open-source libraries that exist out there in the field of Scientific Computing. Among them are OpenCascade, a powerful CAD kernel, Coin3D, an incarnation of Open Inventor, Qt, the world-famous UI framework, and Python, one of the best scripting languages available. FreeCAD itself can also be used as a library by other programs.
FreeCAD is also fully multi-platform, and currently runs flawlessly on Windows and Linux/Unix and Mac OSX systems, with the exact same look and functionality on all platforms.
FreeCAD is also a platform with 1 apps listed on AlternativeTo. Browse all 1 apps for FreeCAD.
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FreeCAD is a bit tricky to learn. However, once you start to overcome the challenge of the less than intuitive setup, you'll find the software is really not that bad. Mostly I use it to create solid...See why people like FreeCAD 😍 See why people do not like FreeCAD 😡 Post your review
FreeCAD is a bit tricky to learn. However, once you start to overcome the challenge of the less than intuitive setup, you'll find the software is really not that bad.
Mostly I use it to create solid models for 3D printing. I export an STL file from FreeCAD and this works great.
Personally, I'll continue to invest the time and effort to try and learn to use FreeCAD because the bit that I have accomplished so far indicates this may be a very powerful program.
I will agree with the other comment, the shortcomings are a pain, but YouTube videos and some serious effort to experiment will get you off the starting line.
After having used a couple of other CAD programs, I've never had a more frustrating experience than with FreeCAD.
I have rarely seen such an unintuitive interface.
There are also plenty of irritating bugs, like undo commands that don't actually undo the last operation.
After trying the 0.17 development version, I have to say there has been some improvement. Commands have overall a more predictable behavior.
[Edited by selios, September 23]
FreeCAD is Open Source, and very capable software. With it one can design complex models, including prints, etc. Steep learning curve aside, this is a solid program, and I enjoy the process of learning all its features.
Amazingly capable program, and open source makes it a winner
Took a while to grasp the full scope of the program. Now all I can say is WOW!
The capability of FreeCAD is already very good. I use it at home and at work for 3D modelling, usually to create STL files for our 3D printers. For this task I love it.
I have convinced several colleagues to try it, and they are equally impressed. We have a few seats of Solid Works at the office, but with FreeCAD we now can have additional solid modelling capability without added cost (of course there is the learning curve factor, but as more guys in the office are using it, we are getting better and better).
The team developing FreeCAD should be commended for the awesome job so far. This is really a great software and I look forward to seeing it mature. I love it.
Frustrating at first, I couldn't agree more, learning curve is huge, but all CAD software is like that IMO, but this software if great, a lot of care has went into it, and given time, and some research of packages you can add, and you have a solid foundation to build, I love this software now, and use it as my daily driver.
Figuring out which tools are where is a huge pain, but the tools themselves are fairly intuitive and most importantly very predictable. It can be a bit inflexible when it comes to selecting things with the mouse. This is a disadvantage in that it makes it unintuitive at times, but at the same time avoids the finicky mouse positioning some programs have.
Open source valuable software.
I believe it s because of this kind of software people will begin to understand how stupid paying hundreds of dollars for commercial apps is.
Its Free/Libre and opensource and powerful.
This incompetent piece of crapware is barely able to fillet a 2D shape.