What the Heck is FreeCAD and why do I care?


What is FreeCAD? What makes it different? More importantly, what makes it useful to you and when?

To quote Wikipedia:

"FreeCAD is a general-purpose parametric 3D computer-aided design (CAD) modeler and a building information modeling (BIM) software application with finite element method (FEM) support. It is intended for mechanical engineering product design but also expands to a wider range of uses around engineering, such as architecture or electrical engineering. FreeCAD is free and open-source, under the LGPL-2.0-or-later license, and available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems. Users can extend the functionality of the software using the Python programming language."

The purpose of the presentation is to give an overview of the general usefulness of FreeCAD, its strengths, its weaknesses and how it compares to other tools in overlapping areas. Adding this tool to your repertoire can be helpful for different purposes, and options are always good. Topics covered will include a general overview, comparisons to other tools such as Fusion360, OpenSCAD, Blender, etc., how to get started, and a general tutorial and jump-start. By the end you should have a better understanding of how you might be able to use it, concrete steps for getting started, and some impression of how fun it can be!

I'll also throw around some random 3D printed pieces that I was able to make with FreeCAD (but don't expect full cosplay armor).

Ballroom C
Sunday, March 12, 2023 - 13:30 to 14:30