Difference between revisions of "Getting started"

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===Foreword===
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==Foreword==
FreeCAD is a CAD/CAE parametric modeling application. It is still in early stage of development, so don't expect to be able to use it to produce work already. But, if you are curious about what FreeCAD looks like and what features are being developed, you are welcome to download it and give it a try. At the moment, much functionality is already present, but not much user interface has been created for it. This means that if you know a bit of python, you will already be able to produce and modify geometry relatively easily. If not, you will probably find that FreeCAD still has few to offer to you. But, be patient, this is expected to change soon.
+
 
 +
FreeCAD is a CAD/CAE parametric modeling application. It is still in early stage of development, so don't expect to be able to use it to produce work already. But, if you are curious about what FreeCAD looks like and what features are being developed, you are welcome to download it and give it a try. At the moment, much functionality is already present, but not much user interface has been created for it. This means that if you know a bit of python, you will already be able to produce and modify complex geometry relatively easily. If not, you will probably find that FreeCAD still has few to offer to you. But, be patient, this is expected to change soon.
  
 
And if after testing you have feedback, ideas or opinions, please share it with us on the [https://apps.sourceforge.net/phpbb/free-cad/index.php FreeCAD discussion forum]!
 
And if after testing you have feedback, ideas or opinions, please share it with us on the [https://apps.sourceforge.net/phpbb/free-cad/index.php FreeCAD discussion forum]!
  
===Installing===
+
==Installing==  
First of all (if not done already) download and install FreeCAD. See the [[Download]] page for information about current versions and updates. There are install packages ready for Windows (.msi), Ubuntu (.deb) and openSUSE (.rpm). Installation is pretty straightforward and shouldn't give you any problem. At the moment there is no package for Mac OSX but we are working on it...
+
 
 +
First of all (if not done already) download and install FreeCAD. See the [[Download]] page for information about current versions and updates. There are install packages ready for Windows (.msi), Ubuntu & Debian (.deb) openSUSE (.rpm) and Mac OSX.
  
===Exploring FreeCAD===
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==Exploring FreeCAD==
  
[[Image:interface screenshot.jpg|frame|none|The FreeCAD interface. See more [[screenshots]] here.]]
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[[Image:Freecad09-empty.jpg|frame|none|The FreeCAD interface when you start it for the first time. See more [[screenshots]] here.]]
  
 
FreeCAD is a general all-purpose 3D modeling application, focused on mechanical engineering and related areas, such as other engineering specialties or architecture. It is conceived as a platform for developing any kind of 3D application, but also for doing very specific tasks. For that purpose, its interface is divided into a serie of [[Workbenches]]. Workbenches allow to change the interface contents to display all and only the tools necessary for a specific task, or group of tasks.
 
FreeCAD is a general all-purpose 3D modeling application, focused on mechanical engineering and related areas, such as other engineering specialties or architecture. It is conceived as a platform for developing any kind of 3D application, but also for doing very specific tasks. For that purpose, its interface is divided into a serie of [[Workbenches]]. Workbenches allow to change the interface contents to display all and only the tools necessary for a specific task, or group of tasks.
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The FreeCAD interface can therefore be described as a very simple container, with a menu bar, a 3D view area, and a couple of side panels for displaying the scene contents or object properties. All the contents of these panels can be changes depending on the workbench.
 
The FreeCAD interface can therefore be described as a very simple container, with a menu bar, a 3D view area, and a couple of side panels for displaying the scene contents or object properties. All the contents of these panels can be changes depending on the workbench.
  
Several workbenches of FreeCAD contain already enough functionality to produce and modify geometry: The [[Mesh Module|Mesh workbench]], for example, is designed to handle mesh objects. The [[Part Module|Part workbench]] gives you access to a more powerful CAD kernel. There is also a 2d [[Draft Module|Draft workbench]] available as a plugin.  
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When you start FreeCAD for the first time, you will be presented a "general" workbench, that we call "complete workbench". This workbench simply gathers the most mature tools from other workbenches. Since FreeCAD is pretty young and not yet used for very specialized work, this workbench is very handy for discovering FreeCAD more easily. Basically, all the tools that are good enough for producing geometry are here.
  
Some things you can do with the [[Mesh Module|Mesh workbench]]:
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==[[Draft Module|2D Drafting]]==
* Import and export meshes in several file formats
 
* Convert Part objects into meshes
 
* Analyse curvature, faces, and check if a mesh can be safely converted into a solid
 
* Close holes or remove faces of meshes
 
* Union, subtract and intersect meshes
 
* Create mesh primitives, like cubes, spheres, cones or cylinders
 
* Cut meshes along a line
 
  
Some things you can do with the [[Part Module|Part workbench]]:
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{{Draft Tools}}
* Create primitive geometry like Plane, Box, Cylinder, Cone, Sphere, Ellipsoid and Torus
 
* Import shapes from other file formats
 
* Union, subtract, intersect shapes
 
* Extrude flat shapes
 
* Fillet edges of shapes
 
  
Some things you can do with the [[Draft Module|Draft workbench]]:
 
* Create lines, circles, arcs, and rectangles
 
* Change those objects into flat shapes
 
* Move, rotate, offset, trim, or extend shapes
 
* Import and export 2D drawings to other file formats
 
  
=== Scripting in FreeCAD ===
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==[[Part Module|Creating 3D Parts]]==
  
Since FreeCAD is still in alpha stage, those workbenches have at the moment very few elements of user interface (icons & buttons), but much more functionality is available by [[Scripting|python scripting]]. Each FreeCAD workbench is also a python module, that can be loaded and manipulated from the built-in python interpreter. FreeCAD has been made from start to be extensively scriptable, and, if you can program a bit of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_(programming_language) python], you will be amazed by the power you have in FreeCAD!
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{{Part Tools}}
  
Python scripting in FreeCAD is very easy, you can get an idea about it by reading [[FreeCAD Scripting Basics]]. To know what you can do with the [[Mesh Module]] by scripting, read the [[Mesh Scripting]] page. In a similar way, the [[Topological data scripting]] page shows how to access and use the [[Part Module]].
 
  
 
{{Userdocnavi}}
 
{{Userdocnavi}}
  
 
[[Category:User Documentation]]
 
[[Category:User Documentation]]

Revision as of 17:06, 22 November 2009

Foreword

FreeCAD is a CAD/CAE parametric modeling application. It is still in early stage of development, so don't expect to be able to use it to produce work already. But, if you are curious about what FreeCAD looks like and what features are being developed, you are welcome to download it and give it a try. At the moment, much functionality is already present, but not much user interface has been created for it. This means that if you know a bit of python, you will already be able to produce and modify complex geometry relatively easily. If not, you will probably find that FreeCAD still has few to offer to you. But, be patient, this is expected to change soon.

And if after testing you have feedback, ideas or opinions, please share it with us on the FreeCAD discussion forum!

Installing

First of all (if not done already) download and install FreeCAD. See the Download page for information about current versions and updates. There are install packages ready for Windows (.msi), Ubuntu & Debian (.deb) openSUSE (.rpm) and Mac OSX.

Exploring FreeCAD

The FreeCAD interface when you start it for the first time. See more screenshots here.

FreeCAD is a general all-purpose 3D modeling application, focused on mechanical engineering and related areas, such as other engineering specialties or architecture. It is conceived as a platform for developing any kind of 3D application, but also for doing very specific tasks. For that purpose, its interface is divided into a serie of Workbenches. Workbenches allow to change the interface contents to display all and only the tools necessary for a specific task, or group of tasks.

The FreeCAD interface can therefore be described as a very simple container, with a menu bar, a 3D view area, and a couple of side panels for displaying the scene contents or object properties. All the contents of these panels can be changes depending on the workbench.

When you start FreeCAD for the first time, you will be presented a "general" workbench, that we call "complete workbench". This workbench simply gathers the most mature tools from other workbenches. Since FreeCAD is pretty young and not yet used for very specialized work, this workbench is very handy for discovering FreeCAD more easily. Basically, all the tools that are good enough for producing geometry are here.

2D Drafting


This template is now obsolete and is directly include in the original page Draft_Module

All adding or modification must be done in the original page Draft_Module

2018/05/28

Drawing objects

These are tools for creating objects.

  • Draft Line.png Line: Draws a line segment between 2 points
  • Draft Wire.png Wire: Draws a line made of multiple line segments (polyline)
  • Draft Circle.png Circle: Draws a circle from center and radius
  • Draft Arc.png Arc: Draws an arc segment from center, radius, start angle and end angle
  • Draft Ellipse.png Ellipse: Draws an ellipse from two corner points
  • Draft Polygon.png Polygon: Draws a regular polygon from a center and a radius
  • Draft Rectangle.png Rectangle: Draws a rectangle from 2 opposite points
  • Draft Text.png Text: Draws a multi-line text annotation
  • Draft Dimension.png Dimension: Draws a dimension annotation
  • Draft BSpline.png BSpline: Draws a B-Spline from a series of points
  • Draft Point.png Point: Inserts a point object
  • Draft ShapeString.png ShapeString: The ShapeString tool inserts a compound shape representing a text string at a given point in the current document
  • Draft Facebinder.png Facebinder: Creates a new object from selected faces on existing objects
  • Draft BezCurve.png Bezier Curve: Draws a Bezier curve from a series of points
  • Draft Label.png Label: Places a label with an arrow pointing to a selected element introduced in version 0.17

Modifying objects

These are tools for modifying existing objects. They work on selected objects, but if no object is selected, you will be invited to select one.

  • Draft Move.png Move: Moves object(s) from one location to another
  • Draft Rotate.png Rotate: Rotates object(s) from a start angle to an end angle
  • Draft Offset.png Offset: Moves segments of an object about a certain distance
  • Draft Trimex.png Trim/Extend (Trimex): Trims or extends an object
  • Draft Upgrade.png Upgrade: Joins objects into a higher-level object
  • Draft Downgrade.png Downgrade: Explodes objects into lower-level objects
  • Draft Scale.png Scale: Scales selected object(s) around a base point
  • Draft PutOnSheet.png Drawing: Writes selected objects to a Drawing sheet
  • Draft Edit.png Edit: Edits a selected object
  • Draft WireToBSpline.png Wire to BSpline: Converts a wire to a BSpline and vice-versa
  • Draft AddPoint.png Add point: Adds a point to a wire or BSpline
  • Draft DelPoint.png Delete point: Deletes a point from a wire or BSpline
  • Draft Shape2DView.png Shape 2D View: Creates a 2D object which is a flattened 2D view of another 3D object
  • Draft Draft2Sketch.png Draft to Sketch: Converts a Draft object to Sketch and vice-versa
  • Draft Array.png Array: Creates a polar or rectangular array from selected objects
  • Draft PathArray.png Path Array: Creates an array of objects by placing the copies along a path
  • Draft Clone.png Clone: Clones the selected objects
  • Draft Mirror.png Mirror: Mirrors the selected objects
  • Draft Stretch.png Stretch: Stretches the selected objects introduced in version 0.17

Utility tools

Additional tools available via right-click context menu, depending on the selected objects.

Preferences


Creating 3D Parts

Template:Part Tools