[Fab] free-cad - the one true free mechanical CAD package that will save the world!

Michael Prados mprados at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 01:37:39 UTC 2012

PS I'm pretty ignorant of MacOS, so I might be steering you wrong, but it
looks like the second link on this download page is for 10.6-


On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 5:59 PM, poppy <poppy at foostache.com> wrote:

> I'm interested; unfortunately their Mac build is 10.7 only right now. I
> filed a bug about it, but I'm not interested in spending the time to get a
> monster of a build system running just to try out the program. You say it's
> worth it?
> http://sourceforge.net/apps/**mantisbt/free-cad/view.php?id=**635<http://sourceforge.net/apps/mantisbt/free-cad/view.php?id=635>
> I've been learning Art of Illusion instead, in the meantime. (I tried
> learning blender several times over the years, but it's just a mess to me
> compared to other apps. #nopatience) Wings is also somewhat interesting to
> me, but the UI seems mostly impenetrable so far.
> + p
> On 2012-03-22 17:29, Michael Prados wrote:
>> My background is in mechanical engineering, so I'm only being slightly
>> hyperbolic in the subject heading.
>> http://sourceforge.net/apps/**mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?**
>> title=Main_Page<http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page>
>> I have spent some time with Blender, Bricscad, and Openscad, and they
>> are each useful for many tasks.  But I am convinced that the fundamental
>> architecture and philosophy of these projects means that they will never
>> displace mainstream mechanical CAD programs, even with focused attention
>> and support.  That is fine, because they are intended for different
>> purposes.
>> Free-cad, on the other hand, has strategically tied together several
>> free software projects to create a package with the potential to win the
>> hearts and minds of people doing mechanical design, given enough support
>> from the community.  I have been watching it for a couple of years, as
>> it surpassed several other nascent projects to become the prototype of
>> something that could transform how we interact with physical objects.
>> It isn't there yet, but its developers seem capable and determined, and
>> I think it is time they got some love.  Last Sunday, Stallman cited CAD
>> as one of the three most important areas for free software development.
>> I find this fact very encouraging, since he, unlike me, has no reason to
>> be especially passionate about how objects are designed.
>> I want to see if there is interest at Noisebridge in aggregating a
>> special interest group devoted to free and open source mechanical CAD
>> software.  My intention would be to focus on free-cad, but if another
>> serious contender should arise, I'd be interested in learning about this
>> too.
>> The goal that inspires me is a future where free-cad is a strong
>> alternative to Solidworks, Pro/Engineer, and Inventor, to at least the
>> same extent that Gimp is an alternative to Photoshop, and ideally to the
>> extent that gcc is preferrable to many proprietary compilers.  Some of
>> the things that I think a special interest group at Noisebridge could
>> focus on are:
>> * learning to use the package as it is
>> * creating new tutorials
>> * evangelizing to people doing mechanical design, who generally don't
>> know much about free software
>> * studying the architecture and workflow of the program, and how it
>> compares to proprietary alternatives
>> * reaching out to the core developers, and providing feedback
>> * writing code, at any of three levels - bolt on extensions, patches,
>> and contributing to the core
>> * exploring how free-cad might be better tied in to rendering, 2d cad,
>> 3d printing, CAM, 3d object scanning, open source robotics, openscad,
>> and online 3d repositories like thingiverse and google 3d warehouse
>> Unfortunately, I'm sort of committed until late April, but I wanted to
>> get the idea out there while it is on my mind.  Am I the only one
>> interested in this topic, or am I in good company? Are there people
>> interested in meeting to talk about this?
>> -Mike
>> ______________________________**_________________
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