From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search

HintLightbulb.png Hint: FreeCAD is open source Computer Aided Design (CAD) software that OSE uses on a regular basis to produce 3D designs, fabrication drawings, exploded part diagrams, and other assets indispensable to the design of physical objects


  • A FLOSS CAD software
  • It is currently (as of 2020) OSE's official CAD software
  • It is also a part of OSE Linux v1.0 (using FreeCAD 0.16) in OSE's custom Linux distribution

Most Recent Versions

  • "The latest bug fix release 0.18. 4 (16146) "

See 3/7/16 update on OSE FreeCAD Workbenches -

FreeCAD Downloads

HintLightbulb.png Hint: The OSE Linux distribution is a complete distribution which includes all development software for OSE, and FreeCAD is a staple of that stack

See to choose the correct build for your Operating System.

FreeCAD 0.16 AppImage

FreeCAD 0.16 Appimage Notes

Hi Marcin, I just tested my workbench with an Appimage. and the recent version The workbench works. I assume that PyQt5 could be a reason for the problem. When I started to develop ose-piping-workbench I used the old Version of PyQT then I ported the workbench to the new version. Maybe this is the reason why it worked before but it does not work anymore. Best regards, Ruslan

Learning FreeCAD

HintLightbulb.png Hint: The official OSE tutorials Page on this wiki is OSE FreeCAD Tutorials

OSE-Developed Workbenches

Other Workbenches

Original Specification

FreeCAD Review

See FreeCAD Assessment

OSE FreeCAD Needs

See FreeCAD Scripts for the list of top 10 instructionals that are needed.

Action Plan

  • Recruit software developer to analyze FreeCAD and build with/upon their work. Short-term Objective: Get Assembly Module Working.
  • Document FreeCAD source code in github repository.
  • Document FreeCAD's code structure. (some preliminary work available at

Process for Developing FreeCAD Instructionals

FreeCAD Architecture Tutorials

Arch Workbench

How to design this structure in FreeCAD is here - [1] -

Drawing Building Panels


More Basics of FreeCAD from Yorik

3D Printing Tutorial for FreeCAD

Architecture in FreeCAD

Producing Build Instructionals with FreeCAD

Import from Proprietary Formats

  • AutoCAD dwg - import appears to be available - [2]

FreeCAD Instructionals

See FreeCAD Instructionals

OSE FreeCAD Documentation

I (Mark Norton) have created a very simply, introductory guide to FreeCAD. It only covers the very basics at this point, but we can expand on it as needed. - User:Mjn


This document covers the following topics:

  • Views
  • Workshops
  • Sizing a Primitive Part
  • Positioning a Part
  • Making a Cut
  • Combining Parts
  • Rotating a Part
  • Extrusion

See also, FreeCAD Documentation and Tutorials [3].

OSE FreeCAD Requirements

For OSE to use FreeCAD for all of its design needs, these are the functions required. Do these exist? Please comment.

  • Freehand drawing of shapes and extrusion (like Sketchup).Check.png
  • Adding parameters to all of the shapes, so they can be modified. Check.png
  • Modifying all parameters in 3D parametrically (typing in lengths) Check.png
  • Modifying all parameters in 3D with the mouse (such as dragging corners, edges, and faces)

Response from FreeCAD developer ickby: "This is not possible and will not be in the future. This kind of behavior needs quite advanced back-end functionality which is not provided by our geometric modeling kernel"

  • Adding parameters in 3D parametrically (boolean operations)? Check.png
  • Adding parameters in 3D by drawing them and extruding (mouse-based boolean operations)
  • Adding parameters to shapes in 3D parametrically (such as drawing in new objects parametrically)?
  • Adding parameters to shapes in 3D manually (such as drawing in new objects with a mounse)?
  • For multiple objects, moving them with the mouse to arrange, mate, align them.

Response from FreeCAD developer ickby: "That is not yet possible. The assembly workbench is in a very early design phase and still needs quite some time. That is true for basic functionality and integration into freecad workflows."

  • Grouping and ungrouping objects into assemblies?

Response from FreeCAD developer ickby: "not yet but will be possible with upcoming assembly workbench"

  • Maintaining parametric nature of grouped objects?

Response from FreeCAD developer ickby: "not yet, but will be possible with the upcoming assembly workbench"

Now for interoperability with other CAD packages:

  • Importing multiple new objects into a drawing - one at a time?

Response from FreeCAD developer ickby: 'currently you can only import whole files, not individual objects from a file'

  • Importing multiple objects into a model - all at one time? Check.png
  • Importing new objects while passing the parametric values into FreeCAD, such as with a STEP file?



Obijuan - good set of 34 lessons, but in Spanish.

Bram De Vries, 2012

Tutorials 1-8:

Path WorkBench

Created by sliptonic (FreeCAD Path Workbench developer)

Assembly Workbench



Contributors and Users

From Kostas:

  • Jürgen Riegel is the project founder, working for Daimler Chrysler, his free time is probably limited Update: Jurgen has not been active on the project for many years now. Kunda (talk) 13:46, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Werner Mayer is the most active developer in terms of commits, he is just awesome, I don't know what he does professionally but if some funding can get him to increase the time of his participation, this would definitely be a great investment of financial resources.
  • Yorik is our architect: and he is already dedicating a lot of hours in the development of FreeCAD, since he is a free lancer he is probably quite flexible with time, so maybe he could implement special feature requests for FreeCAD even on a paid basis. FYI Yorik van Havre has a Patreon account.
  • j-dowset, joined FreeCAD recently and has done a great work on improving blueprints creation in FreeCAD. A very appropriate task for him would be to implement a correct dimensioning system for blueprints. I believe he has the capabilities to implement any kind of feature with relatively short running in time and high quality. Update: User is dormant Kunda (talk) 13:46, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

*mrlukeparry is quite experienced with Qt and Coin3D so he can do a lot of GUI work. Being a student his free time is probably also limited except school vacations. Update: he left and returned but hasn't been active at all in the code or community Kunda (talk) 13:46, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Ickby has worked on a prototype for applying assembly constraints between parts. A special task for him would be to accelerate the implementation of the Assembly module after jriegel has finished with the basic framework/structure/design. Update: Ickby has not been very low key for some time. He participates in the forums but has not contributed to the code in a long time, at least not publically. This may change. Kunda (talk) 13:46, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • tanderson69 is very good in OpenCascade, so he can work on difficult tasks that have to do with the CAD geometry kernel. Update: Participates on the forum and very sporadically on the code. I believe he is involved in another project.
  • Daniel Falck is the person to contact for CAM integration.
  • Kostas - sketcher module.

  • Yorik van Havre, Daniel Falck, and Brad Collette - Path Workbench
  • Ian Rees - crowdfunded individual working on Drawing Workbench
  • gCAD3D appears to be viable for CAD/CAM - [4]
  • Przemo Firszt, Bernd Hahnebach - CAE workbench
  • Sebastian Hoogen - OpenSCAD workbench
  • FEA, macros - psicofil, Lucio Gomez - [5]
  • Cad1919 - Extreme User - is doing some of the most high level work in FreeCAD - cad1919 on YouTube - [6]
  • 61quick - 3D printing complete toolchain within FreeCAD - [7]
  • Lars G. - IGES files to house cross sections in architecture - [8]
  • Kwasny - macro example of how to create an Icon in the workbench that allows you to draw a piston ring by clicking on the icon. This way, the macro (a set of commands) was actually turned into a tool - [9]
  • Dan's Open Source Design Tools, with motto to be free from black-box CAx toolchains - [10]

Uses of FreeCAD

There are various cases of real-life usage of FreeCAD in commercial, research and educational contexts. Add as necessary:

Main Needs

  • Documentation [11]
  • Packagers for Releases and Development version (Windows, Linux and MacOSX) + AppImages
  • Packagers for 3rd party libraries: OpenCascade, VTK, Netgen, Eigen3, Calculix
  • Helping to create a buildbot framework for testing and releases
  • 'Doxygen'ating the source code
  • Participating in the FreeCAD Forums
  • Bug testing tickets on the FreeCAD Bugtracker
  • Creating FreeCAD-community-approved tutorials

FreeCAD Development

FreeCAD Bugtracker/Issue Queue


Support FreeCAD

  • Yorik van Havre has a Patreon account. The more people donate the more possible for him to spend time on FreeCAD.
  • Kurt Kremitzki (AKA @kkremitzki) is a dev ops guy + engineer. He has been part of FreeCAD Google Summer of Code 2 years in a row. Hes has a Patreon account.
  • @realthunder is building Assembly3 (an expermental attempt at the next generation FreeCAD assembly workbench) and has contributed a lot to the Path Workbench. He has a donation link on his GH repo.
  • @sliptonic is a Path workbench core-dev. He has been improving and advocating Path for some years now. He has a Flattr account.
  • Login to Github and 'Star' the FreeCAD repo.

Latest FreeCAD Feature Announcements

Latest FreeCAD Pull Requests

Multilingual FreeCAD forums