FreeCAD 16 vs Latest

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FreeCAD 16 vs Latest

We currently use FreeCAD 16 because of its simpler interface to be inclusive to beginners and because OSE has developed a workflow specifically for this version over many years. This page is to document what customizations can be made in the latest version of FreeCAD, currently 19, to better support this OSE workflow and to integrate OSE with the larger FreeCAD community.

Pros for 16

  • Most OSE files are already created with 16.
  • Less confusing parts tree (because object planes are excluded and do not clutter the part tree - where we navigate the part tree frequently in OSE workflows)
    • The important point about being simpler to learn is that we need low barriers to entry so that onboarding to basic proficiency in FreeCAD can happen within 1 hour even for complete beginners.
  • Converting the library to 19 will introduce features incompatible with earlier versions.
  • Comes stock on OSE Linux v1 and OSE Linux v2
  • Integrates more easily with overall OSE infrastructure which includes a larger number of software tools. As this integrated toolset grows, it becomes increasingly more important to use simpler tools so that more people can learn an integrated toolset. Such a toolset is required for running open source microfactories, OSE Campuses, and other integrated operations.
  • Allows for large-scale collaborative CAD workflows using the Merge Workflow which is otherwise much harder to implement via Assembly Workbench-based workflows
  • When assessed from the Collaborative Design aspect of OSE, FreeCAD 16 (basic legacy FreeCAD) - 16 is sufficient and superior compared to 19. Under the assumption that the OSE team is made largely from FreeCAD Power Users - FreeCAD 19 would be more suited - but the OSE team is not made primarily of FreeCAD power users but instead - people and generalists from all walks of life
  • Support for Add-ons, such as the 3D Printer Workbench or any other add-on workbench like ExplodedAnimations

Pros for Latest

"FC 0.16 is now that old, that it only of historic interest." -- Uwestoehr [1]

  • The part three of later version has only two additional elements (Body with Origin) -- an these elements are created automatically when the first sketch is done!
  • Models created with 0.16 load in 0.20 (needs to be thoroughly tested).
  • Less friction with FreeCAD community - examples?
    • Requesting help on the (very responsive) FreeCAD forum for 0.16 is ridiculous.
  • Easier for beginners going to FreeCAD website, rather than GitHub.
  • Online documentation (including discussion of limiations) targets the latest FreeCAD.
  • 0.16 misses out on more than 5 years of intense development. (Version 0.16 was release in April 2016.)

Better scripting systems for memory efficiency and concurrent engineering

Support for more sophisticated assemblies (particularly, we can create links to the lowest level shapes as external documents for precision composition of the entire house directly from kit parts)

Migration to Python 3

OSE Workbench

There are a number of custom OSE workbenches designed for different tasks already available, written by OSE community members.