OSE FreeCAD Workbenches

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2023 - Automating BOMs and Going into Production

This can be used in the OSE FreeCAD workbench specification:

  • Button generates a part. When this part is inserted, and properties such as length entered, FreeCAD will sum up the lengths to provide a BOM
    • Difficulty may come from cut lists - when a given length does not fit on a stock piece of material. Nesting must be considered. This can be addressed as a separate step downstream - at the sourcing stage. For the BOM generation part, we can assume stock of standard dimensions.
  • In this workflow, there is an automated BOM generation capacity, where every single part in the part list is obtained via the workbench. LOD 500 CAD by definition would have all the parts.
  • Automated BOMs also mean automated export for 3D printing.


FreeCAD, like many modern design applications such as Revit or CATIA, is based on the concept of Workbench. A workbench can be considered as a set of tools specially grouped for a certain task. See more at https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Workbenches#:~:text=FreeCAD%2C%20like%20many%20modern%20design,grouped%20for%20a%20certain%20task.

HintLightbulb.png Hint: We are developing design workbenches for each of the 50 GVCS machines. G Roques is currently working on these at platform for OSE workbenches using FreeCAD.



3D Printer Workbench

The 3D Printer workbench is the best example of a workbench using the platform.

GitHub Repository

Commit Log

Project Board

Issue Log

Milestone for First Release

Playlist - Using the OSE FreeCAD Workbenches Platform


Workbench Howto

This walks you up to the point of generating your first part in the workbench.

OSE Workbench Platform for Dummies

  • The platform allows you to create clickable icons for doing OSE design: click on an icon, and the CAD of that is inserted into a working document. The intent is rapid design of real technology - if the CAD inserted is real, not just a BS abstraction. For CAD to be real, it must match a BOM, and it must consider build procedure.
  • You click an icon to add specific CAD to a working doc.
  • This advanced workflow can be created by non-programmer dummies, pending basic learning. G has created a template for doing this.
  • The challenge is: generating Python scripts for 3D CAD. Impossible. But made possible by simply copy-paste of the Python console window in FreeCAD, which converts your design process into lines of code! Very powerful feature of FreeCAD.

About FreeCAD Workbenches

FreeCAD workbenches are groups of tools and functionality within the open source FreeCAD software. In the OSE case, we use them for designing GVCS Machines using OSE Part Libraries and design methods embodied in our Design Guides. This is all done within the open source, extensible FreeCAD software.

List of Workbenches from OSE

  • D3D Freecad Workbench - 3D printer workbench can generate frames, corners, and mount the axes and bed on the frame. This allows for rapid modeling of any 3D printer geometry, and to extract rod/frame angle sizes for a cut list, and to determine range of motion.
  • OSE Piping Workbench - can generate any plumbing fitting in the world
  • SH2 Panel Workbench - Experimental workbench to generate wall panel modules for Seed Eco Home 2


HintLightbulb.png Hint: We are currently working on OSE FreeCAD Workbenches - a workbench construction set for all the GVCS machines