Do you need a parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM? If so, then you know how expensive AutoCAD is. So what do you do? Many people have found success by using FreeCAD. But there are a few things you should know before you get and implement AutoCAD to ensure success. This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you select a tool that will let you successfully create parametric 3D models for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM.

FreeCAD was developed by Juergen Riegel, Werner Mayer from Germany, specialized in parametric 3D CAD modeling you can find more about their amazing project at their company’s website: http://www.freecadweb.org

FreeCAD is great solution to create parametric 3D models for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, You can use the software if you are an experience CAD user or just a beginner, even if you are a programmer. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.

Key Features:

  • Open CASCADE Technology.
  • Can be fully programmed in Python.
  • Import/export to standard formats such as STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF, SVG, STL, DAE, IFC or OFF, NASTRAN, VRML in addition to FreeCAD’s native Fcstd file format.
  • Sketcher with constraint-solver.
  • Robot simulation module that allows to study robot movements.
  • Drawing sheets that allow 2D views of your 3D models.
  • Rendering module that can export 3D objects.
  •  Architecture module that allows BIM-like workflow, with IFC compatibility.

General Features:

  • FreeCAD is multi-platform
  • Full GUI application
  • Runs as a command line application
  • Can be imported as a Python module
  • Workbench concept
  • Plugin/Module framework for late loading of features/data-types.
  • Parametric associative document objects
  • Parametric primitive creation
  • Graphical modification operations
  • Graphical creation of simple planar geometry
  • Modeling with straight or revolution extrusions, sections and fillets.
  • Topological components like vertices, edges, wires and planes (via python scripting).
  • Testing and repairing tools for meshes.
  • Annotations
  • Undo/Redo framework
  • Transaction management
  • Built-in scripting framework
  • Built-in Python console
  • User interaction mirroring on the console
  • Full macro recording & editing
  • Compound (ZIP based) document save format
  • Fully customizable/scriptable Graphical User Interface.
  • Thumbnailer
  • Modular MSI installer

Now that you know that a great software like FreeCAD, you’re ready to start without having to pay a hefty price.

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