Technical 3D design using FreeCAD

Tutorials – FreeCAD

Article from Issue 224/2019

Designing simple shapes in OpenSCAD is easy, but if you want to print complex machines with multiple interlocking pieces, you need to bring out the big guns. That's where FreeCAD comes in handy.

In the last two issues [1, 2], I discussed designing 3D objects using scripts in OpenSCAD [3]. That was easy and fun, as well as an effective way of creating simple objects. But as soon as the number of faces and moving parts starts to grow, the lines of code multiply exponentially making your OpenSCAD designs unwieldy and difficult to troubleshoot.

Fortunately, FreeCAD [4] is a full-featured graphical software application that takes over from OpenSCAD for more complex printing. You can even import your OpenSCAD designs into FreeCAD (Figure 1)!

Figure 1: FreeCAD is a very complete CAD system that lets you import pieces from OpenSCAD.


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