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FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:44 pm
by rgand
I need a good CAD program that will work in Linux Mint 18.3 64-bit. This will be used for drawings and blueprints for machinery and other items from angle iron, square tubing and sheet metal. Also it will be needed for wooden assemblies like a workbench or other items made from 2x4 or 2x6 framing and plywood sheeting.

Has anyone had experience with FreeCAD for this?

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:37 pm
by xenopeek
I don't have any experience with such things, and it's not a CAD program, but LinuxCNC may be of interest to you: http://linuxcnc.org/

There's a list of CAD programs with some comments over on the Ubuntu wiki: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuEngineering#CAD

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:09 pm
by rgand
Thanks for the reply, Xenopeek. Good to know FreeCAD iosn't a CAD program. That helps a lot.

The LinuxCNC will be useful in the future when I get a CNC machine going.

The list of CAD programs is really useful. I'll check all of those they list to see which is most suitable for my needs.

Many thanks. I'll mark this thread solved.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:44 pm
by phd21
HI rgand,

FYI: FreeCAD is a CAD application, but LinuxCNC is not a CAD application.

FreeCAD download - SourceForge.net
FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits a wider range of uses in engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties. It is 100% Open Source and extremely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.

FreeCAD/FreeCAD: This is the official source code of FreeCAD, a free and opensource multiplatform 3D parametric modeler.
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD

FreeCAD is usually in the Mint Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM).

Download newer FreeCAD Releases - AppImage versions
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases

Hope this helps ...

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:24 pm
by rgand
That does help, phd21. I'll check the links you provided. Thanks.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:35 am
by lsemmens
What have you been using? This might give us a clue as to the most appropriate tool for the job. I've been a fan of SketchUp for windwoes and have yet to find a decent alternative in Linux. Freecad seems ok for 2D work, but 3D does require a lot more hard work.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:37 am
by ajm
I have used Onshape as well. Runs in a browser and is cloud based so completely cross platform. Chromium works better here, but you can use Firefox. With more complex objects I have found the former to be better. You can check it out here https://www.onshape.com/ Free for personal work, but your files are public then, since I don't sell anything and don't make much that anyone would be interested in, I'm good with it. Navigation is strange to me though.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:19 pm
by rgand
Thanks for the additional help, here. I'm still going over various options offered already.
lsemmens wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:35 am
What have you been using? This might give us a clue as to the most appropriate tool for the job. I've been a fan of SketchUp for windwoes and have yet to find a decent alternative in Linux. Freecad seems ok for 2D work, but 3D does require a lot more hard work.
I haven't had any CAD program for a good 10-15 years. Before that I used AutoCAD and Generic CADD (bought out by AutoCAD) prior to that. What's available now has to be much more sophisticated than anything I have used. I can do with a three-view drawing in 2D for my purposes. When I ran a fabrication shop, we worked exclusively from three views and 2D blueprints. 3D would be a plus but isn't absolutely necessary.
ajm wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:37 am
I have used Onshape as well. Runs in a browser and is cloud based so completely cross platform. Chromium works better here, but you can use Firefox. With more complex objects I have found the former to be better. You can check it out here https://www.onshape.com/ Free for personal work, but your files are public then, since I don't sell anything and don't make much that anyone would be interested in, I'm good with it. Navigation is strange to me though.
I've never used anything cloud-based. Not to say I won't, but you are limited to having online access for it. I'll check that out. I can use Chrome, Firefox or Opera browsers so I'm sure one of them will work.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:44 pm
by AZgl1500
I'm using 18.3 Cinnamon, and FreeCAD is available in Software Manager.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:05 pm
by rgand
AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:44 pm
I'm using 18.3 Cinnamon, and FreeCAD is available in Software Manager.
Thanks. I have installed it already. Now it's a matter of getting used to how it works.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:36 am
by lsemmens
FreeCAD will most likely be as good as anything you've ever used in the past.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:49 pm
by rgand
I played with FreeCAD a bit. Once I have the basics down, I think it'll be quite useful. Thanks for all the direction on this, everyone.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:13 pm
by rgand
I've been fiddling with FreeCAD but I haven't found any instructions or decent tutorials so it's all hit or miss. So far, I can draw lines by dragging with a mouse from point A to point B but not make ones a particular length. Other than counting grid squares, I don't even know how long they are before, while or after I make them. Does anyone know of any basic tutorials that explain how to use it to make a blueprint?

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:28 pm
by MtnDewManiac

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:27 pm
by z31fanatic
rgand wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:13 pm
I've been fiddling with FreeCAD but I haven't found any instructions or decent tutorials so it's all hit or miss. So far, I can draw lines by dragging with a mouse from point A to point B but not make ones a particular length. Other than counting grid squares, I don't even know how long they are before, while or after I make them. Does anyone know of any basic tutorials that explain how to use it to make a blueprint?
Do you have to use Linux for work? If you have a Windows computer you can use Autodesk Fusion 360. It's free for students, hobbyist and businesses that make less than $100k a year.
It's an excellent program for 2d drawing and 3d modeling. Plus it has the HSM Works CAM built in. You'll be able to program you CNC lathes and mills. Plus waterjet and plasma cutter.

Re: FreeCAD For Machinery and Shop Equipment [SOLVED]

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:34 pm
by rgand
z31fanatic wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:27 pm
rgand wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:13 pm
I've been fiddling with FreeCAD but I haven't found any instructions or decent tutorials so it's all hit or miss. So far, I can draw lines by dragging with a mouse from point A to point B but not make ones a particular length. Other than counting grid squares, I don't even know how long they are before, while or after I make them. Does anyone know of any basic tutorials that explain how to use it to make a blueprint?
Do you have to use Linux for work? If you have a Windows computer you can use Autodesk Fusion 360. It's free for students, hobbyist and businesses that make less than $100k a year.
It's an excellent program for 2d drawing and 3d modeling. Plus it has the HSM Works CAM built in. You'll be able to program you CNC lathes and mills. Plus waterjet and plasma cutter.
Thanks for the helpful reply. I only have one Laptop with Windows on it I could use for that. It stays locked in the cabinet until I need it. I prefer to not let that one go online. My main machine with Linux on it is faster and better. It's Linux only. I'm trying to get away from Win in any form.