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A general discussion of Computer Aided Design and Drafting software and the industries and hobbies surrounding them. Follow rules and don't be a jerk.

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submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by wjrii to c/cad

Obviously inspired by the Wikipedia comparison table, but curated with an eye to the hobbyist needing 3D design, and with updated pricing where I could find it, as well as a few high-level usability notes. Suggestions and corrections are welcome.

OnlyOffice Spreadsheet version:


I'm in the market for a new monitor. My 32" LCD is nice but now I have some spending money and really want to move up to an OLED display, as they seem to be maturing nicely and can give me an amazing bump in refresh rate.

Many OLED displays are curved, of course. All ultrawides are, some severely so (800r!!!)
I've always shied away from curved monitors because I feel like it could distort the appearance of some solid/2d geometry vs a flat panel. (I'm also not crazy about the desk space they occupy either, but I can work around that).

Do any of you use CAD packages (solidworks, inventor, autocad) on curved monitors, and if so how well does it appear? My target would be a 34" or 42" 4k display.


I imagine they're targeting their meetup in August to announce version 1.0.

Weekly Builds Download

submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by wjrii to c/cad

I think they picked one of the better ones, though now I regret not screenshotting the poll to remind myself of which ones I voted for.

submitted 1 month ago by wjrii to c/cad

Very solid and mature parametric modeler, and if your workflow doesn't rely on booleans too much, the hobbyist version is generally under $200 for a perpetual license.

submitted 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) by wjrii to c/cad

credit to @[email protected]

cross-posted from:

Heart Shaped Container FreeCAD Tutorial

Made a FreeCAD tutorial for making this container: I have to warn you that I made a bunch of mistakes and it may be really hard to follow.

submitted 1 month ago by wjrii to c/cad

Maybe we get v1.0 this year.

submitted 1 month ago by wjrii to c/cad

cross-posted from:[email protected]/t/993667

There have been 46 submissions to the new FreeCAD logo contest. The user poll is closing on May 1 (this Wednesday). You can still pick your top 5 entries. The 5 winning submissions will then be submitted to the maintainers team for the final voting.

submitted 1 month ago by wjrii to c/cad

Catia v5 was the original UI inspiration. Take from that what you will.

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by wjrii to c/cad

It has to go vertical and diagonal, but it fits on my stock-sized Ender 3 clone, even with a brim. Key layout, dimensions, placement of chamfers and the angles on the underside were all designed with this goal in mind. 30-hour print, if Cura is to be trusted. Going to start with a partial print to make sure the layer lines can handle the stress of the keyswitches being friction fit.

Z-banding is an aesthetic choice, right? ...right?

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by wjrii to c/cad

I have a SpaceMouse Compact I received as a gift. I don't use it to its potential, to be sure, but I am fond of it and to be honest I'm tough to buy for, so "product X, please" made life easier for my wife. This would be in contrast to "gift card will be fine," or "niche and visually unattractive consumable for hobby Y, please."

A thought has resurfaced though, from the days before I got it. Has there ever been a serious attempt to adapt XBox or PS controllers to work in place of a 3D mouse? It seems like a no-brainer, at least for FreeCAD and Blender, but every DIY project I've ever seen hijacks the mouse or keyboard controls, while the 3DConnexion driver hooks into apps' APIs and directly adjusts the camera. The ergonomics would be funky with the standard controllers, but we've got generations of people now who are extremely comfortable with gaming-style potentiometer joysticks, and they're available in multiple formats and as inexpensive electronics modules. You'd need three to replace the full range of motion, and while analog triggers are a bit iffy, it should mean that the hardware could be adapted without reinventing the wheel. I get why it isn't common, mouse input is pretty good really, but I'm surprised I couldn't find anything usable.

Is this a miss on my part, or just something that hasn't surfaced?


MangoJelly video on one of the more unusual (unless it's not?) but potentially most powerful features of FreeCAD.


Anybody try this one? Looks like it's using OpenCASCADE and Solvespace's solver. Basically looks like somebody wanted Solvespace with fillets and chamfers. I've played around with it a bit, but the UI is a little frustrating so far. Promising app if it gets further development, though.

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by wjrii to c/cad

cross-posted from:[email protected]/t/346258

Anybody want to help out @[email protected] ?

Can someone explain or point me towards a good tutorial that explains how to match complex curves, like the PS5 side panels?

I want to make a controller stand that sits on top of my PS5 in it's horizontal position.

I'm most familiar (but still very beginner) with Fusion 360, but I'm open to trying other software if there's some killer feature that makes this easier.

Any tips appreciated, thanks.

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by wjrii to c/cad

So a while back, on [email protected], I did a writeup on some CAD packages, focusing on (VERY) basic single-part design. Basically, I tried to make the same boolean'd solid with a pocket/hole and some chamfers and fillets. One of the ones that I used is a commercial suite from a small German publisher that's basically one step up from shovelware.

They do, however, have one quirky offering that has some value at the right price. BeckerCAD 3D Pro is a rebranded build of the entry-level version of "Caddy++" from a little shop called DataSolid. I don't know enough AutoCAD to say, but Caddy++ (and therefore BeckerCAD) seems to operate much like what I've heard about AutoCAD, but with more of a focus on 3D. It seems like the vendor probably got a kernel license years ago so they keep maintaining the software and using it when their customers balk at Catia pricing, which they also sell as a VAR. There also seems to be a niche market for event planners, and some revenue from the sublicense for MuT to sell BeckerCAD, which itself began life as a totally different 2D package popular in Germany in the late 80s.

TO BE CLEAR, BeckerCAD is not a top of the line program. It is closed source. It is Windows only. Its UI and documentations were translated in a somewhat half-assed manner. One of the missing functions from Caddy++'s higher tiers is the parametric history tree. Its workflow is quirky AF and weirdly focused on selecting and deselecting 2D elements. Exporting a nurbs solid without buying into Caddy++ itself requires FreeCAD and a plugin. Like a lot of it, its camera controls are from another era, though you can make them work for you.

For now, it's also 20 euros for a permanent license, and I had no issue purchasing and downloading from the US.

Unlike Ashampoo's "3D CAD Pro" this is actual mechanical CAD software, though dated and weird. The 2D functionality is pretty mature and not too hard to follow, and while there is no history tree, sketches are not consumed and can be modified and re-extruded if you don't get too deep into a flawed workflow. There are some limited direct editing tools as well (this is one of the main differences between "pro" and "not pro"). At 130EUR, it's not a very good deal in the sense that you'll probably still want something else in your arsenal and so why pay that much instead of directing the money to something else, but at 20 it might be, especially if you speak German (I do not).

EDIT: As a final note, I wouldn't recommend the non "Pro" version. Besides the direct modeling, it removes STL export, forcing you to do the FreeCAD workaround or work with OBJ files, and removes some other helpful features like splitting lines or splitting solids along a plane. Pro is flawed and dated. non-Pro gets back into shovelware territory.



I didn't know about this command. I was trying to create an assembly. I knew that Solidworks had mating commands in the assembly, but I couldn't find them in Fusion 360. (I refuse to call it just Fusion, that's stupid.) So, watching assembly tutorials, I found this. I never knew the Align command existed or what it did. Sigh.

PS DAPTeach or dapteach9020, your video is great, I wish I could tell you but you have comments turned off and no way to contact you and no videos in 3 years.


Went poking around after finding the 1963 Sketchpad video. Shapr3d's website posted the entirety of a 650 page book on the history of CAD.

submitted 2 months ago by wjrii to c/cad

The standard go-to for accessible FreeCAD instruction videos.


Great tech demonstration here, just a few steps below the Doug Engelbart demo in how futuristic it must have seemed, IMHO. Loved the light pen and macro-pad interface.

Also, your speakers are fine. The audio for me played mono and right channel only.

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