Nice FreeCAD YouTube group of tutorial videos

Seems like a good intro to how it should be used (constraints and sketches).

Lots of features get used in this.


Last night I figured out how to use construction lines in freecad. They don’t show up in the visible drawing, but they provide references for actions, like if you want to groove a part about an axis that isn’t x,y,z. I like freecad but all too often I have to dig in five places to find out how to use a function the way I want. Hence the need for good tutorials, I suppose.

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For me this was more about style. I think it is a worthwhile investment of time to just try to click every button to understand what each one does. I did that a long time ago and it helped a lot. But what watching others do on YouTube that I find so helpful is how to use those tools effectively; exploiting them instead of fighting the UI. A good example is drawing a multi-line polygon freehand. It can be tricky to tell if you closed it properly or not. Instead of waiting to find that out when something breaks, purposely avoid closing the last segment. Instead, leave them close to each other, then drag select them both and click the coincident point button. Voila! Faster and more deterministic. Just one of many little tricks. Once you start to understand how to work with it instead of fighting it, you’ll learn to love it. The a2plus Workbench is the next one I want to get good at, and he shows some of that in this video. I find working in FreeCAD relaxing; even therapeutic. But I’m probably alone in that respect. :wink:

My problem with investing in watching tutorials is that tutorials aren’t always suggesting the best approach. For example, putting a sketch on a face is commonly suggested in intro tutorials, and then you find the topological naming page—pointed to from approximately every help request in the freecad forum; I exaggerate only a little—and it suggests using local coordinate systems and datum planes.

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Yeah, tutorials are “here’s how I do it” and are often pretty specific for a task, rather than showing off the overall workflow that’s efficient for a tool.
“map sketch to face” causes me grief a lot of the time anymore, as I’m making more complicated objects.


Interesting. I’ve only used datum plane a little (I found it via a YouTube video :wink:) because I only needed a non-planar axis once or twice. Another concept I need to practice with and get my head wrapped around. Perhaps it will fix some of my difficulties and improve my workflow.

Having gotten used to geometrical construction in OpenSCAD, I keep running into differences in the model that surprise me.

I needed to model a pocket in a cone, and that didn’t work. I ended up asking my 12yo, who showed me how to map a datum plane tangent to the surface of the cone. :+1:


@mcdanlj AWESOME!! #ParentingDoneRight :nerd_face: