Thoughts on under-represented features/concepts for CAD/CAM?

A couple of things I’m surprised aren’t better supported:

Ah well, back to coding…

Well, so much in FreeCAD is exposed to Python (and tested by large parts of FreeCAD being implemented directly in Python) that it is highly effective from a scripting point of view. It even shows you what Python commands your GUI actions are running to help you learn to script it while using it, if you want. And it’s quite good for parametric design. It has several capabilities there. The ones I use most are:

  • Spreadsheets with aliases (basically, variable names) to drive parametric design
  • Configuration tables (a way to drive tabular sets of related configurations from a setting exposed on an element)
  • Variant links (a way to choose a particular configuration when linking to a object that is parameterized)

Those last two are interesting (when I last looked at FreeCAD only the spreadsheet option was supported).

Curious if anything else is going to support the parametric DXF thing.

While FreeCAD can export to DXF, the FreeCAD sketcher isn’t what I would choose for parametric DXF work.

  • It’s too prone to “flipping” if you use dimensions naturally; you really need to use absolute computed placement to make a sketch robust.
  • It’s not meant for the complexity of laying out an entire flat part, and its solver bogs down when there are lots of constraints.