FreeCAD: Your Own 3D Parametric Modeler
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For the practice test described in this article, I developed a case for the Raspberry Pi with a display, and I had a 3D printing provider print the design. Before embarking on the test, I had professional experience with 2D CAD programs and only rudimentary exposure to 3D CAD, dating back to my days as a mechanical engineering student in the early s.
During the course of my research, I tested a number of CAD applications on various systems, including AutoSketch, Blender, 3DScratch, Tinkercad, and others; however, I couldn't get excited about any of these programs.
When it came time to test FreeCAD things clicked right away. The documentation is very detailed, and it comes with illustrations, so after about 15 minutes, you should be able to complete your first project from a simple metal plate Figure 1. Starting out in FreeCAD with a small metal plate. To perform your own tests, you should therefore bring the system installed on your Rasp Pi up to date and then reboot: If necessary, you should make an image of the current installation. However, you can skip this step when starting out on a freshly installed Raspbian without any special settings.
Hardware acceleration is activated in the computer settings, so you should invoke sudo raspi-config and turn on the GL Driver option in Advanced Options Figure 2. These are the only two versions of the computer possessing the necessary space.
BRL-CAD: Open Source Solid Modeling
Moreover, if you activate this setting on a Pi2 or Pi3 and then insert the SD card into a first-generation Rasp Pi or even a Pi Zero, the computer will refuse to start. The system proceeds cautiously when activating OpenGL support, turning off existing settings for overclocking.
When I later enabled overclocking on my RPi2, it resulted in a black display screen. As is known from official announcements, it is not possible to overclock the RPi3. Concurrently, you should increase the working memory allocated to the graphics chip.
DWG TrueView and other CAD file viewers
In the standard settings, the chip has just 64MB. This small amount of graphics memory results in image artifacts when the FreeCAD zoom function is used. Consequently, you need to specify something likefor MB of graphics memory, under Advanced Options Memory Split. BRL-CAD is a powerful open source cross-platform solid modeling system that includes interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, geometry libraries for application developers, and more than 30 years of active development.
Highlights Cross platform The package is intentionally designed to be extensively cross-platform and is actively developed on and maintained for many common operating system environments including for BSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Windows among others. Development as a unified package began in The first public release was made in It also means that you will get this software Free of cost and we won't charge you ever for any update or support.
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or run by the U. Some highlights include an integrated graphical tree view, a single window framework, drag and drop geometry editing, information panels, shortcut buttons, improved polygonal mesh and 2D sketch editing, level of detail wireframes, NURBS shaded display support, and much more.
Prior to upcoming beta testing where the emphasis is predominantly on stability and usability, this alpha status solicits feedback from the community on capability and features. This release also includes various improvements to BRL-CAD's ray tracing infrastructure including CPU thread affinity locking for faster performance, more consistent grazing hit behavior, expanded volume and surface area calculations, numerous bug fixes, and more robust NURBS evaluation.
Army Ballistic Research Laboratory BRL — now the United States Army Research Laboratory — expressed a need for tools that could assist with the computer simulation and engineering analysis of combat vehicle systems and environments.
When no CAD package was found to be adequate for this purpose, BRL software developers — led by Mike Muuss — began assembling a suite of utilities capable of interactively displaying, editing, and interrogating geometric models. The BRL-CAD source code repository is believed to be the oldest public version-controlled codebase in the world that's still under active development, dating back to BRL-CAD doc team getting to work writing a book from scratch in less than three days Contrary to and perhaps because of longstanding efforts, people interested in improving BRL-CAD sometimes find themselves lost in a sea of information.
In all, BRL-CAD has more than a million words of documentation across hundreds of manual pages, dozens of tutorials and examples, hundreds of wiki pages, dozens of technical papers, and other resources. There are literally thousands of features. It's a lot, created over decades of development. Over the course of a week in October, members from our community participated in something fresh.
Unconference brainstorming stickies A team of individuals traveled from around the world to the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, to participate in a 2-part event: By the end of the week, seven individuals from four different countries, three continents, and one oceanic island produced a book for BRL-CAD totaling more than pages in length.
As free open source software, one of BRL-CAD's greatest strengths is that anyone can get involved and directly contribute.