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#1 2014-08-08 15:42:26

Registered: 2014-07-08
Posts: 23

FreeCAD - Tutorial 2 - First Part Design

New designers may be a bit disturbed with the miscellaneous workbenches you can find in FreeCAD. However, if your objective is to design a part, you should concentrate your attention on 3 workbenches:

  • Sketcher

  • Part Design

  • Part

Why 3 workbenches for a single task?

The best answer to this question is probably because you want to reduce the number of operations required to create your part. You save time, you keep your design simple (KISS) and you reduce the rendering processing time of your computer, especially for a large assembly.

Which workbench you should start with really depends on the part you want to design.

For instance, if your part looks like a cube with fillets on edges, you should start designing in the Part workbench. If your design is a cube with grooves, it could be a better idea to start with the part design workbench. It really depends. Your experience also will be important in that decision. So maybe you should start with a first design and scrap it if you are not satisfied. At any time you can switch from one workbench to another to find out a feature that is missing in another workbench.

  • Part workbench can be used to create boxes, cylinders, spheres and cones. These are really basic shapes. It can also be used to measure your part.

  • Part design workbench is used to create shapes that relies on a sketch like a pad, revolution. It has additional features to create fillet, chamfer, draft for instance.

  • To be honest, creating a design in 3D is not always easy especially when you have to deal with perspectives or want to know if two lines are parallel for instance. This is the reason why the sketcher workbench exists. From time to time, it's better to work in 2D.

At this step, you should be in the Part workbench and click on the "Create a new document" icon and then click on the "Create a box solid" icon for instance. Here we are, you've got a cube!

If you right click on the cube and see "Navigation style", you will see a list of 4 styles.

At this stage, you should read this: Mouse Model

This is really important that you start playing with this cube to know how to zoom in and out the part, rotate it, select an edge or face, etc ...

I use "Touchpad Navigation" but "CAD Navigation" is fine too.

Be careful not to be in "Inventor mode" when you are doing some design. You won't be able to make proper selection of your part.

You can now save your cube. Let's call it cube. The unnamed part is replaced with cube!

Being able to open a FreeCAD document and play with it is already a major step.

Next tutorial: The sketcher

Last edited by Odysseus (2014-08-08 20:22:51)


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