Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by domad »

WingingIt74 wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:50 pm I started doing a simple tutorial on youtube, but I either clicked on the wrong thing or pushed a key and could not find my way back to where I was. That got pretty frustrating... which means I'll have to start over and I have no idea what when sideways. Telling my age, I went to ITT Tech and graduated in 1995 with a AAS in drafting. At that time, we did 1/2 CAD and 1/2 board drafting. ITT Tech no longer exists, so it's hard to prove what I have.
Hi WingingIt74, greetings to the Community!
Some necessary clarifications.
To have a term of comparison, very very approximate (in reality more than Autocad they are more similar to FreeCad eg Catia, Nx, SolidWorks, Inventor, Tekla, etc.), but useful to trace in our "imaginary" a profile of FreeCad (obviously not complete but enough to understand):
- Autocad Lt is purely 2D;
it is conceptually similar to FreeCad "Draft".
- Autocad is a 3D from release 10 (year 1988);
it is conceptually similar to FreeCad "Draft" + "Part".
- Autocad is a parametric 3D (partially) from the 2010 release (year 2009);
it is conceptually similar to FreeCad "Part Designer" + "Sketecher".
For the technical drawing, the Autocad Layouts are similar to the FreeCad "TechDraw" Pages (but the systems for generating the projections to obtain the views are different).
Obviously FreeCad is much, much more.
First of all it is absolutely parametric, then it has a "philosophy" of setting that in all likelihood makes it unique in its kind: it involves the use of many highly specialized tools grouped by specificity defined with the term "Work benches".
Which are not comparable to Autocad's "Lisp".
The "Lisps" are comparable to the FreeCad Macros Python.
They (Workbench and Macro) interact in 3D space on the same object / s not only from the point of view of 3D modeling but also in the simulation, both of movement and structural, fuidic, thermal ... (FEM), etc., or in the 'assembly, in short, not to dwell on it, FreeCad is a 3D CAD in which planning and inventiveness can follow a complete development (virtual prototyping), without having to use other software.
For example, there are workbenches that deal with curves, or with bending and unfolding (planimetric development) of sheets, modeling of gears, electronic components, CAM for cnc, bolts, assembly of assemblies, Architecture, BIM and many others.
Certainly not everything in FreeCad is simple, intuitive and obvious, in particular for those who have already gained experience in using 3D cad (in this case it is recommended to "forget" the old software in the sense of canceling the usual modeling procedures), then you need to have the will and the constancy (!) to learn, the humility to ask (better define it as "positive mental predisposition"), rather than criticize the first difficulty when things don't go the right way, that's why the Forums, the wikis and the countless treatises on the web are excellent resources to find 99.99% of the solutions you are looking for.
A good path to get started with FreeCad:
- Read the documentation (even if not updated to the latest versions)
- Meticulously perform all (!) Basic tutorials
- Use online resources (Wiki + Forum)
I hope I have not bored you, a greeting
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by thomas-neemann »

domad wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 1:43 pm ...
Obviously FreeCad is much, much more.....

....FreeCad is a 3D CAD in which planning and inventiveness can follow a complete development (virtual prototyping), without having to use other software.....
ich biete freecad online-support an, als mini-job
VHS Freecad Webseminare Herbst 2022
https://www.vhs-lingen.de/programm/beru ... 011#inhalt
https://www.vhs-lingen.de/programm/beru ... 012#inhalt
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by adrianinsaval »

+1 to what domad says and I'll add to that IMO it is better to start leaning by reading the wiki rather than youtube videos, for starters it's hard for newbies to identify outdated videos or just plain bad videos (and there are many of both around), secondly videos usually use a lot of time telling you do this and that to make this specific model (there are exceptions), but rarely explain the underlying concepts or the nuances of a tool so by the end of it you might be able to replicate a procedure like a well trained monkey but you don't usually have a good understanding of the tool.
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by tonyaimer »

I am also an older guy getting into FreeCAD in addition to my Autocad ( because of Lisp )

I still use Autocad R10 for all my 2D draugthing. ( Don't like Autocad on windows).

I am learning FreeCAD for my hobby/workshop requirements which will include CNC.

I agree with the opinion that FreeCAD is not intended for 2D work.

I am concentrating on Sketcher, PartDesign and Path workbenches but there is too much for
any one person to absorb if you include all the other workbenches it is possible to include. I do hope
to get into an assembly WB at some stage.

I found Autocad first viable on a PC in 1987 and started with version 2.62. There were CAD packages
available before then, but needed mainframes or mini computers to run them, which was way outside
my budget as a one man business.

Now if FreeCAD would slow down on their development I might be able to catch up <g>.

I do have high hopes for FreeCAD as a 3D parametric solid modelling package and have decided
to stay the course. Even if I a bit slow in picking things up. The community is fantastic!


Tony Aimer
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by Laurie Hartley »

I jumped all over the place when I started with FreeCAD. My advice - find a YouTube presenter with a style you like then work through all the videos on the channel. I like this guy’s approach. (Adventures in Creation).


If it is 2D you want as well as LibreCAD mentioned above, QCAD has a free version for Windows and Linux. It has a very good online help.
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by NHSA_Rainer »

WingingIt74 wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 11:16 pm The last CAD program I used was AutoCad 13-15 back in 2006. Any suggestions for someone like me to learn FreeCAD?

I started FreeCAD-ding :) back in September 2021 and at the beginning I did know nothing about developping 3D parts. I knew before how to draw a part in 3 views and then my mechanical shop made the parts.

After buying a 3D printer I needed to learn it and started and WOW nothing came out until I watched some videos in YouTube and slowly started to get the hang of it.

For me the videos from flowwies corner were the best. Most of them are in German language.

Here a channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 26cn9idJrj

This helped me a lot and for more complicated stuff I come back to this forum.
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Re: Old AutoCad guy wanting to learn FreeCAD

Post by onekk »

Freecad could even be used for 2d work as it had all the capabilities.

But if you intend to use it in 2d to have some printed pages it is another different topic.

TechDraw WB is improving fast and for 2d Drafting is decent already, so probably in the near future it will be mature enough to compete (even if this is not a precise goal of this WB) with 2D CADs.


Carlo D.
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My Blog: https://onekk-maker.blogspot.com/

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