Current state of the assembly workbench

Discussion about the development of the Assembly workbench.
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r-frank
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Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby r-frank » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:13 am

Since every now and then a new user of freecad is asking about the assembly workbench
I invested some time to gather the following information.

FreeCAD up to version 0.16.6703 for Linux/0.16.6704 for Windows/0.16.6705 for Mac OSX

Official assembly workbench
There was some initial work done on an assembly workbench.
The work is hosted here.
It has to be compiled against a very old, now obsolete version of FreeCAD and is therefore
not recommended for use.

What do users do to get assemblies ?
There are several workarounds that could be used.

Just placing the solids in the correct position/orientation in 3D space
Using placement, draft move, draft rotate and alignment you can adjust the position/orientation
of the solids in 3D space.
With solids created in part workbench you can use those tools directly on the solid in question.
With solids created with the part design workbench you need to apply changes to
the first sketch used to create the solid in question.
As additional workaround some users like to create simple copies of the solids,
insert them in a new document and use the positioning tools on the simple-copy-solids.
Tipp: Creating groups in the tree view can be used to organize your model better.

Creating the solids in place
Since placement, draft move and draft rotate could be used on solids and on sketches not attached to faces
you could use those methods to create your model already in correct position/orientation.
Tipp: Use reorient sketch to detach sketches from faces.
Answering “yes” to the question about detaching the sketch and pressing “cancel” in the following menu
will just detach the sketch from its face.

Using spreadsheet workbench as assembly solver substitute
Since the spreadsheet workbench offers some functionality to read and control values and constraints
there may be cases when this could be used to “link” constraints in different sketches or the position
of different shapes and so getting some sort of solver controlled assembly.

Using workbench “assembly2”
User “Hamish” created a workbench allowing using constraints on solids.
The workbench is hosted here.
Since User “Hamish” has announced stop providing support for his workbench discussion
has started on how the workbench could be used until an official assembly workbench
would be developed.

FreeCAD 0.17 (in development)
With this version a new internal data structure for the solids (especially for part design) was introduced.
The new workflow (called “part design next”) will not work with the current version of “assembly2”.
Since the author and maintainer of the workbench has announced stop providing support for his workbench
discussion has started on how the workbench could be used until an official assembly workbench
would be developed.
At the moment priority is to develop part design next and do the necessary bug-hunting and testing.
When part design next is in a releaseable state work may be continued on the official assembly workbench.
efyx
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:36 pm

Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby efyx » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:11 am

r-frank wrote:The new workflow (called “part design next”) will not work with the current version of “assembly2”.

Looks like it is working, not much tests but basicly does.
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NormandC
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Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby NormandC » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Thanks for doing this Roland. :)
r-frank wrote:Official assembly workbench
There was some initial work done on an assembly workbench.
The work is hosted here.
It has to be compiled against a very old, now obsolete version of FreeCAD and is therefore
not recommended for use.

What I heard is that this branch is mostly unusable anyway so it is useless to even try.
jmaustpc
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Location: Australia

Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby jmaustpc » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:34 am

NormandC wrote:Thanks for doing this Roland. :)
r-frank wrote:Official assembly workbench
There was some initial work done on an assembly workbench.
The work is hosted here.
It has to be compiled against a very old, now obsolete version of FreeCAD and is therefore
not recommended for use.

What I heard is that this branch is mostly unusable anyway so it is useless to even try.


Hi guys,
that branch would not compile at all on Linux, from memory. It would not compile on Kubuntu 12.04 when I tried it at the time, so it is possible that it was just a 12.04 issue rather than generic Linux. Juergen was developing in Windows. In any case it was only a very early technical demonstration that was never anywhere near complete or really usable. At one time it had worked on Linux and I had compiled and tried it. But this was a long time ago, based on a nearly useless, now massively out of date FreeCAD.
efyx
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:36 pm

Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby efyx » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:17 am

Is there any update with assembly in freecad? I know that Assembly2 by hamish is included. Are works on Part desing next are on stage where assembly module can starts? What is really missing, is Inverse Kinematics - is that on plannes?
ickby
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:36 am

Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby ickby » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:35 am

efyx wrote:Is there any update with assembly in freecad?

It depends, do you have some code for us to review?
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NormandC
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Re: Current state of the assembly workbench

Postby NormandC » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:59 pm

Was this satisfying ickby? :D

To all readers who come here and might have the same question as efyx, before posting will you please:

  1. Read this topic: have there been any progress updates posted recently?
  2. Look at the list of topics in the Assembly development forum. Is there any new topic talking about progress?
  3. Look at the Feature Announcements forum. Is there any topic reporting progress on the Assembly workbench?

If the answer is no to all points, then it means that there is nothing new to report yet, and is useless to enquire here.

Please do as we regulars have been doing for the past 4 years: wait and be patient.

efyx wrote:What is really missing, is Inverse Kinematics - is that on plannes?

Without even a functioning Assembly workbench, it is of no use to plan that far ahead. You can always have a look at the Development roadmap (linked directly on the wiki's Main page for anyone bothering to read it) where it is briefly mentioned.