If you plan to work in a team environment my suggestion would be:
- FreeCAD 0.16
- Drawing dimensioning workbench
- Assembly 2 workbench
The same setup should be used by all involved from start to finish of the project. FreeCAD 0.17 hasn't stabilize yet and using it in a team environment for mid size projects is too risky.
After further analyzing our needs and our experience with FreeCAD, we drew some conclusions. I tend to fully agree with quoted Triplus.
1/ Please comment, how do you value our observations, as approaches to be developed in FC?
2/ For where you agree: How do you assess the activities needed: Writing Macro codes as plug-ins, or digging more deeply into (and adapting) existing workbenches?
3/ And how to organise the suggested developments? Just enter the Forum in the applicable threads?
I do welcome your suggestions very much. Hopefully, the code that we are able to prepare could serve further development of FC.
Here are our observations:
Preparing construction Drawings
Wish: Title block text inputs are taken from list in spreadsheet.
Comment: Currently if Drawing workbench reloads a page template, all editable text needs to be put in manually again.
Bill of Materials
Wish: An extended BOM is placed in a spreadsheet. The extended BOM includes all information needed for Production Management (see below), as well as the information needed for the construction workshop (for which the Drawing is intended). FC creates a Drawing BOM for display on the Drawing with sufficient (limited) information (selectable categories and their content) for the workshop.
Comment: Drawing BOM is now made under Assembly2. Assembly2 does not place BOM in a spreadsheet. Rather, Assembly2 places BOM on svg drawing. Assembly2 BOM categories cannot be selected (are pre-defined). Rather than only part names (and where only part name is desired), Assembly2 BOM quotes full file name including extension.
Wish: Drawing BOM is made under Drawing workbench.
Comment: Part and assembly are sort of floating concepts. An assembly of two parts can become a part in a 'super' assembly. A more flexible BOM with selectable categories (and their inputs) might be useful in some cases (to extend the information of a drawing beyond a predefined Text Block), even if an assembly is not involved at all. Therefore, one might prefer a BOM for a drawing to be made in the Drawing assembly (perhaps a matter of taste).
Wish: Dimensions are recomputed along with adaptations in Parts or Assembly.
Comment: This is possible in FC17. Not in FC16 (manual redrawing of dimensions is needed in FC16).
Wish: Remove bugs from Assembly2, i.e.: Font size (text render in Parts List) of BOM (but let's create a BOM in a different manner, see above), Sometimes constraints are not resolved.
Comment: Manual work arounds exist.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
Wish: See Wish provided under Preparing construction Drawings
Comment: See Comment provided under Preparing construction Drawings
(not to be confused with Product Data Management (= this FC project: Resource framework project))
Wish: Spreadsheet to analyse all materials needed in categories, e.g.: Bolt types used (D, L, thread, material, etc.), Parts used (Part name, FC file name), Materials used: beam types, pipe types, plate types.
Comment: This needs coding e.g. in Python. As Macro? All required information items need to be assessed. The existing Assembly2 BOM is incomplete for this purpose.