mumbricht wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:49 am
...I think it also lacks a couple critical features (double-curve filets for wing fairings) that we need. (Full disclosure: my CAD skills are pretty rudimentary and I'm going off of what my staff is saying)
The question I have is, how much money would we have to dump on the FreeCAD team to make something that compares favorably to SolidEdge/SolidWorks?
This is entirely subjective, so we need more information of what exactly you need. I am always surprised by the amount of people who post in this forum trying to design airplanes (wings) and boats (hulls). Where are all these millionaires coming from who seemingly need to design air- and watercraft from scratch?!
Truth is, if you read the entire thread, Discussion: FreeCAD is not ready for 1.0
, you'll notice that many users claim that FreeCAD is already better than SolidWorks and other commercial programs. For their intended usage, like designing printed circuit board components, or doing structural static FEM analysis, FreeCAD is good enough, which means they don't have a lot of incentive to develop FreeCAD much further than what the current software offers.
So, what you need is to explain your requirements with a lot of detail; and this is a critical thing that is missing; many long time users and developers have a "feeling" for the general state and usefulness of the program, but none of us have a complete roadmap of what we want for the future. We want it to be "better", but there is no clear direction or milestones that dictates what needs to be developed at a certain point in time.
This is my main criticism with the other thread. As long as we don't have a clear direction, we will have to advance in small, relatively slow steps, to improve things. I, for example, have the general goal of "make the Python code better, more readable, more structured, fix bugs along the way, and write documentation"; but that's my personal objective, it's not really coordinated with others, and I don't deal with the core code that is written in C++.
As stated in the wiki, this is a completely volunteer project. My intuition would say that it's about .75 Million/yr to get the core design team to work fulltime + the admin staff required...
Maybe you'd like to explain the reasoning behind your cost calculation. I've stated in different posts that we need a full time person for coordination tasks. There are members here who seemingly spend a full day answering user questions; but there are relatively few people who do development in an organized fashion. Usually, we solve issues that we detect in the software, and expand the software with new tools when we see it is useful and not too hard to do so. But we need that person who is completely involved 8 hours per day in planning and building a strategy, or setting milestones, and coordinating the top volunteers.
How much would it cost to pay that person? Depends on where that person wants to live, and their personal expectations. You'll need to pay a lot for somebody living in Monaco ($100 K/year), and relatively little for somebody living in the Philippines ($15 K/year). If a developer in Germany lives comfortably on $50 K, with benefits and holidays, why would that person leave that job to work full time for FreeCAD? The incentive or passion needs to be high enough. I don't see a need to spend $750 K per year; that would be a very generous amount but I wouldn't know where to allocate that quantity. However, $100 K/year for two C++ and Python developers? That seems very reasonable.
Also, what happens if your desired feature (double-curve filets for wing fairings) is implemented within a month? Would you continue paying the rest of the year? This is also what I mentioned above; most people want the software to be good enough for themselves, and once their needs are covered, they don't have incentives for improving other parts.