I have been very negligent in not posting this a year ago. This is especially egregious since I owe a debt if gratutude to this community for helping me several times in solving technical issues. So I am going to try to make up for it, by posting a double feature.
Canstruction is an activity where architects, engineers, teachers, and other professionals build structures out of canned food. The structures are on display for a period of time. Awards are given. Then the structures are disassembled and the food goes to local food banks to feed the hungry.
We formed a team for the competition two years ago, for which I used Sketchup to model our design. An important aspect of the build are sheets of material, such as cardboard or Masonite, which help to level the layers and tie the stacks of cans together laterally. These sheets are cut out using a laser cutter or CNC router. The problem with Sketchup was that there was no way to go from the individually modeled cans to make an outline for cutting. It was a time-intensive manual operation.
For last year's competition, I decided to use FreeCAD scipting to automate the process. I designed a rocket ship using the GUI.
I had to fix the black fin (thanks, FreeCAD forums!). Then I wrote a script to slice the rocket at the appropriate heights and place the cans.
Then more scripting to make an outline of the cans for the board layers.
The layers were cut on a Shop Bot CNC Router at my local makerspace. The result was "Marvin the Martian meets the Curiosity Rover".