Thank you for your kind words!
I am glad you like my STEMFIE project. I have been using 3D software since the late 1980s. Back then, I started using XCAD, Sculpt-3D and Real3D on an Amiga! Those were the days!
Since then, I never stopped being fascinated by 3D-modelling and 3D-rendering and animation. I use it continuously both as a hobby but also in my profession, where I work with many different CAD software solutions. Nevertheless, I never took the time to dive into FreeCAD, even though I downloaded and played with it a few times. So, in other words; I am a FreeCAD newbie and here on the forum; so please forgive me if I describe workflows and wish for features which already are in your software – which, by the way, is fantastic! I am assuming you are one of the developers.
you workflow (how do you work with FC?, what did you work with before FC?)
I have currently just started using FreeCAD regularly. What I have done and discovered so far, was only by trial and error. I find FreeCAD to have relatively "intensive" US but after a while that sinks in and then the workflow seems to be very easy to get into.
Before I started testing FreeCAD more seriously, I used several different 3D-modelling packages since the 80s, such as SolidWorks, Inventor; Fusion 360, Rhino3D, 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Modo, MeshMixer, and Blender.
why you created STEMFIE?
Since I was a child, I always have loved solving puzzles and creating gadgets and inventing stuff using construction-set toys. My father taught me how to use Meccano, and I could spend countless hours playing with it.
Having worked with 3D-printers for more than two decades, I have seen how consumer-level machines became cheaper and easier to use. Anyone who owns a 3D-printer – or knows someone who has one – knows sees lots of trinkets being made. There are so many nice decorative things to print, but I wanted to create an application for home-based 3D-printers, which would yield useful objects. So I combined my know-how in 3D-printing with my passion for construction-set toys. I also wanted to create something that would make it easier and cheaper for parents and schools to create educational toys for the children.
who uses STEMFIE (demographic)?
I guess that STEMFIE could become quite popular in schools. I have worked with and talked to many teachers who invest in 3D-printers, and most of them have the same issue: "Now our school has a new 3D-printer, but what shall we print?". I think that combining free 3D-modelling software with 3D-printers is a win-win situation for teachers and schools.
I also see STEMFIE as a practical thing to print if one has a 3D-printer at home. The number of home-based 3D-printing hobbyists is rising to constantly. Therefore, I think, there is a potential for STEMFIE parts to become a commonly 3D-printed toy at home for anyone who has a 3D-printer and wants to gift toys easily to kids.
are you sponsored?
No. STEMFIE is just my pet project which derived from my passion for construction set toys, and my desire to give something to the 3D-printing community.
Since the project only yields digital files, there is no enormous material cost involved in making STEMFIE; but the number of hours spent developing the concept from scratch; I prefer not to count or think of so much.
what type of issues you've encountered using FC (bugs and workarounds)?
So far, I have not encountered any relevant issues using FreeCAD. I think it is effortless to use, but the only uphill battle I predict, is to learn the bulk of the software; there are so many features and workbenches, which is quite impressive!
I will, for sure visit the forum often and post any issues or requests.
what type of features you'd like to see in FC?
I love exploring 3D programs and suggesting new features and improving the UI experience. I will need to learn much more about FreeCAD to be able to start describing new features, and I will gladly do so as soon as possible.