autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

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marco deo
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:45 am

autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby marco deo » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:53 am

brand new to freeCAD, can it do everything I want ? I have a job tomorrow and my computer crashed and I'm on an old desktop running linux.
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shoogen
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:24 pm

Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby shoogen » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:56 am

Hello macro,
welcome to the FreeCAD forum. Please be a bit more specific in what you want to do. When you are used to the 1980s AutoCAD, then the Draft Workbench is probably the place for you to start.
marco deo wrote:can it do everything I want ?
probably not. ;)
marco deo
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby marco deo » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:11 am

Lately, I have been 3d modeling using autocad 2012 and 2015. I model to dxf files for cnc milling.

However, I am still producing 2d architectural drawings for permits and contracts.

Can freeCAD do either or both of these functions efficiently ? Also, can I import .dwg files to freeCAD, and can I produce .dxf files ?
jmaustpc
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby jmaustpc » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:28 am

marco deo wrote:Lately, I have been 3d modeling using autocad 2012 and 2015. I model to dxf files for cnc milling.

However, I am still producing 2d architectural drawings for permits and contracts.

Can freeCAD do either or both of these functions efficiently ? Also, can I import .dwg files to freeCAD, and can I produce .dxf files ?
2D DWG and DXF can be imported/exported with various limitations including no solids. It will often work for simple things, but will fail with DWG files that contain more than basic dxf type content files. This is done via a plug-in which works by first converting dwg to dxf and then importing the dxf file into FreeCAD. Most of the examples of DWG files that I have personally tried to import have failed. AutoCAD have deliberately made life as difficult as possible in the past with DXF and their DWG is a propitiatory format. DXF is suposedly an interchange format but AutoCAD keeps the solids embedded in dxf as propitiatory.

So if at all possible avoid these formats. STEP and IGES should work better also with various limitations.

Regarding 2D CAD, you can do this in the Draft Workbench, but really the Draft objects are 3D. The most common work flow in FreeCAD is to create the "real" 3D solid and then go to the Drawing workbench (note "Drawing" not "Draft") and extract a 2d drawing from the 3D solid.

Also please always post your "Help menu ..... about FreeCAD" data so we know which FreeCAD o/s etc. we are talking about.

Jim
marco deo
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby marco deo » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:30 am

I haven't installed freecad yet.

I was able to re install windows vista on this old pc. So ...

I think Autocad is more controlling and evil than even apple or microsoft. but it seems to be the industry standard.

I'm always looking for an alternative to autocad. Blender is interesting, but not so precise, maybe.

If freeCAD can provide me with the tools I need, I'm all for it. Where do I start ?
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PrzemoF
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby PrzemoF » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:59 am

@marco deo: FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modelling software, AutoCAd had "welded in" some parametric features in 2010 version and it was 2D only (*), so FreeCAD is very different even if the result object might look similar. Saying that if I had to make a 2D drawing I'd go for LibreCAD [1], not FreeCAD. I hope that yorik can tell us if making 2D architectural drawings in FreeCAD make sense.

There is a new (experimental, early beta stage) Path/CAM workbench that might help you with cnc.

If you know a little bit of programming (lisp, diesel or vb in autocad) you could explore FreeCAD python scripting.

(*) I'm finding different opinions if it's 2D only or 3D as well. I used 2D only.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LibreCAD
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yorik
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby yorik » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:14 pm

If I need to do 2D-only arch plans, I would also go for librecad or qcad. FreeCAD has a basic array of 2D tools, which are more or less enough to do the job, but it is not as developed as these 2D apps. So it will be less comfortable.
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bejant
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Re: autocad veteran wants to use freeCAD

Postby bejant » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:53 pm

marco deo wrote:brand new to freeCAD, can it do everything I want ? I have a job tomorrow and my computer crashed and I'm on an old desktop running linux.
Although my reply is too late for your needs, for 2d work you could also try DraftSight, ProgeCAD, or ProgeCAD Smart. They're all AutoCAD clones so you don't need to learn a new workflow...