[SOLUTIONS - for workflows ] HowTo:

Post here for help on using FreeCAD's graphical user interface (GUI).
Forum rules
and Helpful information
IMPORTANT: Please click here and read this first, before asking for help

Also, be nice to others! Read the FreeCAD code of conduct!

Did you find a SOLUTION in this topic? Please, mark the cathegory of useful answer.

I found a solution here
0
No votes
I the solution found here is not clear
1
50%
The needed solution is not listed in this topic
1
50%
I left a reply about my opinion in the thread.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 2
Smiling_user
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:31 am

[SOLUTIONS - for workflows ] HowTo:

Postby Smiling_user » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:06 pm

DISCLAIMER:
  • The aim of topic: shorten the time of getting to production with FreeCAD
  • It is intended to be SOLUTION-AIMED, while the wiki is description-aimed
  • To achieve this - collect in a single place and structured:
    • found solutions
    • surprising cases, non-intuitive features,
    • extract direct steps from WIKI.freecadweb.org,
    • collect the registry of solutions from forum.
  • This topic is planned to collect experience WHILE learning the FreeCAD.



For this purpose I plan:
  1. Using the TOC in the Head-Post.
  2. Each topic containing a certain solution will get included in the TOC in the first head post
  3. [Heading of the post included in the TOC]
  4. General links for installation and tuning instructions (they are few) - will be included in this head-post.


For those, who post his methods/workflows here, with they're agreement (mark your posts - "Add to general content") - i hope to copy the content to the appropriate post, restructure it up to my understanding and include the link to original post and mark the "copyright" of the original Author.

A. General installation steps]
1. GET THE PROGRAM:
a. General download page: https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Download
b. Latest prerelease: https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/rele ... g/0.19_pre
(// the date on this page 2019.11.03 - marks only the post making date, but the real date of actual compilation is seen by the dates inside the archive )
c. If need a completely portable version, contained in a signe folder - goto
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=49028
and follow the instructions.
2. Install Addons:
Run FreeCAD -> [Tools]>[AddonManager] - #Select+ [Install/Update selected]
Main addons for me: A2Plus, DinamicData, Fasteners
// !! Advise: copy the folder with installed workbenches to your local folder - so, that you can reinstall them without the acces to internet.
//
3. Other links:
a. Feature List : https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Feature_list
b. External workbenches: https://wiki.freecadweb.org/External_workbenches

[ TABLE OF CONTENT ]
A. Processing
1. DIFFERENT TOOL TIPS (https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 09#p423300)
2. EASY START MODELLING: data -> 2D ->3D (Sketcher, Part, PartDesign, A2Plus) (https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 09#p423301)
3. General Workflow optimisation (https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 02#p423302)
4. WB-Sketcher-works
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 70#p429270
content: guideline + Sketch => 3D Shape (profile, tube, etc,) Not intuitive feature: [Attach Sketch to Face] - is able to attach also to edges.

5. WB-Part-works (TODO:)
6. WB-PartDesign-works (Using ShapeBinders: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 98#p425098)
7. A2Plus-works :
---- https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 85#p423485
8. Tools for elementary 2D and 3D Geometry operations
9. WORKFLOW Research for best solution: building FENCES and GATES
-----> https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 41#p425960
10. Parametric (Mostly) Carport: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=49165


B. OUTPUT
1. to 3D - pdf https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 15#p425963
2. STEP import repositioning
  1. import STEP as "assembly per file" without soliding -> move all imported details to the root of treeview ->save as StepImport.FCStd;
  2. reposition as needed
  3. NewFile -> A2Plus -> import detail after detail -> save.
  4. Can be exported-imported again through STEP to become irreversible )
Last edited by Smiling_user on Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:31 pm, edited 40 times in total.
GeneFC
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:36 pm
Location: Punta Gorda, FL

Re: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby GeneFC » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:10 pm

Moved to Help Forum
TheMarkster
Posts: 2059
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:53 am

Re: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby TheMarkster » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:59 pm

Smiling_user wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:06 pm
WB PartDesign
[Pad] -
Conditions: Have an active Body and a sketch located inside of it.
Possibilities....
Limitations: you can not pad a sketch if: sketch is borken, sketch contains multiple closed contours.
#Padding will result in creating a new 3D shape (? inside Body) and will hide initial 3D-shape.
You can pad a sketch with multiple closed contours (wires) as long as the end result is not multiple solids. For example, begin with a pad representing a table top, then add another sketch with 4 separate closed contours to be the legs. You can pad the 2nd sketch provided the solids it produces all are connected to the table top created in the previous pad. Another example would be where the multiple contours are nested inside a single outer contour.

The existing shape is hidden, but not really because it becomes incorporated into the new shape.
WB Part
[Extrude]
Conditions: Sketch with all visible contours closed. Multiple 3D output possible.
Limitations: unclosed contour.
You can extrude an unclosed contour with Extrude, but it will not produce a solid from such a sketch, but rather it will be a shell. This shell can be converted to a solid after closing it (adding more faces). Extrude can also extrude on a taper, something Pad cannot do, but its limitation is it cannot extrude multiple nested contours at a taper.
My FreeCAD video series on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/mwganson
Smiling_user
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:31 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby Smiling_user » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:40 am

[Mix of Tool-Tips]

(3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others))

GENERAL:

To control dimensions of what you do, prepare the easy access to measurement tools.
There are three sets of measurement tools in the FC:
  • from Manipulator WorkBench - the most fast to use
  • from Part WB
  • from Draft WB
To access these tools from any other work bench without switching - prepare a measurement tool panel of your choice:
  1. ->Tools->Customoze->Toolbars
  2. In the right pane: switch to "GLOBAL", make a new toolbar ["my_dimensions"]
  3. in the left pane - select WB-Manipulator, or WB-Part or WB-Draft, select the chosen tool and add it to the toolbar in the right pane.
Also: tools for boolean operations from WBPart - are widely usable. Might be sense to make a separate toolbar for them
// QUESTION to power users: if there is a list/or selection principle for tools, that are WB-independent.


WB PartDesign
Attach sketch to face:
It does not always work as expected, so there is a workaround:
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 31#p426092
:: Do not "atttach to face" but set z-offset = Pad.Length}


[Pad] -
Conditions: Have an active Body and a sketch located inside of it.
Possibilities....
Limitations: you can not pad a sketch if: sketch is broken, sketch contains multiple closed contours.
#Padding will result in creating a new 3D shape (? inside Body) and will hide initial 3D-shape.
So if you need to make multiple transformations - you will have to go a multilevel (one new-inside-previous) tree of transformations. And the resulting body will be in the deepest branch.

[Pocket]
Conditions: Sketch, located directly on a Face of Body.
Possibilities: Sketch may contain multiple closed contours
Limitations: unclosed contours are prohibited.

[PartDesign\Tools\Reorient sketch] - possible to change the plane of the sketch, just useful to remember of this possibility.

PartDesign workflow:

a. When creating a complex of several details with Binders or other constrains, and one of them is Filleted, Pocketed etc. - make Binders exactly from the last transformation result. Otherwise - the view and model might break on reopen.

b. When making a sketch on a face of detail from another body, there are three options popup"
Independant copy
Dependant copy
Cross-reference

Dependent copy will automatically create Shape-Binders (separate for face and edges)
// To edit = remove items from the list of edges, press "Remove" and then select the removed edge in the View

WB Part
[Extrude]
Conditions: Multiple 2D/3D output possible.


[Detail to detail cutting: // TODO:]
In the WB-Part: [SliceApart]
* Boolean Fragments * Slice to compound
* Slice apart * Boolean XOR
* Slice apart: This tool is useful if you need to combine two solids into a single peace by making a free space for the second inside the first. UseCases: prepare a sheet detail for laser cutting, by combining a grid and an empty detail - when you need to remove smal parts left inside of it( Ex.: insert a 0 inside a grid and remove the leftovers of grid from inside 0.
Be careful: if you have an assembly - after the slicing operation all links to original parts will be lost!
So save a backup draft copy just before slicing.

WB A2Plus
A.
Requirements / problems: All constraints - form a chain of dependencies, so there MUST be a start point: an imported detail with
[properties\position \ FIXED=true ] - all bindings will be dependent on this.
If Ther is a message about "Constraints inconsistency" -
  • check for conflicting constraints (there is a special tool beginning with 0.4.47c )
  • if no conflicts - there ir probably no connection to the detail with fixed position. - check all details and set "fixed=true" for one.
B. When setting complex constraints between 2 details:
  1. Turn of auto-solving
  2. Move details so, that you can easily Ctrl+Click - select all pairs of constrained elements, set constrains.
  3. press "solve" after all constraints are set, and see your details being moved to place
C. If you have a complex assembly - size control might be needed:
  • create guide-lines in Sketcher
  • import the first detail - it will be automatically positioned at (0,0,0) and set "position\ fixed = true"
  • constrain the sketch to this first detail
  • import the rest of details and constrain them either to one-another, or to the sketch.
D. when creating multi-level parametric assembly - take into concideration, that sizes/constrains inside the sketch - not always update.
So in the sketches use the most constant values.

// comment to the author of A2Plus: the clearly needed option is to fix the position of Guide-lines.
This may be an imported or locally drawn Sketcher/Draft structure.
Also would be extremely useful to have an option to import a sketch - not only bodies.
This should be a check boxed/button options toolbar for fast toggling.

[Macro: Parts-Library]

What you actually need:
\Mod\part_library\PartsLibrary.FCMacro
\Macro\PartsLibrary.FCMacro
Then in the folder \Mod\part_library\
Make your own folder and put there your FCStd, STEP. STL files - as Templates
Afterwards - when needed - run The macro from \Macro\PartsLibrary.FCMacro - you will get a panel, where to select your ready templates from.
double click wil import the whole content of template inside current document. This is faster and easier then making Copy-Paste.

[Solution for complex contours editing] // without a proper knowledge of WB-Draft:
If you have to edit a complex contour, your steps:
1.Import contour to FC
2. WB-Draft -> make a 2D projection -> export as SVG
3. Use Inkscape to edit that complec contour ( if it consists of B-Splines - it will be much easier then inside FC.
4. Import SVG back to WB-Draft -> WB-Part -> Extrude -> 3D-solid is ready//
// If the contour is Inkscape importable just do it: begin with point 3. - no need for WB-Draft.
Case study: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 09#p423356
Last edited by Smiling_user on Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:07 am, edited 7 times in total.
Smiling_user
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:31 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby Smiling_user » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:46 am

2. EASY START WITH 2D ->3D (Sketcher, Part, PartDesign, A2Plus) (TODO:)

1. Run FreeCAD -> new file -> Save (...As)
2. Add Dimensions centralized source:
a. <optional WB Spreadsheet: NewSpreadsheet. rename it to "ss" >,
b. WB: DinamicData -> make a NewObject ;
3. Choose your current workflow based on one of 3 main: Draft/PartDesign(see description)/Part (see description)
4. when adding dimensions
--- a. add new dimension property to DD-object, // where needed - link DD value to Spreadsheet
--- b. give it a Name (Alias) //where possible, names are useful, when changing / reviewing a local entity
--- c. link to DD-Object, through formula
5. close entity, save
// Remarks: sometimes formula editing will not refresh the value - to me this seems to be a bug.
// this mostly happens with positions of datum-objects and deep-inside sketches constraints.
// in this cases - try to clear all the formula > exit property -> save file > try setting value / forumal again, press [enter] 3 times -> watch the result.

->> BACK TO CONTENT https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 01#p421709
Last edited by Smiling_user on Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Smiling_user
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:31 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby Smiling_user » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:46 am

3. General Workflow optimisation

1. Watch your project, find out:
-- see repeating details -> plan for assembly
-- changeable sizes -> plan for Spreadsheet and DinamicData usage
-- reusable parts -> plan for Macro "PartsLibrary" usage
2. If there will be an assembly (this decription is made on the experience with A2Plus):
-- make a new file - MasterFile, name it in a short way: "AA"
-- make a new spread sheet and/or dinamicData object inside
3. Make a new file for each detail, save it.
-- make a new file (Ctrl+N)
-- make a dinamicData object inside of it, link it to the Spreadsheet or dd-object inside the master document
// <<AA>>.<<ss>>.D22 or <<AA>>.dd.ddProperty
-- select the workflow and follow it (see TOC 2. )
-- Save the file
-- import the file into next level Assembly -> next level ->....->next level -> MasterFile // by means of A2P in this exlpanation

##OUTCOME: In the outcome (if all is done correctly) you will have a parametric model, which is controlled through the Spreadsheet or dynamicData -Object in the MasterFile.

->> BACK TO CONTENT https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 02#p421709
Last edited by Smiling_user on Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
chrisb
Posts: 30682
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo: 3D Tools Not intuitive features of tools (PartDesign, Part, A2Plus, and others)

Postby chrisb » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:03 pm

I appreciate that you as a new user share your experience. A few precising words seem appropriate to avoid future confusion though.
Smiling_user wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:40 am
Limitations: you can not pad a sketch if: sketch is broken, sketch contains multiple closed contours.
You can have closed contours inside of another closed contour, which will result in holes. You cannot have multiple closed contours beside each other on top level.
#Padding will result in creating a new 3D shape (? inside Body) and will hide initial 3D-shape.
So if you need to make multiple transformations - you will have to go a multilevel (one new-inside-previous) tree of transformations. And the resulting body will be in the deepest branch.
"Transformation" is an unlucky notion here. We have a transform tool which is used for moving and rotating. If you talk about PartDesign, the result of a body is (usually) the last feature inside. If you talk about Part, it is not the deepest nested but rather the toplevel operation.
[Pocket]
Conditions: Sketch, located directly on a Face of Body.
even better: attach sketches to main planes or other sketches or DatumPlanes
PartDesign workflow:
a. When creating a complex of several details with Binders or other constrains, and one of them is Filleted, Pocketed etc. - make Binders exactly from the last transformation result. Otherwise - the view and model might break on reopen.
see above, replace "transformation" with "feature".
WB Part
[Extrude]
Conditions: Sketch with all visible contours closed. Multiple 3D output possible.
Limitations: unclosed contour.
You can extrude unclosed sketches. This will create a Shape only, no solid.
You need at least FreeCAD 0.19.23300 to edit my current sketches.
A Sketcher Lecture with in-depth information is available in English, auf Deutsch, en français, en español.
Smiling_user
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:31 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo:

Postby Smiling_user » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:56 am

[A2P]
Good explanation video: special: how to use offset in constraints [7':43"]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLtz0g7pSuY

A workflow from the author of A2P: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 10#p365465

The author's recommended reference: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 30#p371096
############################
Approach scopw
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... ch#p366514
// It is not possible to create all parts in the same file.
My idea for the new feature within A2plus is quite the opposite. My idea goes that direction:

1) I create a master document with multiple sketches and if needed, spreadsheets, for the job to be done.
- Perhaps one sketch each for the outer dimensions, axis distances, guiding rails, fixing points, section sketches.
- Even on different working planes.

2) If the master document is looking ok, there is time to create first parts.
newFile -> at first step all the relevant sketches from the masterdoc for that part(s) are imported for reference purposes.
It is even possible to create only one part according to the imported sketches or even more parts for e.g. a subassembly, which can
be edited in this case in-context in one sub file.

3) When first parts are done (or a subassembly), fileNew> main assembly document.
Even take (import) the needed sketches from the master document and import/constraint the newly created parts to the needed positions.

For his (very personal - //see KBWBE ) needs, he had to design each part in a separate file, as all parts have to be manufactured and i have to send separate drawings or CAD data to the suppliers ( I am using FC in real world). Also, parts are reused for more recent projects.

Going this way, everything is not so directly responsive as using links.
But many things are decoupled and working on one part does not cause heavy loads during recompute on the whole assembly.

But this is only the idea. Everyone has a different working style and perhaps i am a little bit old fashioned. I think the way described above is more top-down than bottom up.
#############################3333


Design things with A2p using the mastersketch approach
( source: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic. ... 10#p365465)

1) fileNew: "master.FCStd" [Save] > WB-Sketcher> SketchNew > "MasterSketch"; [Save]
2) fileNew: "Part-1". WB-A2P>[Add a single Shape from file to the assembly]: Import "master.FCStd">"MasterSketch".
3) WB-PartDesign, bodyNew, use the imported sketch as basefeature
4) Design your part, having the geometry of the imported sketch as external geometry. Save your part.
5) Repeat p.2-p.4 for the second part
6) Wb-A2P FileNew: "assembly.FCStd"
7) import the MasterSketch from the "master.FCStd" with this command:see p.2.
8) Import the 2 parts and constrain them against the imported sketch
9) Assure that "master.FCStd" and "assembly.FCStd are opened.
10) start the script.

Very interesting is, that everything is in a separate file. The mastersketch can be used both for design of the parts and for the simulation.
P.S. The script animates the mastersketch. It's Shape is transferred by the script to the assembly. Solving the assembly moves the parts.
Last edited by Smiling_user on Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
drmacro
Posts: 2336
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo:

Postby drmacro » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:20 am

Smiling_user wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:56 am
[A2P]
Good explanation video: special: how to use offset in constraints [7':43"]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLtz0g7pSuY
IMO, this is exactly the kind of video that is very frustrating to new users.

Whizzing mouse, almost too fast to follow with your eyes. Repeated music with no explanation of what is going on, written or spoken. Restarting because some sequence didn't work...with no explanation. Use of external programs, with no explanation.

By the end more questions than answers.

Instructional videos should be:
- very scripted, to avoid extraneous mouse movements
- mouse movements should be very deliberate and slower than normal usage
- in post production, pauses can be added to provide time for the viewer to focus on what has been clicked or typed.
- if there is no voice over, put subtitles on the screen
- break up the video into sections, add a screen before each section explaining what is going to be done
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Spock: "...His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

My beginners, written treatise: Learning FreeCAD
chrisb
Posts: 30682
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: [SOLUTIONS -for beginners ] HowTo:

Postby chrisb » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:57 am

To add to the comments about the video:
- start with showing the FreeCAD version
- I have no idea how the rectangle could be overconstrained
- for newbies it may be ok, but better not use edges of features for references, use edges of sketches or expressions instead.
You need at least FreeCAD 0.19.23300 to edit my current sketches.
A Sketcher Lecture with in-depth information is available in English, auf Deutsch, en français, en español.
cron