FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

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23tony
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:51 pm

FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby 23tony » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:56 pm

Hi,

I have absolutely no idea what to do, and the beginner tutorials I have found so far are TOO advanced! I can't figure out even how to draw a line. I DID manage to create a couple of parts, but I can't do anything with them. How do I use the parts to build something? How do I move them around? Etc.

I realize this is REALLY basic stuff, but I have no idea at all where to start, so I'm hoping maybe someone can point me to a really basic beginners CAD tutorial, even if not FreeCAD specific?

Thank you!
drmacro
Posts: 2985
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby drmacro » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:30 am

have a look at the 3 pdf intro linked in my signature below.

:mrgreen:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Spock: "...His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

My beginners, written treatise: Learning FreeCAD
freedman
Posts: 1878
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:02 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby freedman » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:31 am

Start with a box and lid, after you get the basics. Do what is called design in place. If your working in PartDesign then one body is the box, another is the lid.
23tony
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:51 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby 23tony » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:50 pm

freedman wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:31 am
Start with a box and lid, after you get the basics. Do what is called design in place. If your working in PartDesign then one body is the box, another is the lid.
That's exactly what I'm talking about though: about all I understand of what you said is "box and lid", and I wouldn't even know how to "start" with that. The rest of what you said is a foreign language.

That's what I mean by ABSOLUTE beginner. I don't even know what questions to ask!

Reading it a couple of times through I THINK I know what you're saying? But I'm not sure how to do "one body is the box, another is the lid"

@drmacro thanks for the suggestion, that looks like it might help. Maybe it will get me to a point where I can follow the other suggestion :)
drmacro
Posts: 2985
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby drmacro » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:33 pm

23tony wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:50 pm




@drmacro thanks for the suggestion, that looks like it might help. Maybe it will get me to a point where I can follow the other suggestion :)
if you have questions, ask. That way I'll know what needs improving. ;)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Spock: "...His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

My beginners, written treatise: Learning FreeCAD
23tony
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:51 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby 23tony » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:47 am

drmacro wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:33 pm
if you have questions, ask. That way I'll know what needs improving. ;)
Will do, starting now :)

Page 7, steps 7-10, I ran into a problem. I select the rectangle tool and draw the rectangle, that works. But following the next two steps (8-9_ causes me to end up with another rectangle, instead of the green lines indicated in step 10. I'm still in the tool mode, and I cant figure out how to cancel it and get into select mode.

I ended up closing the sketch and reopening it, but that's going to be painful to do for every shape. For now, I can move on but with that impediment.

BTW THANK YOU for this resource!
drmacro
Posts: 2985
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby drmacro » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:59 am

right click or esc (but don't hit esc twice, you'll exit Sketcher)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Spock: "...His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

My beginners, written treatise: Learning FreeCAD
freedman
Posts: 1878
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:02 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby freedman » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:47 am

Part of the reason to quote words "design in place" is so you have some words to do a search. I would say for the absolute beginner, forget about solid modeling for a while and concentrate on sketching. Find stuff, measure stuff, draw stuff. Sketching is probably 85% of the efforts when creating a model. Learn how to completely modify a sketch and constrain it. You probably don't know what the word constrain means, search for it. :)
drmacro
Posts: 2985
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:35 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby drmacro » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:31 am

well, there is the 60+ page Sketcher lecture from @chrisb that should be in the hands of every user for reference.

https://owncloud.gwdg.de/index.php/s/eZ ... 9/download


;)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Spock: "...His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

My beginners, written treatise: Learning FreeCAD
Brutha
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 1:50 pm

Re: FreeCAD for the absolute beginner

Postby Brutha » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:05 pm

Hi,

Some thoughts from my side:

- Don't worry about which workbench to use, start with "Part Design"

- A "body" is a single solid object - think something you can 3d print for example, or a single piece of metal etc.

- You normally create a body by performing an operation on a "sketch". For example, you might sketch a circle, then perform a "pad" operation of 10 cm to create a 10cm high cylinder.

- A sketch is a 2 dimensional set of lines and arcs that you set "constraints" on. For example: the centre of this circle is at the end of that line, this circle has a radius of 20 mm, this line is horizontal, that line is 100mm long etc.

- Once you need to put bodies together, you can put them inside "parts" - a sort of group basically, that can be moved and rotated, and can contain both bodies and other parts.

So, for the box and lid example: you might create a sketch in a body. containing a square. Let's say you make it 100mm x 100mm. Then you pad it 50mm. This gives you a body 50mm high.

Then you create a sketch on the top surface of a smaller square, and "pocket" by 40mm to cut the interior of the box (attaching sketches to faces is not the best approach for more complex designs, but worry about that later!).

Then you create a second body, padding a square by 10mm to create the lid.

You can use "edit" / "placement" to move the bodies around.

Cheers

Brutha