WayofWood wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:35 pm
Thanks. From my point of view there are at the moment only three solutions that one could use as a woodworker: Sketchup, Fusion and FreeCAD.
Sketchup is moving in a very commercial model with several of the existing addons (like cutlist) no longer working. Fusion is great and has a massive set of features but I don't believe that Autodesk will keep their altruistic model and sooner or later will go down the Sketchup road.
This leaves from my point of view FreeCAD as the only viable option if you don't want to pay for a professional carpentry software package.
Add Rhino to the list. Not free, but a very reasonable price/licence. I do bought my own license for home usage. I'm using Rhino for more than two years now to design and manufacture furniture with very good results. I do used a lot of "Professional" softwares, but all of them are very difficult to use, TopSolid being the most difficult to use piece of software.
Yes, Fusion seems to be more and more expensive. You can't trust Autodesk. They are tempting peoples to get them into their ecosystem and afterwords to spoil them. It is not the first time they have this behaviour, check the history. With Fusion you don't even are in control of your files, as they are stored only into Autode$$k servers.
For me only four softwares remains: FreeCAD, who lacks a lot of functionality and not very user-friendly, every time I want to pick-up I just give-up after a few hours of fighting against the ugliest interface a CAD program can have, Rhino (I replaced Sketchup with Rhino for my needs), a very awesome and underrated piece of software, the support from McNeel is the best I ever seen from a private company, and Alibre, still need to explore this, and seems to have good tools for wood-workers (https://www.alibre.com/for-woodworking
). And the last one is BricsCAD which still I do need to explore his capabilities, but at first sight looks compelling as running on Linux/Mac/Windows.
That being said, with some work, additional tools and some changes to the interface, FreeCAD can became a usable tool for furniture production. I am used to have a middle mouse button popup menu in Rhino, which I can customise and add the tools that I do most need to use. Also I am used to just begin to type a command and to have-it executed. Which in FreeCAD both of this features are missing. I don't want to dig in 100 workbenches and search for few minutes for a specific command when everything can be changed and made more accessible. I am very interested to push FreeCAD and to use-it more professionally for furniture design and production but until the interface it is not improved (and are just some small things that needs to be addressed), I literally can't.