Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

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Joel_graff
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Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Mon May 27, 2019 4:09 pm

So I have received a proposal to provide an online course featuring FreeCAD. It's a great opportunity to provide high-quality training that features our project. The vendor tends to focus on civil / geotechnical engineering topics, but they're interested in highlighting our project largely because it provides a powerful engineering tool with little or no licensing entanglements for the students.

Just a disclaimer - the course is a paid course, though I would retain the copyright on the content.

I'm not really posting this here for anything other than thoughts / ideas on what the content focus ought to be. This is a good opportunity to represent FreeCAD in a more professional light and as a viable engineering tool alongside courses that teach Autodesk and Microstation applications. If nothing else, I feel students should walk away with a clear idea of what workbenches and tools are most suitable for which workflows. 3D modeling skills will be necessary and a part of that focus, but it seems to me that it's more important the student have a clear mental picture of exactly how FreeCAD is put together and the UI is navigated to help overcome that "high learning curve" that is so frequently the subject of controversy around here. :)

Developing this is no small amount of work for me, but I'd like to make sure that my own efforts, at least, contribute to making FreeCAD more viable in commercial engineering domains...
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
Mark Szlazak
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby Mark Szlazak » Fri May 31, 2019 12:19 am

Joel_graff wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:09 pm
So I have received a proposal to provide an online course featuring FreeCAD. It's a great opportunity to provide high-quality training that features our project. The vendor tends to focus on civil / geotechnical engineering topics, but they're interested in highlighting our project largely because it provides a powerful engineering tool with little or no licensing entanglements for the students.

Just a disclaimer - the course is a paid course, though I would retain the copyright on the content.

I'm not really posting this here for anything other than thoughts / ideas on what the content focus ought to be. This is a good opportunity to represent FreeCAD in a more professional light and as a viable engineering tool alongside courses that teach Autodesk and Microstation applications. If nothing else, I feel students should walk away with a clear idea of what workbenches and tools are most suitable for which workflows. 3D modeling skills will be necessary and a part of that focus, but it seems to me that it's more important the student have a clear mental picture of exactly how FreeCAD is put together and the UI is navigated to help overcome that "high learning curve" that is so frequently the subject of controversy around here. :)

Developing this is no small amount of work for me, but I'd like to make sure that my own efforts, at least, contribute to making FreeCAD more viable in commercial engineering domains...
Look forward to seeing this! Thanks. I would like to provide you with some recent papers that indicate serious problems in the way CAD has been taught to engineers. Would you like to see them?
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Joel_graff
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Fri May 31, 2019 11:50 am

Mark Szlazak wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 12:19 am
Look forward to seeing this! Thanks. I would like to provide you with some recent papers that indicate serious problems in the way CAD has been taught to engineers. Would you like to see them?
I might be interested. The website focuses on civil / geotechnical engineering, so it's not quite something FreeCAD caters to (despite my best efforts ;) ). That said, there is interest in having an introductory FreeCAD course designed, and I have ideas... I don't think I'm going to pursue it right away - partly because I think it'd be good to wait until after 0.19 (or v1.0) gets released, and also because I have too much else to do to crank out 6 hours of video and a brand-new course before September.

However, a basic FreeCAD course and perhaps one on designing engineering tools in FreeCAD and Python would be good courses.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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yorik
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby yorik » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:04 pm

That's great Joel!

I think a lot of people or companies are specifically looking for paid content, which they might more easily register in companies accounting, or are interested in more "premium" content than what's usually available for free. I don't think you necessarily need to have a content that is different from what you would do if it was free, but probably you need to put some extra effort on the "packaging", or, better said, the way you present the content, organize the lessons, think about regular progression and intermediary goals for the student, etc. In sum, provide a great learning experience.

Would be very good for FreeCAD to have more of this kind of material around I think...
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Joel_graff
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:33 am

yorik wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:04 pm
In sum, provide a great learning experience.

Would be very good for FreeCAD to have more of this kind of material around I think...
I told them I wasn't interested in developing something just yet - partly because we're still transitioning to Py3 / QT5 and I felt it might be best to wait until after 0.19 is released (or is it v1.0? :) )

Besides, they wanted a six week course with six hours of video ready to go by mid-August. Given that I really have limited knowledge of FreeCAD myself, I didn't think it very likely I could accomplish that.

I'd like to find viable workflows that are suitable for Civil Engineering, but there's precious little that I could demonstrate to that end. Still, I felt maybe designing a box culvert with rebar and a techdraw layout would be a good project, as well as introducing FEM with a truss design or something similar. Those two prokects, alone, would easily cover most aspects of FreeCAD. Still, spreading it across six weeks and making 50 hours of class time out of it seems a bit of a stretch.

I dunno.

They have Revit courses. You might want to think about a FreeCAD Arch class. :)
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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bejant
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:18 pm

Joel_graff wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:09 pm
So I have received a proposal to provide an online course featuring FreeCAD. It's a great opportunity to provide high-quality training that features our project. The vendor tends to focus on civil / geotechnical engineering topics, but they're interested in highlighting our project largely because it provides a powerful engineering tool with little or no licensing entanglements for the students.
Is Sketcher doing to be included in the course? According to the "On the Role..." and "Are We Training..." documents, people are having difficulties recognizing different types of Constraints, applying them optimally, and creating robust Sketches using SolidWorks. Based on the descriptions of SolidWorks in those documents, FreeCAD's Sketcher gives the user more and better information about DOF, Under-Constrained Elements, Redundant Constraints, and Conflicting Constraints than SolidWorks does. It seems to me that a student struggling in SolidWorks to create Sketches that are Under Constrained and don't contain Conflicting or Redundant Constraints would gain some insight on how to overcome these problems just by creating the same Sketch in FreeCAD because the student can learn from the better Sketch information that FreeCAD displays. To me these are fundamental skills a student should learn before applying them directly to civil engineering work.

Joel_graff wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 4:09 pm
I feel students should walk away with a clear idea of what workbenches and tools are most suitable for which workflows.
Yes, from the forum we've seen that just trying to grasp what Work Benches to use for a certain task can be confusing so even choosing the appropriate WB is something to be learned.
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Joel_graff
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby Joel_graff » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:55 pm

bejant wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:18 pm
To me these are fundamental skills a student should learn before applying them directly to civil engineering work.
At this point, I don't have time to build a curriculum for the near future, but I've continued to pick away at it.

I've decided (thus far) on going through some hands-on projects to demonstrate the various facets of FreeCAD.

1. General user interface overview
2. Project 1 - Hydraulic Box Culvert (Design a hydraulic box culvert, rebar layouts, and plan views)

Introduces students to Sketcher, Part / Part design, Draft, Spreadsheet, and TechDraw workbenches and the Rebar addon. Demonstrates parametric modeling workflows using shapebinders, datum planes, named constraints, and polar arrays with consideration given to good topological naming practices. Also addresses rebar layout and creating 2D plan views of finished box culvert. Also can cover exporting the model as STL.

3. Project 2 - FEM

Introduces students to FEM by creating a simple steel truss structure and performing FEM analysis of the object. Possible coverage of visualization using ParaView and other topics...

I didn't plan on focusing on Sketcher or any work bench in depth beyond an overview of best practices and basic troubleshooting for when things go wrong. The course is six weeks, with six hours of video, written documentation, and online interaction.
You can find the FreeCAD Trails workbench for transportation engineering on my github at:
https://www.github.com/joelgraff/freecad.trails
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bejant
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Joel_graff wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:55 pm
I didn't plan on focusing on Sketcher or any work bench in depth beyond an overview of best practices and basic troubleshooting for when things go wrong. The course is six weeks, with six hours of video, written documentation, and online interaction.
That seems like it will be an interesting course!

It also looks like I went off on a tangent discussing the .pdf documents in this topic, because neither the documents nor the discussion relate well to what you want to do and I apologize for the noise.

chrisb wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:02 pm
Would you be kind enough to split off that discussion into another thread?

Edit: Thanks!
Last edited by bejant on Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
chrisb
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Re: Online paid coursework featuring FreeCAD

Postby chrisb » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:29 pm

bejant wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am
chrisb wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:02 pm
Would you be kind enough to split off that discussion into another thread?
Moved to https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=37653. Feel free to change the subject.

I hope I did well, it is an awful hassle to split a topic that goes over more than one page (took me approximately 10 minutes).