Frustrations with FreeCAD

Have some feature requests, feedback, cool stuff to share, or want to know where FreeCAD is going? This is the place.
Forum rules
Be nice to others! Read the FreeCAD code of conduct!
User avatar
papyblaise
Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:28 pm
Location: France

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby papyblaise » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:01 pm

With my modest experience of 25 years of CAD, I spent about 3 months to go from 2 left hands to ambidestrous
and 6 more months to start Partdesign
So for the newbies I say good luck and persevere
Accessdenied
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:11 am

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby Accessdenied » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:56 pm

Just added my questions and wishes to my first topic. Take a look, please. :)
openBrain
Posts: 3950
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby openBrain » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:17 pm

Accessdenied wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:56 pm
Just added my questions and wishes to my first topic. Take a look, please. :)
Honestly these are already known/discussed things.
For some they are linked to the third-party geometric kernel used by FreeCAD (OCC).
For others they could be good improvements, but roughly FreeCAD would need more developers. ;)
JiPe38
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:41 pm

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby JiPe38 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:28 pm

Sorry for being long. I type nearly as fast as I speak.
DeepSOIC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:43 pm
FreeCAD has no strict development plan, stuff is done when it's done, often in a way "better to have something inconvenient than nothing at all". Sorry, you have to live with it, I don't think it's going to change any time soon.
From one of my former lives, that one as a software developper, I know that this "developper driven" project management goes to clashes when it comes into the hands of users. At that time I was an anti-windows activist, replacing the "double click" by "right click", and so on. Until one day my boss, upset by customers remarks, said "you are gonna use the double click, or you find another job". Of course, in this case users can be said "it's free, so shut up and adapt yourself to the tool instead of wishing the tool to adapt to you".
User avatar
papyblaise
Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:28 pm
Location: France

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby papyblaise » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:53 pm

So you changed jobs to come and let off steam here
RatonLaveur
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:45 am

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby RatonLaveur » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:26 pm

I came to Freecad with non-professional experience on Catia, Abaqus and Autodesk Inventor. I came at version 0.16 saw the potential and lacks and quickly left. Then came 0.17 and i started performing some professional work on it. A colleague of mine started with Solidworks at the same time and his models are...well... he's still convinced the tool makes the engineer.

More importantly i have now hands on experience with Solidworks and Siemens NX. And i can tell you unless you've been trained and paid to use those, your learning curve will be as hard as Freecad. Yes they have more potential and power for highly complex projects. But there was nothing "intuitive" about NX unless I would put in the hours to make it so.

FreeCAD is unperfect. There are more bugs than in professional software. There are a few things it actually does better. There are many things I can't do as well. 0.19 release is starting to seriously chip away at the difference (assembly, links, path...) however. And show me a free cad package that also does cam, fem (and yes topological optimization is happening there!), cfd and architecture... Each of these aspects would cost you in a professional settinf about 10k$ each if not more. How much of your time is that worth? One month of learning? Two months of learning?

If you want usability out of the box with a low price point you have options. Fusion 360 is a popular one. Otherwise there's no other contender than freecad and it's getting better every minute of every day. Not always where you want it. Not always how you want it. The question is "what can you do to improve it?"

Note: also from OP and other users complaining, I'd say its 90% toponaming being confusing. If you learn how to work around that (master sketches) your life will be pleasant and interesting.
chrisb
Posts: 24350
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby chrisb » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:39 pm

As you added much to your first post: We usually mark edits, especially if there are already answers, e.g. by using blue color for the new stuff.

You better had waited one or two months, as i said before, because there are several things you are missing yet, but i understand why you do it and sometimes ideas get lost, when you wait too long.
Accessdenied wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:18 am
1) when you click on face - it could select this face feature in tree
You probably mean something like "the feature where the face occurred for the first time". Besides the fact that this may be difficult from a theoretic point of view - imagine a face where a later feature pockets a hole into, which feature should then be selected if you click the face around the hole - it is currently indeed one of the most serious issues in FreeCAD to identify such first feature, see the Topological naming problem.

2) model faces are separated and based on features, but would be good if they could fuse into one face, because in the case of many features there are many different faces on one flat face at the same plane
After one month you would have known that you have to set the Refine property to true.

3) changing feature often affects other features because of some links.. which should not be linked that way. Even if edge is all the same, but changed in dimension, it ruins all other connections to it. Not elastic editing, if model is very complex, then it is impossible to make any changes or delete features.. only way to define everything from XYZ planes, not from the new created faces.
See above, Topological naming problem. Realthunder has serious improvements in the queue; there is light at the end of the tunnel

4) many problems with fillets and chamfers.. perhaps need to make them in code like features, in other case any changes in model tree features ruins all chamfers and filets in one moment, solidworks somehow is very elastic in this case and with better matematics
You are right. Though we already know about it.

5) sketch can easy lose it's plane if feature is deleted
To me this seems to be most natural. What does SolidWorks do, if you delete what a Sketch is mapped to?
6) no angles for chamfer , only 45
Again you are right. Though we already know about it.
7) sketching with more complicated geometry often hides white sketch line behind other feature, need to use wireframe look then
After one month you would have known that you have to click Image
8) champers cannot be made from surface to surface, often need to define something like 2,99, not 3.
Again you are right. Though we already know about it.
9) why "create an edge linked to an external geometry" needed, why can't all edges be active to be used for dimensions like in solidworks
I don't know why it is the way it is, and I see the big advantage of your approach. However, doing it explicitely makes it absolutely clear where you reference and you are in full control of those references.
10) why there is a need for different dimension buttons, it could be easy if there is only one button for all dimensions. click on one edge, then other and it gives angle; click on circle line, it makes diameter, it you take dimension outside the circle, but if you stay inside, then it gives radius value and so on
There are already discussions about such intelligent dimensioning.
11) stl file saving quality property is needed .stl are used for printing, when model is complicated, then it is good to gave small rendering quality in FC, but need only quality setting during the export to .stl
PLease search the forum. There are tons of discussions about how to control the quality of STL exports, one of them changing "Deviation" and "Angular deflection".

You see that there are some points left, but some are solved, so my initial recommendation was not too bad. If you really want to benefit from FreeCAD, stay open minded to different workflow and accept it the way it is. Beyond, helping hands are always welcome, be it the documentation, which is a good starting point, or be it in Python or even C++ programming. There are people, who started here as designers without any programming skills, and are now developing at a very high level.
User avatar
DeepSOIC
Posts: 7600
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:45 am
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby DeepSOIC » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:37 pm

chrisb wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:39 pm
Accessdenied wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:18 am
1) when you click on face - it could select this face feature in tree
You probably mean something like "the feature where the face occurred for the first time".
That is a very interesting problem. I'd say, not only it needs history-tracking toponaming, it might also require a substantial redesign of PartDesign yet again. As it is now, it is consistent with how PartDesign works internally: the feature is an object, and it assumes the shape of the body with the feature applied, not the feature itself. It is counterintuitive, and tripped a lot of beginners (and still trips, apparently).

I thought of changing that, and make features resemble Part Primitives, and then only Body will take the final fused-cut shape. It all sounds good, and good for performance, but how to do fillets in this situation??
User avatar
bejant
Posts: 6076
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:06 pm

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:30 am

Accessdenied wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:18 am
7) sketching with more complicated geometry often hides white sketch line behind other feature, need to use wireframe look then
In Sketcher try clicking on the Section View tool to hide the things between you and the Sketch:
Image


(Don't know if that has already been answered)

edit: fixed quote tag
Last edited by bejant on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Accessdenied
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:11 am

Re: Frustrations with FreeCAD

Postby Accessdenied » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:59 am

chrisb wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:39 pm
You probably mean something like "the feature where the face occurred for the first time". Besides the fact that this may be difficult from a theoretic point of view - imagine a face where a later feature pockets a hole into, which feature should then be selected if you click the face around the hole - it is currently indeed one of the most serious issues in FreeCAD to identify such first feature, see the Topological naming problem.
Hi, chrisb! Sure, when I click on such feature face, it should select first extrusion feature, if I'd like to chose pocket's hole, then I'd click on this hole walls.
After one month you would have known that you have to set the Refine property to true.
Edit->Preferences-> Part Design-> Automatically refine model.. ? IT is working only from the beginning, but for already finished models not working, right?

5) sketch can easy lose it's plane if feature is deleted
To me this seems to be most natural. What does SolidWorks do, if you delete what a Sketch is mapped to?
If you delete feature related to sketch, then sketch by the way stays on a face where you drew it.
7) sketching with more complicated geometry often hides white sketch line behind other feature, need to use wireframe look then
After one month you would have known that you have to click Image
Thanks
PLease search the forum. There are tons of discussions about how to control the quality of STL exports, one of them changing "Deviation" and "Angular deflection".
I already did, yes, but this changes the model also in part design, it means a long time to wait for complex models to be build or features changed. Then I need to make better options before saving .STL, and then change to lower resolution when need to change model.. double operations, better if .stl saving is separated from model look and calculation during the modelling process.
You see that there are some points left, but some are solved, so my initial recommendation was not too bad. If you really want to benefit from FreeCAD, stay open minded to different workflow and accept it the way it is. Beyond, helping hands are always welcome, be it the documentation, which is a good starting point, or be it in Python or even C++ programming. There are people, who started here as designers without any programming skills, and are now developing at a very high level.
Huh, I'd help if only I had time for it.. but I also would liek to say, that FC seems to me a good thing, it absolutely beats SLWRKS in price/performance.. at the moment I see that FC can do 90% of what I need, so it is very close to be a serious took for engineers. Just need to solve things I've wrote and some more other, for example assembly . In reality to build 99% of models we need only some tools like pad, pocket, loft, sweep and mirroring. Just need to make these tools to work flawlessly, then everything can be done. :)
Last edited by Accessdenied on Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.