EAA No Longer Has Free SolidWorks

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stanislavz

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Btw - while playing with online truss solver, i was able find another big plus in freecad parametric drawing way. It is wery easy for graphical truss solving. Just add some parallel or eqeal lenght parameters for you dub drawings and voila. Tested with some examples from sport pilot magazine - nice and steady result. Just if you want to stay pure, and solve all by your own :)
Ok. I promise to make short example, based on that sport pilot magazine.
 

Lendo

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cblink.007, I've been looking to replace AutoCAD LT, as I lost access after 2 years, I used to have a 2017 copy and it was perfect for me, but unsupported by Windows 10, so I'm interested in your opinion on FreeCAD, I'm just basically a 2D amateur but I get by. If you feel it's OK and will read AutoCAD files, I will try it.
George
 

stanislavz

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Ok. I promise to make short example, based on that sport pilot magazine.

Example redone as is:

1639775899443.png

1639775974532.png

And because it is parametric - we can change some angles/ lengths and it will recalculate all others dimenions on the fly..

1639776122324.png
1639776146415.png
 

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Vigilant1

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Example redone as is:

View attachment 119274

View attachment 119276

And because it is parametric - we can change some angles/ lengths and it will recalculate all others dimenions on the fly..

View attachment 119277
View attachment 119278
Questions:
1) What is the ".FCStd" file type? Something to do with FreeCad? Last time I had any contact with an STD I had to get a lot of shots. :)
2) In addition to the drawing of the truss, did FreeCAD solve the loads using graphical methods?

Thanks.
 

stanislavz

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Questions:
1) What is the ".FCStd" file type? Something to do with FreeCad? Last time I had any contact with an STD I had to get a lot of shots. :)
2) In addition to the drawing of the truss, did FreeCAD solve the loads using graphical methods?

Thanks.
1. FCStd is a freecad file. Just open with freecad and you will be able to toy this example as you want.
2. In between... I tricked autocad parametric drawing method to act as a poor man graphical solver without any hand drawing errors and reusability.. for graphical one, you have to redraw all sketch if you change some angle or lenght in a step before.
 

rotax618

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Lendo, Freecad is a parametric 3D CAD system, you can produce 2D tech drawings, PDFs & DXFs from the various views in 3rd angle projection, but if you only need a 2D drawing program it is worth trying LibreCad. As you can see from the example above Freecad Sketcher is structured around drawing constrained shapes on a plane and using that sketch to extrude, loft or pocket to create 3D objects.
 
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While quite competent in several 2D CAD programs and Catia V5, I was only just getting used to Solidworks from EAA. When I saw on here that FreeCAD was a possible alternative, I installed it but find it erratic (means I am not competent enough to avoid seemingly irrational results?). I am now reading about this Real Thunder variant and another that make it work better? However when I go to try and find/install it, I am taken to github and presented with a process I am completely unfamiliar with. Can someone either briefly explain or post a sequence on operations that can allow a dummy to install it?
Also, I used Solidworks primarily to replace Catia V5 for making models of parts to print. Same is my hope wiht FreeCAD.
Thanks in advance.
 

rv7charlie

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I went through similar pains. The Real Thunder version doesn't 'install' in the Windows sense. You just run (double-click) the .exe file after you've extracted the package to a convenient directory. A little spooky, in today's virus-saturated computer world, but it's basically rolling your brain back to DOS.
 

rotax618

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Just download the Realthunder version for your computer, unzip it to a convenient folder, navigate to the \bin folder right/left click on the freecadlink.exe send the shortcut to the desktop, thats pretty much all you have to do - if you have Freecad 19.3 installed at the same time then the file associations will be set.
Check the previous posts on the installatio.
 

ToddK

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Even though its not 3D, I have been having great luck with Qcad plotting and drawing ribs for the rudder and elevator. The documentation is excellent, and there are lots of on-line tutorials.
 

rotax618

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All of these parametric 3D modelling programs differ in some way - there is no right or wrong, just different. They all require an amount of learning, fortunately Freecad has a huge user base and thousands of Youtube tutorials and forum answers.
As I have previously mentioned, Freecad is a “core” that is the central “engine” for a number of user written Workbenches, these workbenches attempt to cover all facets of CAD. the most used Workbench is Part Design.

The Workbenches include -Arch(architectural), Bim(Building information), FEM(finite element), Sheetmetal, Tech Draw, Draft, Image( import/scale images for tracing), Mesh(manipulate 3D print files), Reverse Engineer(extract vectors from STEP and other Cad formats) - and hundreds more including Ship design, Glider(paraglider canopy design) Etc.

The principle of Part Design is the creation a Part container for each component, the selection of a base plane, a sketch drawn on that plane, an extrusion/pad/loft of that sketch to create that part. After the “base” part is created, it is refined by chamfering/filleted/thicknessed etc or sketches on faces/planes, which are then extruded/padded/lofted/pocketed/holed etc.
I originally started using Fusion 360, but lost my trust in Autodesk and move to Freecad, I found Freecad much more capable, it is far more flexible.

Freecad is very handy tool for Makers and dreamers, no matter what you make - it is worth learning, its free and all its going to cost you is a little time, and for some a change in the way the look at 3D.
 

Wanttaja

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While quite competent in several 2D CAD programs and Catia V5, I was only just getting used to Solidworks from EAA. When I saw on here that FreeCAD was a possible alternative, I installed it but find it erratic (means I am not competent enough to avoid seemingly irrational results?).
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I "kinda" learned "some" Solidworks using the EAA version. When the announcement was made, I downloaded the trial of Alibre. Was able to pick it up very quickly, as the user interface is very similar to Solidworks. Ended up buying the paid version ($150).

Ron Wanttaja
 
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Thanks for the replies.
If I grasped the details, the real thunder download is a standalone exe not dependent on the freecad I already have on the computer?
After I use the real thunder I can uninstall/delete the freecad?
 

rotax618

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You can, but you may loose the file associations, depending how much of it you uninstall. File associations aren’t necessary if you load the file file from within Freecad - Load, Recent Files etc.
I suggest that you follow one of the more recent beginner tutorials on Youtube, maybe on a tablet or phone while copying the steps on the computer. There are some very good tutorials on configuring Freecad for your Units, Navigation Style etc - if you are new to CAD I would select the Gesture nav style - it is the most intuitive, unless you are coming from Inventor or Blender or other CAD package.
When Realthunder’s branch is merged into Freecad main, it will have the full installation package in the register.
 

cblink.007

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cblink.007, I've been looking to replace AutoCAD LT, as I lost access after 2 years, I used to have a 2017 copy and it was perfect for me, but unsupported by Windows 10, so I'm interested in your opinion on FreeCAD, I'm just basically a 2D amateur but I get by. If you feel it's OK and will read AutoCAD files, I will try it.
George
I've been toying around with it over the weekend; literally downloaded over 50 hours worth of instructional videos out there (there are plenty). It does say that it accepts .dwg files, but I found out this is not the case. A quick convert to .dxf and no big issues. At the office we threw in on a download of AutoCAD LT with an SN and product code (my instrumentation engineering section uses it for electrical schematics). I am not sure if I can advertise this or not, but we do have some flight hardware on our test aircraft that were designed and made using FreeCAD.

Bottom line up front, I am no FreeCAD expert by any means imaginable, but I have been able to do alot more on it than I ever did trying to learn the student version of SW offered by EAA. I'm a fan.

My understanding is that you can do finite elements on FreeCAD, and if you really want to go on a hardcore engineering adventure, OpenFoam CFD can interface with it as well. I am light years away from that
 

blane.c

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My experience with Solidworks is that everything supportive to the free EAA student version was monetarily driven. Why wouldn't it be?
My experience with freecad is that everything is free and many people have their hand out for donation, not every one but many.
So it doesn't have to cost anything, but it could cost a lot if you donate to everyone. So far I have sent one donation and that was directly to realthunder.

I have found that I am learning the realthunder version of freecad at a faster pace than the solidworks, but having some familiarization with the solidworks probably lends itself to learning most other programs a bit faster. It certainly isn't more difficult to learn just a few different ways to go about basic input.
 

Vigilant1

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My experience with freecad is that everything is free and many people have their hand out for donation, not every one but many.
So it doesn't have to cost anything, but it could cost a lot if you donate to everyone. So far I have sent one donation and that was directly to realthunder.
If it works long term, this is a much more appealing "business model” than getting folks hooked (time spent learning the program, building their files in a unique format) and then escalating the price.
It's risky to depend on voluntary contributions, and it's risky to depend on a very small team of folks who know the guts of the program to continue to keep it alive. But if it works, super.
 

blane.c

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If it works long term, this is a much more appealing "business model” than getting folks hooked (time spent learning the program, building their files in a unique format) and then escalating the price.
It's risky to depend on voluntary contributions, and it's risky to depend on a very small team of folks who know the guts of the program to continue to keep it alive. But if it works, super.

I hope realthunder branch is incorporated into main freecad soon.

I get the feeling that realthunder is possibly looking to establish his own branch off of freecad? If you read this, what do you think? RealThunder is creating FreeCAD Assembly3 | Patreon
 

cblink.007

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I get the feeling that realthunder is possibly looking to establish his own branch off of freecad? If you read this, what do you think? RealThunder is creating FreeCAD Assembly3 | Patreon
That is what it looks like. My only real beef with Open Source is configuration management & control. I can only emphasize that I am using the basic download on FreeCAD's main site for my uses; I may look into trying out other 'mutations' once I gain a reasonable proficiency level. The last thing I want is to accidently lose data over a faulty software mod, so I'll be playing it safe for now.

I figure at this point there is nothing to lose. The other options are the following:

1. An AutoCAD LT annual seat license for $440 (Good bang for the buck, but limited to 2D only...no parametric capability)
2. About $4,000-plus annually for either a legitimate SW or AutoCAD & Inventor seat license subscription (Can't go wrong option)
3. About $500 for an "expired AutoCAD seat license" (Not supported by Autodesk, it might not work after purchase, and there is the potential risk of legal action from Autodesk)
4. A $300 bootleg copy from eBay (All bets are off; Do I hear a scam, anyone?)

...I won't even mention CATIA- each seat license runs in excess of $30k, not including the $5,000/year maintenance plans one must get, limiting it to the big cats like Boeing, Bell, Lockheed-Martin, etc.
 
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