FreeCAD is a graphics editor that provides tools for creating 3D CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM projects. It comes packed with a handy set of features.
Since installation is not a prerequisite, you can drop the program files anywhere on the hard disk and run the executable directly.
It is also possible to save FreeCAD to a USB flash drive or similar storage unit, in order to run it on any machine with minimum effort.
What’s more, the Windows registry does not get new entries, and files are not kept on the hard disk after removing the utility.
The interface is user-friendly, and FreeCAD offers help documentation. You can import data (e.g. Mesh, OpenSCAD, Point, Python, STEP), merge projects, and export files to PDF.
The tool allows you to edit mode, choose the navigation style (e.g. inventor, CAD), create a new view, switch to orthographic or perspective view mode, take snapshots, view a scene inspector, show the dependency graph for objects, as well as record and run macros.
- A complete OpenCasCade-based geometry kernel allowing complex 3D operations on complex shape types, and supports natively concepts like brep, nurbs, booleans operations or fillets
- A modular architecture that allows plugins (modules) to add functionality to the core application. Those extensions can be as complex as whole new applications or as simple as python scripts or self-recorded macros
- A full parametric model allowing any type of parameter-driven custom objects, that can even be fully programmed in python
- Complete access from python built-in interpreter, macros or external scripts to almost any part of FreeCAD, being geometry creation and transformation, the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry (scenegraph) or even the FreeCAD interface
- Import/export to standard formats such as STEP, IGES, OBJ, DXF, SVG, U3D or STL
Other options of FreeCAD let you customize commands, the keyboard, toolbars, macros, as well as spaceball motion and buttons. It is possible to change the UI language, specify the Undo and Redo depth level, personalize editor settings (e.g. line numbers, folding), and others.
The application does not burden the overall performance of the computer, as it uses minimal CPU and RAM. It has a good reaction speed and works well, without causing the OS to hang, crash or pop up error dialogs. We have not come across any issues in our tests. Thanks to its intuitive layout and options, FreeCAD should please all users.
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