Author Topic: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?  (Read 19548 times)

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Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2017, 10:02:02 am »
Quote
The fact that footprint assignment is done in the PCB tool , and not in schematic means they don't understand multiple issues. 

Except, no. You can -- and many users do exactly this -- create what we call "atomic parts," that is, parts in the symbol libraries which include the necessary footprint.

I will just add to that that the footprints were never assigned in the PCB tool. While one can change a footprint in the PCB editor, it is not meant to be used in that way and assigning footprints like that would take ages. This function is meant only to fix a mistake when you discover that you have used the wrong footprint variant for the part. Perhaps @free_electron meant that the footprints are created using the PCB editor? Because that would be true (and there is nothing "controversial" on that, IMO).

The original workflow used the cvpcb utility that takes a netlist and generates a pairing between the symbol/part and the footprint - you get a table listing all components and assign the footprints en masse. This could be automated/simplified by specifying the footprints right in the schematics (either a specific footprint or a filter of admissible footprints, either of which can come from the part library) when one selects components - then the cvpcb tool will use these and pre-fills the table for you.

Newer versions of the program offer a choice of the workflow. Either the "old school" - add parts in the schematics, use cvpcb to assign footprints (potentially using filters specified on the components) and then move to the PCB editor. Or the new style where everything is specified in the schematics and there is no need for the intermediate cvpcb step.

And if one is specifying the footprints in the schematics, there are still two options - either to specify the footprints by hand for all parts every time a schematics is made or to have them stored with the symbols in the libraries (the "atomic parts", basically the same system as what e.g. Eagle does). So there is a ton of flexibility in how to manage the workflow.

I think @free_electron isn't very familiar with the tool he is criticizing.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 10:14:15 am by janoc »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2018, 12:47:51 pm »
Ok, i've been playing with freeCad.  It seems, considering it's free, to be pretty well featured, but there seem to be soooo many bugs it's pretty much un-useable. Have others found this, or is it something i'm doing wrong?

For example, i do a sketch, fully constrain that sketch, and then sometime later, after some further operations, it's reports an error with that sketch and it now has excess or insufficient constraints suddenly.  This is especially true if you try to make an even slightly parametric model, ie your constraints are based on other geometry!

Sometimes, if i save and restart, all is well again for a bit, but sometimes, say something pocketed out using the sketch geometry is now different.  It also seems just about impossible to go back into the lower items in the tree and change anything with messing everything up that's been done after that point.  What's the point in parametric design if you can't change anything??

 |O

Unfortunately I have to agree with you. I had to design some really simple parts. Many bugs, undocumented changes, things vanishing etc.

Alexander.
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Offline MasterTech

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #52 on: September 10, 2018, 06:31:42 am »
Hows the latest 0.17 version of Freecad, anyone working with it?

Also the terms of Fusion 360 may have changed? Cause I believe that at the end of the 30 day period they are forcing a payment plan
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2018, 09:41:56 am »
Hows the latest 0.17 version of Freecad, anyone working with it?

Also the terms of Fusion 360 may have changed? Cause I believe that at the end of the 30 day period they are forcing a payment plan

0.17 works mostly OK, they have fixed a ton of bugs. Of course, it is not Fusion 360, there are still no assemblies (my biggest bugbear) and the UI is sometimes idiotic (especially compared with e.g. Onshape, Fusion has its own share of stupidities) but for most simple modelling I am doing it is good enough.

Re Fusion 360 payment plan - that's the default 30 days trial period. Then you have to take a license, either paid or, if you qualify, the free enthusiast/startup one (but do read the conditions - many startups wouldn't qualify, it is very restrictive!). The free license is good for 1 years, then you have to repeat the process. Just verified my old account, it still works like that.


« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 09:48:34 am by janoc »
 

Offline landracer

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2019, 04:58:31 am »
FreeCAD has been working great for me since .016

I figured I'd post a few pictures of a bigger assembly, and other MISC BS currently being worked on. All this talk of Fusion360.. BLAH! Subscription base software = GARBAGE, two thumbs down in my opinion. I think it all boils down to a learning curve. No matter the software...  This would be like comparing GIMP to Photoshop... Both do EXCELLENT jobs, albeit one a bit harder to work with then the other, all to accomplish the same if not identical results as the other. Call it as you will... You can say to same for the IDE's and EDA's. I'm sure in the end, the story will tell itself. THE PRODUCT...

All I can say is, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be afraid of FreeCAD, it truly does GREAT work!. Honestly, I wouldn't use anything else myself. But hell, I guess FreeCAD just works for me, and I'm partial to open-source.

I figured I'd post on this FreeCAD topic to start my 'first EEvBlog post', I know a bit old... Sorry if that goes against the rules. I just figured someone should advocate for FreeCAD in bigger sense. If you can get past the 'FREE' isn't as good as 'PAID FOR' mindset. Then you, and only 'YOU' will be liberated. Good Luck!




Some PCB's and Case's for those PCB's, all done in FreeCAD. and it generates G-CODE, which also work's great in the CNC...












 
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Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2019, 09:17:47 am »
That's pretty impressive work. I am using FreeCAD myself but I am seriously missing some sort of assembly support to mate multiple pieces together without having to model them in-place. What are you using for that?
 

Offline landracer

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2019, 05:40:20 pm »
Thank you very much for your kind words.  8)

As for "assembly support to mate multiple pieces together?" Like a 'solid fusion' of several parts?? I'm not sure I'm following you exactly? Maybe you can elaborate a bit on what you're looking to do? OR, we probably should start a new post for FreeCAD 'MISC' or something and we can start posting there. I didn't really want to hijack this topic. As it was solely a response to the buggy nature of Freecad, and way to much Fusion360 talk.

FreeCAD is only 'buggy' if you are using the program WRONG. Operational order is important. Honestly I'd say even using the FreeCAD Daily branch, version .018, bugs are minimal/non-existent these days. IF it crashes, something you're doing or possible hardware/driver fault... Nevertheless I digress.

 I will note, I started from scratch learning this program.(with extensive machine shop/mastercam knowledge) Every answer I've ever looked for as been found on the web, OR FreeCAD's web forum https://forum.freecadweb.org/ Most everything has been implemented with relative ease.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2019, 07:36:36 am »
Thank you very much for your kind words.  8)

As for "assembly support to mate multiple pieces together?" Like a 'solid fusion' of several parts?? I'm not sure I'm following you exactly? Maybe you can elaborate a bit on what you're looking to do? OR, we probably should start a new post for FreeCAD 'MISC' or something and we can start posting there. I didn't really want to hijack this topic. As it was solely a response to the buggy nature of Freecad, and way to much Fusion360 talk.

FreeCAD is only 'buggy' if you are using the program WRONG. Operational order is important. Honestly I'd say even using the FreeCAD Daily branch, version .018, bugs are minimal/non-existent these days. IF it crashes, something you're doing or possible hardware/driver fault... Nevertheless I digress.

 I will note, I started from scratch learning this program.(with extensive machine shop/mastercam knowledge) Every answer I've ever looked for as been found on the web, OR FreeCAD's web forum https://forum.freecadweb.org/ Most everything has been implemented with relative ease.

Thanks for the motivation. I really want to get rid of Fusion360. Two thumbs up for the "subscription=Garbage" definition.

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2019, 08:58:42 am »
Thank you very much for your kind words.  8)

As for "assembly support to mate multiple pieces together?" Like a 'solid fusion' of several parts?? I'm not sure I'm following you exactly?


I was thinking mating multiple pieces together using constraints/joints. So that I could e.g. model a table top, 1 leg and use that leg 4 times to assemble the table by mating it to the table top in the corners. Or build a mechanical linkage where two parts are rotating around a pin. Etc. Right now I am using OnShape for this kind of work.

FreeCAD is only 'buggy' if you are using the program WRONG. Operational order is important. Honestly I'd say even using the FreeCAD Daily branch, version .018, bugs are minimal/non-existent these days. IF it crashes, something you're doing or possible hardware/driver fault... Nevertheless I digress.

That's probably a tad optimistic. Just yesterday it crashed on me several times when I was trying to measure some distances on an object. Fortunately no data loss.

Also creating fillets in the sketcher is a lottery - you select two lines, hit F (or click the button) and then pray ... It often crashes or does crazy things, even to the point of creating obviously incorrect/invalid results. The sketcher in general could use some work - I find the ones both in Fusion360 and OnShape a lot more intuitive and reliable to use.

 

Offline Obi_Kwiet

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #59 on: April 19, 2019, 11:36:33 pm »
How is the drafting in FreeCad? I liked modeling in Fusion 360, but the 2D drawing output is basically worthless. Which makes the whole thing worthless. There's no point in spending time modeling something just so you can have a bunch of pretty pictures. The whole point is being able to produce a shop drawing that shows dimensions to assist with assembly. It's shocking that the whole software is hamstrung by not having a useful output capability. It's like having an EDA that can't make Gerbers properly.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2019, 01:42:39 pm »
How is the drafting in FreeCad? I liked modeling in Fusion 360, but the 2D drawing output is basically worthless. Which makes the whole thing worthless. There's no point in spending time modeling something just so you can have a bunch of pretty pictures. The whole point is being able to produce a shop drawing that shows dimensions to assist with assembly. It's shocking that the whole software is hamstrung by not having a useful output capability. It's like having an EDA that can't make Gerbers properly.

I haven't played with it extensively but it can produce the 2d drawings of your model. You select which type of projection you want and you get a nice sheet with the drawings on it, then you can add dimensions and whatever else you want.

Or you can use the tools in the Drafting workbench and create your drawings in 2D from scratch.

See:
https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/Manual:Generating_2D_drawings
https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/Draft_Module
https://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/Draft_tutorial
 

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #61 on: April 20, 2019, 11:50:25 pm »
I have been experimenting with FreeCAD for some time and I find it quite usable.
On the other hand, there are a few standard deviations between the modal human and me.
Even if Fusion439845 ran on Linux I would still discard it after only the breefest moment.

Work on FreeCAD 0.18 is now going on.
Do you see the zero and the dot before the 18?
Can you imagine why they are there?

The landcruser guy made some nice screenshots, and I could too from a project I'm working on (but won't share just yet).

For me personally the choice is pretty simple.
I do not know of any open source project for 3D desgin that works on linux, and if it is either not open-source or does not run on Linux then it's simply not acceptable for me.
I've read some vague things about brlcad, but it does not sem to be maintainded or improved for 10 years or so, and besides, I really like KiCad and there is the "StepUP" for FreeCAD to exchange data between FreeCAD and KiCaD.

Some day all those commercial companies will go bust.
There will be no tolerance anymore for propiretary software and closed ransomware.
At the moment they still manage to create an illusion of scarcety and are fighting extort money from their customers.
 

Offline JuanGg

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #62 on: May 18, 2019, 12:19:53 pm »
I have used FreeCAD since version 0.13 and it has enabled me to make many projects involving 3d printing, some of which are shown below.
While I agree it has bugs and what not, I consider it usable.
I have been using Fusion 360 on an education license for a couple years now, and there is no contest, but it would not be a fair comparison.
But taking a look at the newer versions of FreeCAD, it seems that a lot has been improved since, and I am sure it will continue to do so in years to come. When I feel like it, I will eventually switch back.
    Juan
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 12:22:22 pm by JuanGg »
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #63 on: May 18, 2019, 02:07:23 pm »
FreeCAD is what I normally use for 3D designs.
https://www.thingiverse.com/NiHaoMike/designs
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Offline rollatorwieltje

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2019, 05:46:01 pm »
FreeCAD is only 'buggy' if you are using the program WRONG. Operational order is important. Honestly I'd say even using the FreeCAD Daily branch, version .018, bugs are minimal/non-existent these days. IF it crashes, something you're doing or possible hardware/driver fault... Nevertheless I digress.

Well...

Pretty much every tutorial I see teaches you to make objects by mapping sketches to surfaces. Which seems to work fine as long as you never change a previous sketch... When you change a previous sketch the faces get renamed internally, so all following sketches lose their mapping. I don't know if this is the correct way to build parts, but if it is, it's not really what you'd expect from something that claims to be parametric. Yes, the construction is parametric, but never even think of adjusting one of the parameters afterwards. It's maybe not a bug, but I would call it unexpected behavior.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2019, 07:01:25 pm »
Well...

Pretty much every tutorial I see teaches you to make objects by mapping sketches to surfaces. Which seems to work fine as long as you never change a previous sketch... When you change a previous sketch the faces get renamed internally, so all following sketches lose their mapping. I don't know if this is the correct way to build parts, but if it is, it's not really what you'd expect from something that claims to be parametric. Yes, the construction is parametric, but never even think of adjusting one of the parameters afterwards. It's maybe not a bug, but I would call it unexpected behavior.

That sounds like a bug. I certainly didn't see this issue with 0.17. However, it is true that if you go back to a sketch that has been used to create e.g. an extrusion or a pocket and start to heavily modify it, all bets are off. Usually simple stuff like changing dimensions is fine. Adding fillets or changing topology (adding/removing holes) from the sketch can make the program go nuts, though.

However, I have seen similar problems also in Fusion360 - which is an order of magnitude more complex program ...

To some degree it is to be expected because while you can do all sort of things to the sketch, not all will have a meaningful result on the existing object (e.g. if redoing the original operation on the modified sketch would result in an invalid object) Then you will get regeneration errors and/or glitches.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 07:08:09 pm by janoc »
 

Offline bson

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #66 on: May 29, 2019, 07:46:42 pm »
Does it support User Parameters?  I never got into FreeCAD enough to figure this out, but I just launched 0.17 (what I have installed) and don't see anything like it.  I can't see how it's possible to recompute the timeline from parameterized objects without this, for example how would it know say an extrusion cut should be INTERNAL_HEIGHT+WALL_THICKNESS*2 just because I changed the wall thickness someplace?  Unless it has some other method of setting inter-object parameter constraints?  The FreeCAD "parameter editor" seems to be just for UI customization...  If I type "height/2" into a parameter field it completely ignores without either an error or a message of any sort - it just silently discards what I typed!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 07:49:25 pm by bson »
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #67 on: May 29, 2019, 08:26:40 pm »
Does it support User Parameters?  I never got into FreeCAD enough to figure this out, but I just launched 0.17 (what I have installed) and don't see anything like it.  I can't see how it's possible to recompute the timeline from parameterized objects without this, for example how would it know say an extrusion cut should be INTERNAL_HEIGHT+WALL_THICKNESS*2 just because I changed the wall thickness someplace?  Unless it has some other method of setting inter-object parameter constraints?  The FreeCAD "parameter editor" seems to be just for UI customization...  If I type "height/2" into a parameter field it completely ignores without either an error or a message of any sort - it just silently discards what I typed!


Yes, it does. It is a bit non-obvious, though. Open the Spreadsheet module, create a new spreadsheet and type in your values there. Then right click each and set "alias" in the properties - that will be the variable name.

Then to refer to the values you open e.g. the dimension you want to set and click the round f(x) icon in the right corner of the entry box. That will open the expression editor. There you can then use the defined variables as e.g.:

Vars.thickness

"Vars" is the name of the spreadsheet and "thickness" is the alias of the field you have defined in the spreadsheet.
 

Offline 0db

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2020, 05:13:45 pm »
is there any opensource alternative to FreeCad?
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2020, 08:46:19 pm »
is there any opensource alternative to FreeCad?

Well, FreeCAD is open source. If you mean another CAD that is also open source, then not really, I am afraid. CAD is a very niche field requiring fairly high math skills so not many programmers are willing or able to work on it. It is also not very sexy work, unlike reinventing a Javascript UI framework for the umpteenth time ...

There are a few open source tools that may or may not do the job but none is as complete as FreeCAD:

- https://www.openscad.org/
- http://solvespace.com/index.pl
- https://librecad.org/ (this one is excellent but only 2D drafting, originally a fork of commercial QCad)

And a few obscure things that are more of interest for niche uses:
- http://implicitcad.org/
- http://www.mattkeeter.com/projects/antimony/3/
- https://brlcad.org/

There is also Blender (blender.org), but that is not really a CAD, more a mesh modeling program for 3D graphics.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 08:49:56 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline Oleander

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2020, 12:43:31 pm »
Please look at VariCAD. It is not free nor opensource, the price is several hundred of euros.  Well designed - using it is nice. Linux and Windows versions are available.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2020, 08:13:00 pm »
Please look at VariCAD. It is not free nor opensource, the price is several hundred of euros.  Well designed - using it is nice. Linux and Windows versions are available.

But that isn't what he asked for, right? Because if we start talking about commercial solutions, there are many far less obscure and more advanced options, some even free (as in beer) for personal use - Fusion360, OnShape, DesignSpark, ...
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2020, 09:15:30 pm »
And a few obscure things that are more of interest for niche uses:
...
- http://www.mattkeeter.com/projects/antimony/3/
...

It may be obscure and niche, but from the video, Antimony looks really neat. Thanks for the link.


Edit: Damn, it's only Mac and Linux.  :(
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 09:24:08 pm by Gyro »
Regards, Chris

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Offline janoc

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2020, 03:43:49 pm »
If you like that, look at OpenSCAD. That's the same idea just without the messing with the graph GUI, which gets unmanageable pretty fast for anything complex.
 

Online Just_another_Dave

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Re: FreeCAD - is it just me, or bug city?
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2021, 09:24:06 am »
is there any opensource alternative to FreeCad?

Well, FreeCAD is open source. If you mean another CAD that is also open source, then not really, I am afraid. CAD is a very niche field requiring fairly high math skills so not many programmers are willing or able to work on it. It is also not very sexy work, unlike reinventing a Javascript UI framework for the umpteenth time ...

There are a few open source tools that may or may not do the job but none is as complete as FreeCAD:

- https://www.openscad.org/
- http://solvespace.com/index.pl
- https://librecad.org/ (this one is excellent but only 2D drafting, originally a fork of commercial QCad)

And a few obscure things that are more of interest for niche uses:
- http://implicitcad.org/
- http://www.mattkeeter.com/projects/antimony/3/
- https://brlcad.org/

There is also Blender (blender.org), but that is not really a CAD, more a mesh modeling program for 3D graphics.

I normally use Salome platform for designing 3d parts at home (https://www.salome-platform.org/), as I find it to be the most similar to the CAD software I use at work. Unluckily, it does not include any module for making mechanical plans, so I have to use QCAD for that purpose, but it has a good integration with open source and commercial FEA simulators.

Solvespace 3 also looks great, but I haven’t tried it yet. However, I need to check if this version has a single window mode, as using multi-window programs in windows annoys me a little bit (toolboxes tend to end up being always below the main window)
 
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