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FreeCAD – free access CAD, suitable for teaching computer graphics design.
Relatively simple system for three-dimensional design, equipped with a means of modeling the movement. In addition to the design problems, the program is useful for the development of geometry, kinematics, dynamics, principles of design tools and simulation of physical processes. A feature is the presence of freeCAD motion simulation. Written in Smalltalk.
FreeCAD is an open-source 3D CAD modeler that comes packed with many functions designed to help you create 3D CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM projects.
Although it bundles many dedicated parameters for sketching 3D and 2D components, it sports a clean and straightforward interface.
The program allows users to import data from a wide range of file formats, namely DXF, BRP, DAT, SVG, MED, IGES, BMP, JPG, IFC, OCA, ASC, SVG, WRL, or others.
FreeCAD comprises various 2D drawing objects (e.g. 2-point lines, wires, circles, arcs, polygons, points), and gives users the possibility to move, rotate, scale, and edit the selected objects. Plus, you can add or delete points, create a polar or rectangular array from the selected objects, as well as clone the components.
When it comes to designing 3D objects, the utility provides several tools (box, cone, cylinder, sphere, torus), and you can modify these objects by using Boolean operations, fusing two objects, as well as cutting one object from another.
Other important features worth mentioning enable you to use the built-in Python console for creating or modifying the geometry of the components, record macros, work with multiple documents, and use the workbenches for accessing different set of tools easier (e.g. draft, image, or sketcher workbench).
Last but not least, FreeCAD provides tools for creating complex and solid parts, design triangle meshes, which can be modified, subdivided, or stretched, as well as set up a simulation environment with a robot and objects.
The 2D projects can be exported to SVG file format, while the 3D ones can be saved to POV format.
All things considered, FreeCAD proves to be a reliable graphics editor that can be used for creating mechanical eeering and product design projects.