Thursday, 14 May 2015

FreeCAD: Sheet Metal Update 1

After some time without touching FreeCAD, I have managed to go a bit further at the development of the sheet metal workbench. Although is not really a "workbench", but a set of scripts at the moment, most of the critical part is done: workflow, document structure, data tree...

A screenshot:

This video sums up the current possibilities:

Objects are totally parametric and unfold algorithm is easier then ever. Next things to do are folds created from sketches (almost completed), get the unfold algorithm to work correctly with the k factor and other bend methods, set up the workbench with icons, and a lot of small utilities like reliefs, slots, punching...

The idea for this workbench is to be open source, but in a special way, because once completed and tested, I will start some kind of "crowdfunding" campaign so I can get some economic feedback. Once a specified amount is reached, I will upload the complete code to GitHub and start to work at documentation and further integration with FreeCAD (if it is considered good enough by the main devs).

With this method I hope to prove that open source software and economic benefit are not antagonist concepts.

What do you think?

EDITED: The development of this workbench (including funding campaign) is stopped until the first release of the project NiCr.