FreeCAD Day 2023 Wrap-Up

As I write this it is 10:15pm here in Brus­sels. I’m at a bar sur­round­ed by crazy FOSDEM peo­ple. It is fan­tas­tic, and that’s not just the beer, fries, and waf­fles talk­ing. Well, maybe a little…

FreeCAD Day 2023 was a smash­ing suc­cess, with over 50 FreeCAD users and devel­op­ers gath­er­ing in Brus­sels for a FOSDEM pre-con­fer­ence. We heard 14 presentations/discussions on a suite of top­ics, rang­ing from Hang-glid­er design for laser cut­ting, to a pro­pos­al for how to merge the Topo­log­i­cal Nam­ing Prob­lem mit­i­ga­tion branch into the main devel­op­ment trunk.

A detailed break­down of the day can be found here at the FreeCAD Forums, but the main take­away for me was that FreeCAD is grow­ing. Like it or not, we have more users, more devel­op­ers, and more main­tain­ers than ever before. We have an offi­cial “FreeCAD Project Asso­ci­a­tion” whose sole mis­sion is to sup­port FreeCAD, we have a pri­vate “Open Core” com­pa­ny (ONDSEL) lead­ing the way on some com­plex tech­ni­cal top­ics, we have the Open Tool­chain Foun­da­tion fund­ing FreeCAD devel­op­ers to work on var­i­ous projects to sup­port end-to-end Open-with-a-cap­i­tal‑O hard­ware devel­op­ment. And we have you: all of you read­ing this. You would­n’t have made it this far in the arti­cle if you did­n’t care about the future of FreeCAD.

So make a cool part. Pub­lish a tuto­r­i­al. Ask a ques­tion on the forums. Or the Dis­cord. Or the LinkedIn page. Or Mastodon. Or one of the oth­er eight tril­lion social media plat­forms out there. Maybe you’re a soft­ware devel­op­er, or want to be… there are a TON of open issues for you to tack­le. Drop a Main­tain­er a line if you need help pick­ing one. But the most impor­tant thing is to be a part of the com­mu­ni­ty: you get to set the direc­tion of FreeCAD! Get out there and make something.

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