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.