• First FPA sponsored development

    Edit­ing a spline in Sketch­er with Ajinkya Dahale’s new code.

    The FreeCAD Project Asso­ci­a­tion (FPA) was cre­at­ed to fur­ther the devel­op­ment of the FreeCAD appli­ca­tion by pro­vid­ing a legal enti­ty that can receive and dis­purse donations.

    Recent­ly, the FPA took an impor­tant first step by join­ing a grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty that is already spon­sor­ing devel­op­ment work being done by Ajinkya Dahale (User jnxd on the forum).

    Ajinkya pro­posed numer­ous improve­ments to the spline han­dling in the sketch­er work­bench. He raised funds from many mem­bers to do this work and has large­ly com­plet­ed stage one. The FPA will be con­tribut­ing to the sec­ond stage which will focus on func­tion­al­i­ty to cre­ate more inter­est­ing curves not pos­si­ble by knot posi­tion and slope alone.

    You can fol­low his progress on the forum.

    If you would like to see more spon­sored devel­op­ment, please con­sid­er donat­ing to the FPA.

  • Translating FreeCAD

    FreeCAD is an inter­na­tion­al project fea­tur­ing con­trib­u­tors from dozens of coun­tries, and users around the globe. One way we work to improve the use­ful­ness of FreeCAD is by mak­ing it avail­able in many dif­fer­ent user-inter­­face lan­guages using the crowd-sourced trans­la­tion plat­form CrowdIn.

    The process begins with indi­vid­ual devel­op­ers mark­ing user-vis­i­ble strings in their code as need­ing trans­la­tion. Once or twice per month an extrac­tion process is run on FreeCAD’s source code to extract those strings and send them to the CrowdIn plat­form, at which point vol­un­teer trans­la­tors take over, exam­in­ing each string and its con­text and trans­lat­ing it into the many lan­guages FreeCAD sup­ports. In the next cycle, those new trans­la­tions are down­loaded from CrowdIn and incor­po­rat­ed into FreeCAD’s builds, and the process repeats with the new strings added in the meantime.

    As of this writ­ing, FreeCAD has sup­port for over two dozen lan­guages: of course, in most cas­es there are still some miss­ing trans­la­tions! If you use FreeCAD in a lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish and notice an untrans­lat­ed string, or one whose trans­la­tion you believe is incor­rect, con­sid­er join­ing the project at CrowdIn and help­ing us improve the user expe­ri­ence for oth­ers using your lan­guage. You can also post about the miss­ing string in either the FreeCAD Forum or in the GitHub repos­i­to­ry for trans­la­tions. With your help we can con­tin­ue to improve FreeCAD for users everywhere.

  • New in 0.20: Preference Packs

    FreeCAD 0.20 fea­tures hun­dreds of enhance­ments and bug fix­es: the new “Pref­er­ence Pack” Addon type allows pack­ag­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion of any of the set­tings in a FreeCAD con­fig­u­ra­tion file. The dri­ving appli­ca­tion for the new fea­ture was the need to set font and col­or infor­ma­tion along with set­ting the over­all user inter­face stylesheet, enabling a com­plete, self-con­­tained “theme” to be applied in a sin­gle but­ton click. 

    The Pref­er­ence Pack sec­tion of FreeCAD preferences.

    FreeCAD includes the abil­i­ty to eas­i­ly save a new Pref­er­ence Pack stor­ing var­i­ous appear­ance set­tings into a sin­gle pack­age that can be applied (and reap­plied) any time. Advanced users can cus­tomize the Pack by adding any oth­er set­tings that can be added to a FreeCAD con­fig­u­ra­tion file, and devel­op­ers can cre­ate cus­tom packs designed for dis­tri­b­u­tion via the Addon Manager.

    Read the orig­i­nal announce­ment and get help with the fea­ture in the FreeCAD forums dis­cus­sion. Tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion about Pref­er­ence Packs can be found on the FreeCAD Pref­er­ence Packs wiki page.

  • New in 0.20: Sketcher Enhancements

    Of all the new fea­tures in the recen­t­­ly-released FreeCAD 0.20, it’s like­ly that the ones that will affect the most users are the improved tools in the Sketch­er work­bench.

    New Tools: Rounded Rectangles, Centered Rectangles, and Split

    Sev­er­al new tools were added in FreeCAD 0.20 to speed up com­mon workflows.

    • Cen­tered rec­tan­gles define a cen­ter point with an auto­­mat­i­­cal­­ly-added sym­me­try constraint.
    • Round­ed rec­tan­gles begin with equal­i­­ty-con­s­trained fil­let­ed corners.
    • The split tool splits a line into two sec­tions but attempts to main­tain any pre­vi­ous­­ly-set constraints.

    Spline Enhancements

    Sev­er­al improve­ments were made to the spline inter­face: most notably, it is now pos­si­ble to add knots to exist­ing splines:

    Insert­ing a knot to an exist­ing spline in FreeCAD 0.20.

    Addi­tion­al usabil­i­ty improve­ments include direct­ly set­ting the degree of the spline on cre­ation by press­ing “D” to acti­vate a the degree dia­log, and using “Back­space” to delete the last-defined pole.

    Slot alignment options

    New slot behav­ior on FreeCAD 0.20.

    The behav­ior of the slot tool has changed in FreeCAD 0.20: it is now pos­si­ble to define a slot that is not axis-aligned by set­ting the cen­ters of its two semi­cir­cles to any point in space. These points snap as expect­ed when draw­ing, and auto-con­s­traints are added if the slot is sup­posed to be aligned ver­ti­cal­ly or horizontally.

    Other Sketcher Improvements

    There are dozens of oth­er improve­ments in Sketch­er for FreeCAD 0.20: you can read about many of them in the Release Notes, and dis­cuss their usage and get help in the FreeCAD Forum.

  • Welcome to FreeCAD News!

    As part of our effort to pro­vide infor­ma­tion about the state of FreeCAD devel­op­ment, the core devel­op­ment team is hap­py to announce the launch of our news and announce­ments plat­form, FreeCAD News. Here you’ll find release announce­ments, in-depth arti­cles about new and upcom­ing fea­tures, infor­ma­tion about avail­able Addons, and more.

    FreeCAD devel­op­ers and expe­ri­enced users who are inter­est­ed in con­tribut­ing an arti­cle to the site should con­tact FreeCAD News Edi­tor Chris Hennes (blog@freecad.org) to dis­cuss your idea.