CAD Software II

CAD Software II or more simply a second go at learning FreeCAD. Back in March 2019 I looked at CAD software options. I installed FreeCAD 0.17 and had a go at creating a flywheel. Then my interest fizzled out, mainly because the learning curve was too steep.

However, I then had a bit more time, so I updated FreeCAD to the latest 0.19 version and then went onto youtube and followed some of the tutorials.

At this point I have to say that it is not good enough just to try and learn it. You need a project in mind as this will focus your learning and give you something to aim at. My goal was to create the CAD for one of my existing engine designs and then make technical drawings that I could sell via this website.

plans for Double Acting Oscillating Engine

Oscillating Steam Engine

A simple single cylinder double acting oscillating engine. Designed as a project for me to build when my wife bought me a much larger lathe.

This design is based around 1/4″ thick mild steel plate. With cutouts it looks rather elegant.

Open up FreeCAD and watch the videos whilst starting to create a drawing. You can pause, rewind, replay and even jump ahead on the videos. But I would recommend setting aside a few hours to get you started.

You need these first two tutorials to get you started. Also, be prepared to create the parts for your first CAD several times.

You may struggle with Parts, Bodies and Sketches. This was a major stumbling block for me as I had a fixed idea as to what parts and bodies were. If like me you want to assemble something from parts then you will need to get used to the Part Design workbench and the addon: Assembly 4.

These 5 videos will be a good starting point. From here you should be able to draw parts, assemble them into more complex parts and create technical drawings.

I’m only at CAD Software II level and by this I mean just beyond basic beginner. However, I’m enjoying using the software and I’m getting an end product as a result.

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