FreeCAD open source design software

3D Printing & Imaging
FreeCAD open source design software

I don’t do CAD or 3D printing, but this software at least looks promising from my armchair. It’s an open source CAD/CAE app based on OpenCasCade, QT, and Python. It offers features like macro recording, the ability to run as a server and dynamically load application extensions, and it runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac. One of the many cool features it offers is 100% scriptable objects in Python:

Besides the standard object types such as annotations, meshes and parts objects, FreeCAD also offers the amazing possibility to build 100% python-scripted objects, called Python Features. Those objects will behave exactly as any other FreeCAD object, can be saved in a document and opened on any other installation of FreeCAD, since the python code that defines the object is also saved in the document.

The project is still in alpha. The only official builds are in Windows and 32-bit Debian Linux, but you can download (from their SourceForge site) unofficial builds for AMD-based 64-bit Debian/Ubuntu, openSUSE. and Intel Mac OS X.


6 thoughts on “FreeCAD open source design software

  1. Luc says:

    Great new!! There was a real gap in Opensource software.
    Besides QCAD, which is a 2D CAD software, there was not
    an real alternative to commercials products.

    1. Max says:

      You might also be interested in Solid Edge 2D Drafting. It is a “commerical” product. The 2D version is free. The 3D version cost $.

  2. sburlappp says:

    I hope the embedded Python code runs in a sandbox, otherwise it could create a security problem, like a Word macro virus.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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