FreeCAD revisited

I am working on a new project to build a small robot and it will have some parts made on the 3D printer. So for that I needed to model those parts in CAD.

I did consider getting a Fusion360 license as my free trial had expired. As a semi-pro I’m trapped between not being able to legitimately be able to use the personal edition and not using the software enough for the subscription to be commercially viable. With the discount the price is £365 which seems a bargain at £1 a day. But if I only use it for a couple of projects per year then that’s £182.50 per project which is not such a deal.

So I’m giving FreeCAD another go. I have struggled with FreeCAD in the past, it seems quite capable but you have to do things the FreeCAD way or it will crash or just stop you from changing the model. For example, I wanted to include the parts into a model as an assembly. There is a workspace you can download for this called “Assembly 4” the successor to “Assembly 2”. But to create the assembly you need to have an assembly model which you do as the first step of your process.

I am reminded of the joke about the London taxi driver when asked “How to get to London Bridge” replied “I wouldn’t have started from here if I were you”.

My first step was to create a simple model of the motors, a cylinder for the motor, a box for the gearbox and a second cylinder for the motor shaft.

The base was also a simply cylinder but to that I added a sketch and remove the holes for the wheels using a pocket. What the assembly then showed me was that I would not be able to attach the motors using the holes in the gearbox as there was no space for a support. So instead I will have a U shaped support for the body of the motor and some form of clip over the top to hold it in place.

3 thoughts on “FreeCAD revisited

  1. Juan Manuel Martin says:

    Hi, Assembly 4 is not in any way related to Assembly 2. Currently there are 3 assembly workbenchs in FreeCAD.

    #A2Plus (based on Asm2)

    #Assembly 3 (Similar to Asm2 but with more functionality)

    #Assembly 4 (Totally different approach)

    The number in the name of this Workbenchs, has nothing to do with versions. All 3 are totally different workbenches, made by different developers.

    I would say that easier to start would be A2Plus, and more difficult, but probably more powerful, Asm4.

    Good luck

  2. Thanks Juan, you have shown why I have challenges with FreeCAD. Designed by committee and hence often many ways to achieve one task. Often this is where proprietary tools are better in that there is a clear direction and one way to achieve a task which makes learning them much easier.

  3. […] the parts were printed they were primed and painted before sticking to the robot using hot glue. A translucent filament was used for the flashing orange light on the top. […]

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