Looks like might be a reasonable alternative to 123Design

Fingers crossed!

@banjofox I've had good luck with FreeCAD. The interface is just a little clunky and documentation can take longer to peruse than it should


Yeah... I dont like it so far >.<
123Design was damn near intuitive once you figured out what keywords did the thing you wanted.

right now I need the following steps

1) import 2d image
2) extrude parts of image
3) subtract part a from part b

I am stuck on part 1.5

@banjofox I'm not sure I understand the "extrude parts of the image" portion of your workflow.

You can bring images in and trace over them but you'd have to be specific with the scaling (unless you're importing something that's already scaled properly). If you're planning on importing this as geometry it'll have to get converted into an object - I've done this previously with online svg -> stl converters, then imported the stl.


I have an SVG that I want to turn into an enamel pin.

I have all of the borders laid out so that if i can take them from 0mm high to 2mm high (z-axis) I can 3D print that.

@banjofox is it a closed shape and have you used all solid lines (which are white rather than construction lines which are a dark blue)?

You can verify constraints before closing the sketch and going to the extrusion tool. I just reinstalled to get the latest version and I'm not getting solid previews in the extrusion tool anymore which is different (I'm guessing there's a setting somewhere).


Weirdly TinkerCAD which i hate because it is

a) Cloud Only
b) Has no actual tools

Actually managed to accomplish more or less what I needed.

It's in two parts but I can live with that I figure...


The whole "contraints" thing is a new concept to me.

I took classes with AutoCAD in the late 90's. Played with 3DSMax, Maya (1.0), and a bunch of other stuff, but never really "Learned" how to do stuff in 3D.

With 123Design (halfway between TinkerCAD, and 3DSMak), I could draw a circle, then extrude Z into a tube.

CAD Constraints 

@banjofox yes you can do that in FreeCAD too but it tells you the degrees of freedom (DOF) it has when it calculates the sketch (which i find super helpful). A circle has 3 DOF: horizontal position, vertical position, and radius/diameter. If you put a coincident constraint on it's center (i.e. the center of the circle is coincident with a known point), the only DOF left is the radius/diameter etc.

My background is Mechanical Engineering so DOF is my bread and butter.

CAD Constraints 

@banjofox FreeCAD just operates using toolboxes which is weird at first, but it's designed to limit your palette of tools to only those that are applicable at a given time.

Start with sketch to draw a circle, then change over to Part (not Part Design) to extrude it.

Part Design still doesn't make sense to me, but I think it has to do with how the geometry is treated behind the scenes.

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