||This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2010)|
|Original author(s)||Juergen Riegel, Werner Mayer|
|Initial release||29 October 2002|
|Stable release||0.13 / 12 February 2013|
|Written in||C++, Python|
|Operating system||MS Windows,
Linux, Mac OS X
|Type||3D Modeling, Scientific Engineering|
|License||GPL or LGPL|
FreeCAD is a general purpose 3D CAD modeler. It is free software (GPL & LGPL License). FreeCAD is aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits in a wider range of uses around engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialities. FreeCAD is currently in a beta stage of development.
FreeCAD features tools similar to CATIA, Creo, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks or Solid Edge, and therefore also falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx and CAE. It is intended to be a feature-based parametric modeler with a modular software architecture, which makes it easy to provide additional functionality without modifying the core system.
As with many modern 3D CAD modelers it will have a 2D component in order to extract design detail from the 3D model to create 2D production drawings, but direct 2D drawing (like AutoCAD LT) is not the focus, neither are animation (like Blender) or organic shapes (like Maya, 3ds Max or Cinema 4D), although, thanks to its wide adaptability, FreeCAD might become useful in a much broader area than its current focus.
FreeCAD is intended to make use of other open-source libraries from the field of Scientific Computing. Among them are Open CASCADE (a CAD kernel), Coin3D (an incarnation of Open Inventor), the Qt GUI Framework, and Python, a popular scripting language. FreeCAD itself can also be used as a library by other programs.
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