Introdução

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Prefácio

O FreeCAD é uma aplicação de modelagem paramétrica 3D CAD/CAE . É primeiramente feita para desenho mecânico, mas também serve para todos os outros usos onde seja necessário modelar objetos 3D com precisão e controle sobre o processo/histórico de modelagem.

O FreeCAD está em desenvolvimento há algum tempo e oferece uma grande lista de recursos. Ainda faltam recursos, especialmente em comparação com soluções comerciais, e podem não ser completos o suficiente para serem usados na maioria dos ambientes de produção, mas são poderosos o suficiente para a maioria dos entusiastas e para muitas oficinas menores. Existe uma comunidade em rápido crescimento de usuários entusiastas que participam do fórum do FreeCAD e você pode encontrar nele muitos exemplos de projetos de qualidade desenvolvidos com o FreeCAD.

Como todos os projetos de código aberto, o projeto FreeCAD não é um trabalho de mão única entregue a você por seus desenvolvedores. Depende muito de sua comunidade crescer, obter recursos e estabilizar (consertar bugs). Portanto, não se esqueça disso ao usar o FreeCAD; se você gosta, pode influenciar diretamente e ajudar o FreeCAD!

Instalação

Primeiramente, baixe e instale o FreeCAD. Consulte a página Download para obter informações sobre versões e atualizações atuais e a página Instalação para obter instruções de instalação. Existem pacotes de instalação prontos para Windows (.msi), Debian e Ubuntu (.deb), openSUSE (.rpm) e Mac OSX. O FreeCAD está disponível nos gerenciadores de pacotes de muitas outras distribuições Linux. Também está disponível um executável AppImage independente, que será executado nos sistemas Linux de 64 bits mais recentes. Como o FreeCAD é de código aberto, você também pode pegar o código-fonte e compilá-lo.

Explorando o FreeCAD

FreeCAD interface.png

Confira a explicação completa em Interface.

1. Vista 3D, mostrando os objetos geométricos no documento.
2. Vista da árvore (parte do combo view), mostrando a hierarquia e histórico de construção de objetos no documento; pode também exibir o painel de tarefas para os comandos ativos.
3. Editor de propriedades (parte do combo view), que permite visualizar e modificar as propriedades dos objetos selecionados.
4. Vista da seleção, a qual indica os objetos ou sub-elementos de objetos (vértices, arestas, faces) que estiverem selecionadas.
5. Vista de relatório (ou janela de saída), onde o FreeCAD exibe mensagem, avisos e erros.
6. Console Python, onde todos os comandos executados pelo FreeCAD são exibidos e onde você pode entrar com o código Python.
7. Barra de status, onde algumas mensagens e dicas aparecem.
8. Área da barra de ferramenta, onde as barras de ferramentas estão localizadas.
9. Seletor de bancada de trabalho, onde você pode selecionar a bancada de trabalho.
10. Menu padrão, que possui as operações básicas do programa.

O principal conceito por trás da interface do FreeCAD é que está separada em bancadas de trabalho. Uma bancada de trabalho é uma coleção de ferramentas agrupadas para uma tarefa específica, como trabalhos com malhas, desenhos de objetos 2D ou esboços restritos. Você pode alternar o ambiente de trabalho atual com o seletor de bancada de trabalho. Você pode customizar as ferramentas incluídas em cada ambiente de trabalho, adicionar ferramentas de outros ambientes ou até mesmo ferramentas criadas por nós, que chamamos de macros. Os pontos de partida amplamente utilizados são o PartDesign Workbench e o Part Workbench.

Quando você inicia o FreeCAD pela primeira vez, é apresentado ao Start Center. Veja como aparace o Start Center na versão 0.18:

Start center 0.18 screenshot.jpg

Para o FreeCAD 0.17, confira este Start Center.

O Start Center te permite saltar rapidamente para as bancadas de trabalho mais comuns, abrir arquivos recentes ou ver as últimas novidades do universo FreeCAD. Você pode alterar a bancada de trabalho predefinida em Preferências.

Navegando no espaço 3D

FreeCAD has several different navigation modes available, that change the way you use your mouse to interact with the objects in the 3D view and the view itself. One of them is specifically made for touchpads, where the middle mouse button is not used. The following table describes the default mode, called CAD Navigation (You can quickly change the current navigation mode by right-clicking on an empty area of the 3D view):

Select Pan Zoom Rotate view
First method
Rotate view
Alternate method
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
Mouse LMB.svg Mouse MMB hold.svg Mouse MMB rotate.svg Mouse MMB+LMB hold.svg Mouse MMB+RMB hold.svg
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select.

Holding down Ctrl allows the selection of multiple objects.

Hold the middle mouse button, then move the pointer. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Clicking the middle mouse button re-centers the view on the location of the cursor.

Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the left mouse button, then move the pointer.

The cursor location when the middle mouse button is pressed determines the center of rotation. Rotation works like spinning a ball which rotates around its center. If the buttons are released before you stop the mouse motion, the view continues spinning, if this is enabled.

A double click with the middle mouse button sets a new center of rotation.

Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the right mouse button, then move the pointer.

With this method the middle mouse button may be released after the right mouse button is held pressed.

Users who use the mouse with their right hand may find this method easier than the first method.

Ctrl+Mouse RMB.svg Ctrl+Shift+Mouse RMB.svg Shift+Mouse RMB.svg
Pan mode: hold the Ctrl key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17 Zoom mode: hold the Ctrl and Shift keys, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17 Rotate mode: hold the Shift key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17

Holding down Ctrl allows the selection of multiple objects. |Pan_text=Hold the middle mouse button, then move the pointer. |Pan_mode_text=Pan mode: hold the Ctrl key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17 |Zoom_text=Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Clicking the middle mouse button re-centers the view on the location of the cursor. |Zoom_mode_text=Zoom mode: hold the Ctrl and Shift keys, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17 |Rotate_view_text=Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the left mouse button, then move the pointer.

The cursor location when the middle mouse button is pressed determines the center of rotation. Rotation works like spinning a ball which rotates around its center. If the buttons are released before you stop the mouse motion, the view continues spinning, if this is enabled.

A double click with the middle mouse button sets a new center of rotation. |Rotate_view_mode_text=Rotate mode: hold the Shift key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer. introduced in version 0.17 |Rotate_view_alt_text=Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the right mouse button, then move the pointer.

With this method the middle mouse button may be released after the right mouse button is held pressed.

Users who use the mouse with their right hand may find this method easier than the first method. }}

You also have several view presets (top view, front view, etc) available in the View menu, on the View toolbar, and by numeric shortcuts (1, 2, etc...). By right-clicking on an object or on an empty area of the 3D view, you have quick access to some common operations, such as setting a particular view, or locating an object in the Tree view.

Primeiros passos com FreeCAD

FreeCAD's focus is to allow you to make high-precision 3D models, to keep tight control over those models (being able to go back into modelling history and change parameters), and eventually to build those models (via 3D printing, CNC machining or even construction worksite). It is therefore very different from some other 3D applications made for other purposes, such as animation film or gaming. Its learning curve can be steep, especially if this is your first contact with 3D modeling. If you are struck at some point, don't forget that the friendly community of users on the FreeCAD forum might be able to get you out in no time.

The workbench you will start using in FreeCAD depends on the type of job you need to do: If you are going to work on mechanical models, or more generally any small-scale objects, you'll probably want to try the PartDesign Workbench. If you will work in 2D, then switch to the Draft Workbench, or the Sketcher Workbench if you need constraints. If you want to do BIM, launch the Arch Workbench. If you are working with ship design, there is a special Ship Workbench for you. And if you come from the OpenSCAD world, try the OpenSCAD Workbench.

You can switch workbenches at any time, and also customize your favorite workbench to add tools from other workbenches.

Trabalhando com as bancadas PartDesign e Sketcher

The PartDesign Workbench is made to build complex objects, starting from simple shapes, and adding or removing pieces (called "features"), until you get to your final object. All the features you applied during the modelling process are stored in a separate view called the tree view, which also contains the other objects in your document. You can think of a PartDesign object as a succession of operations, each one applied to the result of the preceding one, forming one big chain. In the tree view, you see your final object, but you can expand it and retrieve all preceding states, and change any of their parameter, which automatically updates the final object.

The PartDesign workbench makes heavy use of another workbench, the Sketcher Workbench. The sketcher allows you to draw 2D shapes, which are defined by applying Constraints to the 2D shape. For example, you might draw a rectangle and set the size of a side by applying a length constraint to one of the sides. That side then cannot be resized anymore (unless the constraint is changed).

Those 2D shapes made with the sketcher are used a lot in the PartDesign workbench, for example to create 3D volumes, or to draw areas on the faces of your object that will then be hollowed from its main volume. This is a typical PartDesign workflow:

  1. Create a new sketch
  2. Draw a closed shape (make sure all points are joined)
  3. Close the sketch
  4. Expand the sketch into a 3D solid by using the pad tool
  5. Select one face of the solid
  6. Create a second sketch (this time it will be drawn on the selected face)
  7. Draw a closed shape
  8. Close the sketch
  9. Create a pocket from the second sketch, on the first object

Which gives you an object like this:

Partdesign example.jpg

At any moment, you can select the original sketches and modify them, or change the extrusion parameters of the pad or pocket operations, which will update the final object.

Trabalhando com as bancadas Draft e Arch

The Draft Workbench and Arch Workbench behave a bit differently than the other workbenches above, although they follow the same rules, which are common to all of FreeCAD. In short, while the Sketcher and PartDesign are made primarily to design single pieces, Draft and Arch are made to ease your work when working with several, simpler objects.

The Draft Workbench offers you 2D tools somewhat similar to what you can find in traditional 2D CAD applications such as AutoCAD. However, 2D drafting being far away from the scope of FreeCAD, don't expect to find there the full array of tools that these dedicated applications offer. Most of the Draft tools work not only in a 2D plane but also in the full 3D space, and benefit from special helper systems such as Work planes and object snapping.

The Arch Workbench adds BIM tools to FreeCAD, allowing you to build architectural models with parametric objects. The Arch workbench relies extensively on other modules such as Draft and Sketcher. All the Draft tools are also present in the Arch workbench, and most Arch tools make use of the Draft helper systems.

A typical workflow with Arch and Draft workbenches might be:

  1. Draw a couple of lines with the Draft Line tool
  2. Select each line and press the Wall tool to build a wall on each of them
  3. Join the walls by selecting them and pressing the Arch Add tool
  4. Create a floor object, and move your walls in it from the Tree view
  5. Create a building object, and move your floor in it from the Tree view
  6. Create a window by clicking the Window tool, select a preset in its panel, then click on a face of a wall
  7. Add dimensions by first setting the working plane if necessary, then using the Draft Dimension tool

Which will give you this:

Arch workflow example.jpg

Para mais informações, visite a página Tutoriais .

Addons, Macro e Bancadas Externas

Freecad, as an open source software, offers the possibility to supplement its workbenches with addons.

The Addon principle is based on the development of a workbench complement. Any user can develop a function that he or she deems to be missing for her/his own needs or, ultimately, for the community. With the forum, the user can request an opinion, help on the forum. It can share, or not, the object of its development according to copyright rules to define. Free to her/him. To develop, the user has available scripting functions.

There are two types of addons:

  1. Macros: short snippets of Python code that provide a new tool or functionality. Macros usually start as a way to simplify or automate the task of drawing or editing a particular object. If many of these macros are collected inside a directory, the entire directory may be distributed as a new workbench.
  2. External workbenches: collections of tools programmed in Python or C++ that extend FreeCAD in an important way. If a workbench is sufficiently developed and is well documented, it may be included as one of the base workbenches in FreeCAD. Under External workbenches, you'll find the principle and a list of existing library.

Scripting

E, finalmente, um dos recursos mais poderosos do FreeCAD é o ambiente scripting. No console python integrado (ou em qualquer outro script Python externo) você pode acessar quase qualquer parte do FreeCAD, criar ou modificar geometria, modificar a representação desses objetos na cena 3D ou acessar e modificar a interface do FreeCAD. O script Python também pode ser usado em macros, que fornece um método fácil para criar comandos personalizados.

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