Release notes 0.15
FreeCAD 0.15 was released on April 8, 2015. This is a summary of the most interesting changes. The complete list of changes can be found in the Mantis changelog. Older versions at: 0.14 - 0.13 - 0.12 - 0.11
Search box in Selection view
The selection window allow users to search inside the selected objects. Moreover you have now possibilities to select only one entity, unselect an entity, zoom fit on an entity and go to the entity in the tree view.
Units support is spreading
The new units system of FreeCAD, introduced in version 0.14, is now used by almost all modules of FreeCAD, including the Sketcher, Draft or Arch. A few areas still don't use it, but generally speaking, you can now count on proper units support throughout your whole workflow.
- Import/Export now has an own section in the Edit > Preferences section. Now all file formats are grouped into their own tab, which makes it easier for new users to find the right options.
- Customized keyboard shortcuts now accept up to 4 keys.
- FreeCAD now supports the VR Occulus Rift device.
- Support of custom global toolbars: Aside from adding custom toolbars with your own tools to any workbench, it is now also possible to add custom toolbars which will stay present on all workbenches.
- New Lib Pack for Windows, with the latest OCE 0.17
- A couple of new geometric elements have been added: Parabola, ArcOfParabola, Hyperbola & ArcOfHyperbola
Part Design & Sketcher Workbench
The Sketcher gained proper support for ellipses. Those can be constructed in different ways, and can be used for any kind of subsequent operation.
Enhanced selection tools
The Sketcher also gained a series of new tools to help you diagnose, optimize or fix problems in your sketches. You can now, for example, easily select the elements associated with a constraint, or select the constraint associated with an element, or find conflicting or redundant constraints.
The Sketcher UI also gained some new panels, and now shows you a selectable list of elements of your sketch.
It is now possible to merge several sketches into one with the click of a button.
Enhanced sketch properties
The properties view of sketch objects has also been enhanced, and named Datum constraints (distance, horizontal distance, vertical distance) inside the sketch will now appear and be editable directly in the properties view of the sketch, without the need to enter edit mode.
- Added more regular polygons to sketcher
- Added new constraint: Symmetry constraint perpendicular to axis of symmetry
The Spreadsheet Workbench has been completely recoded. FreeCAD now possesses a state-of-the-art, robust, feature-rich spreadsheet editor. A couple of functionalities found in the previous version of this workbench have been removed, such as the property controllers, but this is a complex issue requiring more time to design properly. At the present time, however, the new spreadsheet already offer far better possibilities to gather data from your model.
Allow sticky fonts in ShapeString
For those nostalgic for old CAD software, sticky fonts (in which letters are made of simple lines, not filled shapes) can now be used with the ShapeString tool.
- Lines can now be defined by their length and angle in the current working plane
- Relative extension lines for dimensions
- Support for sketcher ellipses
- Array objects can now be fused
Export drawing pages to DXF
The system used to export Drawing pages to DXF until now used a very complicated hack to convert the SVG code to FreeCAD object then back to DXF with the Draft exporters. Now, the export is done internally inside the Drawing module, which gives much faster and reliable results. DXF export now uses a template system similar to SVG sheets. If your Drawing page uses a certain SVG template, and a DXF template with the same name is found at the same location, it is used to generate the DXF file.
In the DXF file, the different views are placed as scaled blocks. This allows quickly restoring the 1:1 scale.
- It is now possible to reuse projection settings from an existing view when creating new draft views.
Updated IFC importer/exporter
FreeCAD's IFC importer has received a lot of work and testing, and a massive upgrade. The old, python-based importer, has been disabled (it is still usable from the python console, though), and FreeCAD now uses exclusively and intensively the newest, bleeding-edge version 5 (read more about it) of IfcOpenShell that is now available on all main platforms (be sure to download the version that matches the python version used by your FreeCAD installation). We now benefit from a much faster and reliable import and export, a much simpler and cleaner code (read: easier to extend), and already a few additional goodies, such as better support for curve-based objects and IFC properties.
New feature: Cut object with plane
This new functionality, Arch CutPlane, makes it possible to cut an object according to a plane defined by the face of another object. It is possible to cut the object behind or in front of the selected plane.
New roof tool
The Roof tool was completely redone and now makes it possible to define different slopes for each roof side. Moreover it is possible to define a thickness of roof, the length of the overflow.
A new Panel object has been added to the Arch Workbench. It allows creation all kinds of panel-like objects, and will be specially useful for panel constructions such as the wikihouse or popup house projects.
The new Arch Equipment object is designed to add all kinds of non-structural standalone objects to your architectural projects, such as lighting appliances, sanitary equipments or furniture.
- The Basepoint of Arch Frame object can now be set to a specific vertex of the profile.
There has also been some very interesting work on new workbenches and macros, that are not integrated into the FreeCAD source code (yet!), but are easy to install on an existing FreeCAD 0.15 installation. Instructions are provided on the pages linked below: