Talk:Basic Part Design Tutorial

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Notes when trying to follow this tutorial using:

First things first: thank you quick16 for writing out this tutorial.

None of the following is authoritative since I'm nowhere familiar nor with the program nor with the terminology it uses. This a Discussion page, to discuss, ask questions and propose enhancements and suggestions. I would have added or corrected the tutorial directly but I do not feel confident enough to do it yet. I propose possible changes here so they are "approved" by more experienced users and agreed on by several people before incorporating them into the main page.

These notes are here to find/expose pitfalls a newbie might find him/herself in, try to avoid them in this documentation and save everybody time and hassle.. Please contribute with whatever you think it may help.

Ver FC 0.14 Ver FC 0.16 (64 bits) Notes
OS: Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 (jessie)

Word size: 32-bit Version: 0.14.3702 (Git) Branch: releases/FreeCAD-0-14 Hash: b3368125c63289ec8ce9faec2b2ae4c78d436406 Python version: 2.7.8 Qt version: 4.8.6 Coin version: 4.0.0a SoQt version: 1.6.0a OCC version: 6.7.0

OS: Debian GNU/Linux testing (stretch)

Word size of OS: 64-bit Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit Version: 0.16. Build type: None Python version: 2.7.13 Qt version: 4.8.7 Coin version: 4.0.0a OCC version: 6.8.0.oce-0.17

Before You Begin Before You Begin Where is "auto refine" turned on/off? In Preferences > Part design > General > Model settings > "Automatically refine model after sketch-based operation"? Yes! But the tutorial advises new users not to switch it on.

What exactly does this setting do? "Refine shape is a new utility that cleans up faces after a few operations on a shape. It can be set to run automatically after boolean operations in the Preferences." From Release_notes_013/en > Part module.

Constructing The Part, Main part with pad Did it with the default Combo View > Edit controls > Auto constraints On. Cliked on the last point and then on the Polyline Icon to stop the editing. But that does not leave the Edit mode (?) Polyline: how do I stop the Polyline? Clicking on the last point you drew stops the Polyline tool but does not leave it. Closing the dialogue in the Combo View erases what you've done : ( Searching the wiki it takes time to find that Polyline is called "Wire" in FC. But the bit about stopping the Wire operation remains a bit fuzzy. Added: clicking the Mesh/Polyline icon again does stop the editing.
I "made a shape roughly like that in the image", one of the horizontal lines was not completely horizontal. Also, the first and last points did not coincide.

Selected both lines and clicked on "Horizontal constraint", the constraint was applied but the line remained not horizontal : ! ? Did the same with the vertical line but the result was the same. Should or shouldn't constraints correct and align the lines horizontally and vertically? Selected both first and last points and clicked on the Point coincidence constraint. It was applied but the points remained where they were. On another trial, with Auto constraints On the piece was successfully created.

After creating the shape already with automatic constraints I had to Close the Task in the Combo View to actually stop editing the Polyline and continue. Trying to adjust the shape to the dimensions recommended, 5 and 26 mm, by applying constraints I discover I made the rough shape about ten times bigger. I managed to reduce the vertical and horizontal lines but I'm at a loss with the diagonal.
016 trial2.png
Trial with ver 0.16 has me very confused. Things seem to work differently with each trial I embark on.

Will continue tomorrow. --Philip (talk) 19:15, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Following the tutorial on ver 0.16. --We want the whole building and not just the windows. (talk) 12:23, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Add comments here (if you're confused with wiki tables formatting) and sign it, please. I'll include whatever in the table:

(write here)
(answer here)

Features with pocket and external geometry

Ver FC 0.14 Ver FC 0.16 (64 bits) Notes
"Using the mouse or the view icons turn the model around": I cannot move the model with the mouse. I go to Preferences, no luck. This can be found in Getting_started: "(You can quickly change the current navigation mode by right-clicking on an empty area of the 3D view)" > Inventor navigation, which has to be enabled to move the object as the tutorial says. Blender navigation also works using the center/wheel button. The color of the object is not as shown in the capture. To make the object the same as the capture (which a new user will surely try to do) one has to ... ?

It would help if the capture included the xyz colored axis. It helps to place the object and know where one is. Also, to be able to "select the back face by clicking on it" the user has to switch back to CAD navigation at least.

Pocket: can't seem to select the pocket, the whole object appears selected and the Mirror feature icon is greyed out. Selecting the inner faces or all the lines does not make the features clickable, they stay grey.
Pocket mirror.png

I cannot continue unless I try to make another pocket. Did I miss something when I previously Padded the model "both ways"?

Will go and try all this on FC 0.16. --Philip (talk) 21:02, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

(Useful?) Links and info found on this topic

For 0.17

For 0.16

For 0.15

For 0.14

For 0.13

Some tips collected here and there

  • Save often, even before you start work.

Some ideas for things one feels are needed


  • some terms used are common language and everybody understands them. (box, rectangle, cube, etc.)
  • Other terms belong to mechanical or engineering vocab which common speakers might not know. That is specialized terms or jargon. (fillet ?, pocket ?, constraint, padding ?, axonometric, ...)
  • other terms pertain just to the GUI which not knowledgeable users might not know. (toolbar, dockable, dialogue box, ...)
  • some terms clearly belong to drawing and designing fields, such as sketch, draft, primitive, extrude, etc.
  • and still others belong to FreeCAD itself including those that mean something different to what would normally be understood by an average speaker of the language. This is surely not known to a newcomer. ("Workbench", parametric, geometry, etc.)
  • Some other terms maybe considered such as computer language. The new user may or may not know them. For instance, pressing Ctrl+key or mouse click. tab,

Some more examples are needed and some may be wrong precisely because it is a newcomer who tries to explain the confusion that all these new terms create in a new user when trying to use the program. A glossary exists but it seems convenient that all doc created takes into account the requirements needed to understand it and avoid taking for granted that the target audience already knows all the terms introduced.

When taking into account translations to other languages the problems multiply as it is not simply a matter of translating but communicating the message fully and not just looking up in a dict equivalents in the other language.

This may seem terribly peregrin to the veteran user of the program but that is because once we know something we tend to forget all the things we already know and presume that the listener already knows them. The result is numerous questions on the forums and tiredness at having to explain the same things over and over again.