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Old 11-21-2021, 10:17 PM
IndyJets IndyJets is offline
Join Date: Nov 2021
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Has anyone here used Freecad to design a model before? I'm looking at it also and I think it might be more suitable to me personally than Blender, just for the simple fact that I can create shapes and transformations by entering dimensions! I value high-precision work more than fluid freehand design and I think this might be the way to go. It looks like it can export STL files which can then go into Papermaker to create paper model patterns.

I'm just trying to decide if I'm going to need to convert my 1:400 scale dimensions to real-world actual units prior to creating my model or if for instance I can put in a dimension as "100 feet" with the understanding that it's actually 100 scale feet in 1:400, or 3 inches.

I would like to approach this 3D design as though I'm going to have it 3D printed.

Is anyone here able to share any personal experience with using this software as far as what you liked and didn't like about it?

I have the footprint for Indianapolis International Airport Concourse A already drawn out in Inkscape, and I'm ready to start the 3D design. A is a simpler design than B (it's all rectangles, with 3 sections of peak-and-valley roofs with overhanging edges). Classic 60s/70s "jet age" design...
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:09 AM
Sudsy Sudsy is offline
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I've used FreeCAD quite a bit, but mostly for creating 3D parts and exporting the STL files for 3D printing said parts. Beyond individual parts, I've not done much with assemblies or other features that might be useful for paper model design. I find it quite similar enough to both Solidworks and Inventor (3D design suites for mechanical design used in industry) to jump in; yet the differences and weaknesses stand out all the more to me at times (especially when I'm trying to create spherical parts with other features on them).

Good thing about open source software like FreeCAD, it's free as well as being under constant (albeit very slow) development. Dr. Adrian Boyle (recently knighted, so Sir), one of the founders of the REPRAP (REPlicating RAPid) 3D printing standards at the University of Bath in England uses it extensively for his projects, giving it quite a bit of support recently do to those efforts.

Keep an eye out for good YouTube tutorials, I'd be very interested in good English language ones myself. I cannot think of any off the top of my head that might benefit paper model design at the moment, but that is likely an oversight on my part (after all, here it sits on my computer under my nose in plain sight...).
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Old 03-14-2022, 08:24 AM
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JohnPaul JohnPaul is offline
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Location: Indiana (east of the Rockies, west of Greece)
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So, let's say I designed a simple model, say a submarine in freecad, just a basic oval, 2 cones, and a rectangle for a conning tower, could I flatten the rectangle (and the other parts) into foldable formats? Or would I have to take the measurements into another program and replicate them as foldable pieces manually?
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:22 AM
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kolibri282 kolibri282 is offline
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There is a nice video here, showing how to develop (unwrap) a surface.
FreeCAD - Flatten / Unwrap Lofts for CNC or Paper Cutting. Scale boat pattern layout / cut template - YouTube

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