FreeCAD is an open source, full-featured and general purpose 3D modeler specifically designed to be used for CAD, MCAD, CAE, PLM and CAx work. It is a multi-platform software that supports mainstream operating systems.
Features at a glance
The application features a rock-solid OpenCasCade-based geometry kernel, full parametric model, an Open Inventor-compliant 3D scene representation model, a Python API, as well as some key concepts like workbenches, macro recording, and the ability to run as a server.
Another interesting feature of this CAD software is its modular architecture, which will extend its default functionality through plugins or modules. It can export or import files to/from the VRML, SVG, STEP, OBJ, IGES, STL STL, DXF, DAE, NASTRAN, IFC or OFF.
FreeCAD is specifically designed for mechanical engineering, product design and related features. It starts as a GUI (Graphical User Interface) application with a 3D viewer, as well as a command-line tool with a low memory footprint.
Under the hood, supported platforms and availability
Being written in Qt and Python, FreeCAD is a platform-independent application that supports GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X operating systems.
On Linux, the application is available for download as binary installers for any Ubuntu or Fedora-based operating systems, as well as a universal source archive for any other Linux/UNIX OS.
Summing up, FreeCAD is a great CAD (Computer-aided design) application that does the job very well. It can be used as a parametric 3D modeler that allows you to modify your design without too much hassle.
We strongly recommend this application for programmers, especially those who write code in Python, experienced CAD users who are looking for a free alternative to commercial parametric modeling software, as well as home users or hobbyists who want to experiment with 3D modeling and have no previous CAD experience.