Welcome to our FreeCAD tutorial for 3D printing. FreeCAD is a 3D parametric modeler, designed to create and customize real-life objects. Its beauty lies on the easiness to modify your designs, together with the open-source principle, and of course, being for free.
In this 5-lesson FreeCAD tutorial, you will learn the basic commands and tools to visualize your ideas on screen for 3D printing. We will construct a seemingly simple object – step by step. After each instruction, you will find pictures highlighting the steps. By the end of this tutorial, you will be ready to print your first self-constructed CAD model.
In the first lesson of this FreeCAD tutorial, you are going to learn the basics to handle the program.
To do so, you need to download and install FreeCAD first. You can download it from FreeCAD.com. The platforms available are Windows (32-Bit, 64-Bit), Mac (64-Bit), and Linux (64-Bit AppImage).
Before you start with a project you will have to decide what units you are going to use. In this FreeCAD tutorial, we are going to work by using the metric system.
Click on “Create new”. Now you can set your preferred navigation style. For this tutorial, we will use Blender. Rightclick > Navigation styles > Blender.
Now start a new document by pressing CTRL+N. You will see a new, unnamed tab opening in the bottom left side of the window.
This window is very useful to issue commands quickly. It also contains the Tree and Property view which allows you to have a closer look at the structure of your project.
FreeCAD automatically sets constraints to your sketch as you see in the Constrains window on the left. Click on Close to exit the Sketch. You can now extrude the sketch to a three-dimensional object.
To begin with Lesson 2 of this FreeCAD tutorial, open the last lessons project and switch your Workbox to Part Design. At first, we want to hollow out our box with the cut feature.
In lesson 3 of this FreeCAD tutorial, you are going to learn how to multiply a piece and make corners round. To begin open the box you created in lesson 2.
First create a rectangle on the existing rim. Cut it by 2.5mm and then select the outward rim of your box to create a fillet.
In lesson 5 of this FreeCAD tutorial, you will create the cover of your box. The cover will be curved and hollowed out with the Revolution feature. No, you are not going to overthrow any government but you will create a solid curved shape around a sketch. To begin open a new document and save it as “Box cover”. Then switch your Workbox to Part Design.
Inner revolution. This object will be used to create a pocket in your lid, giving the box a larger space and using less filament when 3D printing.
If you don’t own or have access to a 3D printer, you always can use a 3D printing service like the ones that you find here: Craftcloud - 3D Printing & Price Comparison Service by All3DP.
Be aware that minor modifications might be needed to tackle problems that may arise during the 3D printing process.
If you have any questions or problems regarding this FreeCAD tutorial, please do not hesitate to leave a comment. Also, if you want to add suggestions for this course, please use our feedback forum – thanks!
License: The text of "2019 FreeCAD Tutorial for 3D Printing – 5 Easy Lessons" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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