Is FreeCAD any good?

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“Guys so i needed to build a structure for my satellite tracker project instead of of doing it out of popsicle sticks and hot glue. I decided to 3d model and see if i can t get this 3d printed so this is my completed model as you can see it says satellite tracker and i m using free cad in so far they seem to be decent. There s still glitches in it yeah just little things not major issues. But if you just save your work then yep periodically.

Then you know you shouldn t have to redo a whole lot anyway. So this is my satellite tracker this blue thing in here is an arduino and that s going to get serial communications as miss azimuth and elevation. Which is going to drive well there s a stepper motor. Here.

It s going to drive this so that s going to be the azmuth and this is gonna be an elevation arm. So this arm right here supposed to point to the satellite in space. I ve got another pulley with another stepper motor down here. I ve got in this little pockets.

There s going to be a little optical switch. So that s how i ll home it i don t know where zero degrees. Is or whatever same thing for right in here. There would be another rule.

See if i can t figure out how to navigate this another little switch. And this little knob will interrupt. It and so that s how i ll know when i m facing north put a little spot in here for a compass. I picked up at walmart.


I m just gonna glue it in see so after you know years of just randomly taking things apart. I ve gathered enough material on hand so down here is a bearing. It s going to sit in here and that s just so it you know stays upright. Right here is going to be a much larger bearing and that s going to do.

Most of the work of you know bearing this on the other side look. If i can t make try not to make you dizzy. These slots right here. That s designed to hold the h bridge drivers that i mailed out from a previous video.

Those are just going to slide in or clip. In and that way i can have it all you know hooked up and biggest thing is wires are gonna be everywhere. But if i can make that neat then i think the whole thing will turn out pretty good so i step this up in a couple different parts sections. See so i have the base just highlighted right now and that s going to be printed separately printing pulleys.

Okay this whole part that s being printed as one unit let s see i just slide it out a little bit you can see yeah so that just slides in to this slot right here and i think i m just gonna rely on a friction fit that s about it i ll probably glue some components superglue them or something if i need to but i think and then the rest. I m going to screw in so like these posts. These the top half and bottom half four separate so so this is the top half and i m gonna put as you can see this this is a hollow tube. Actually and so i can put a threaded screw in there i didn t size it for anything in particular screw.

Wise. Except for the the stepper mounts. So it s a nema 17 standard. So i sized that but i m just hoping i can find a screw that will fit yeah so the software is pretty easy.


I would say if you ve you know modeled before i did a little bit in solidworks. I modeled a little an hf ss and so using this software isn t that hard you know there s a lot of resources out there since this is open source. So you can visit google it so this is all i do i go to part and then i use boxes and cylinders for everything like if you look in here. Everything is a box or cylinder.

And then i just used another box or cylinder to cut shapes out of it except for these pulleys. I actually use the toroid and i used a sphere at the top here and i used the cone for this arrow. I just took two foxes and cut out subtracted cross sections from it so you got boolean operations here subtract union haven t tried make an intersection basically. I use subtracting union a lot and i ll say it s annoying that you can t subtract from multiple parts you can her.

I m cool. I mean more than two parts see it says make it out of two shapes. So you can t just highlight like three things that intersect and just choose whatever. But you can union several together.

So i use the fill it on some of my edges. Like on the edge of the board here if you make the fill it too big for it. Sometimes the part will just like disappear and program won t you won t know what to do so. That s why i was saying before you do like phillips or you know if you get too many parts going make sure you just hit the save button and protect your work from that let s see so at first i use these views because i didn t know there s another way to do it you go down to here you can choose what type of you know the thing you want so this is gesture.

This is one i prefer to use start to you off with like i don t know cat or something. Which you know i i m not all that comfortable using because i prefer to pretend it s in the air move it around kind of like gesture because you start it in motion. It s re open inventor because if you start in motion. It ll just sort of sit.


There rotate. So there s these words right here to do that you go down to draft click on the s. You can give coordinates where you want to show up or you can literally see click on it hit enter point. Actually know okay i messed that up but either way so we can do is click on a surface.

And so i clicked on this and and then that s what it ll stick the two dimensional words to then you type in your words. And how high you want them to go mine are one millimeter off the surface tracking out no that is leave it at zero. Now this full path to font file apparently there s different fonts you could have that download or whatever i didn t know what that was i found in a forum that you can link to microsoft word fonts. So that s what i did i just linked it to microsoft word and and yeah.

So hopefully. I didn t put any actual words down somewhere. And then so it gives you a 2d rendering of your word. And then you just go back over into parts.

And then extrude so typically along normal. Unless you want to go a different direction. Then you can choose the axis. Then make sure you do create solid.

Yeah. So all of that to get these three dimensional words. And you know some of your time. Has spent building the shapes and then other parts of your time.


Is built is spent taking material away from shapes just because you know you re you re printing. This thing out so you don t want to use up a whole lot of material. Hence. The the holes in this thing.

I just put random holes. You know just kind of make it look cool. But it s mostly actually just so i used less material same for the pulleys instead of having this all filled in i used another toroid and pulled out material from that so yeah. This is my satellite tracker that i did in free cad now when you export this you want to highlight whatever parts say this pulley over here in the menu then file then export or ctrl e.

I don t know if you can see this on my computer. I m using something. But then you want to save it as an stl file and then i would recommend opening it up in another program with a slicer or something and then making sure that s set the right orientation and then re save that stl then you can just go ahead. And i mean you can print.

It if you have a printer actually don t have a 3d printer. So i m trying what s called 3d hubs and so i m having some stranger print it for me so that would be kind of cool when this comes in the mail. There s a local shop 3d printer shop here and they do prints for people. But they wanted two or three times as much as i thought it was worth.

So yeah there you have it thanks. ” ..

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