The design group

Info about new community or project announcements, implemented features, classes, modules or APIs. Might get technical!
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Re: The design group

Post by prokoudine »

LarryWoestman wrote: Wed Jan 24, 2024 2:10 am My comment was in the context of using the weekly builds to get feedback from the users about new functionality in an "opt-in" way.
Fair enough!
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Re: The design group

Post by jackal »

user1234 wrote: Wed Jan 24, 2024 7:18 pm As said, i do have no experience in Inventor, but i can not imaging, that this is that cheap. CATIA costs per seat was ~ 10 years ago ~12000€/y with MD2, that is without GSD and FEM license (my employer said in sum not 20000K, but near). Even that crappy Creo direct modeling cost min. 7000€/a. Just for completeness (not for comparing) ANSYS FEM can costs depends on the case and tools a few thousand € .... per hour.
Inventor is the same tier as SolidWorks, Fusion360, SolidEdge, and OnShape. Per the Inventor product page on the Autodesk website ( ... bscription), the price per seat for a 1 year subscription is 2440 USD.

SolidEdge is similarly priced at 4536 USD per year for the highest tier version ( ... clcl=en_US).

A year commercial subscription of Fusion360 is 545 USD for a single seat per year - significantly cheaper ( ... bscription). Some of the more advanced functionality in Fusion360 is now locked behind further paywalls, but depending on the industry or specific individuals role on a team those features aren't needed.

Given prices like that, even a company with a smaller budget for software could opt for Fusion360. There's not enough of a benefit to drive adoption of FreeCAD currently, sadly.
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Re: The design group

Post by MisterMaker »

Everybody sees the prices go up yearly and the useful updates go down.
It's a bottomless pit too put money in.
They take your data hostage, and keep asking money for it, other wise they will kill your data.
I have invested my time in almost every professional CAD software there is, and I feel like I wasted my time on ever single one.
They all suck in a way, and you use them because someone sometime decided that specific companies should work with it. And now you are stuck with it.
And money isn't the issue if you work cooperated, the issue is that innovation is dead in CAD and you keep paying for updates you don't need. You pay people to do stuff simply because they made it so you need to pay someone for it.

Current CAD market sucks so hard.
Freecad will set the market straight.
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Re: The design group

Post by freedman »

Since this is about designing I would like to show or maybe show-off a different approach to creating a model, here is the post:

To the group;
The current concept of PartDesign is a Sketch followed by a Feature, this process can be reversed and the reversal is an advantage. By telling FreeCAD what Feature you want, it can setup things for you in advance. This allows the App to start thinking about what it could do. For instance, if you mouse select a hole in a object then the Map Mode 'Concentric" can be pre-set for you, this way when the sketch is created the sketch center will be hole center. If you pre-select a line it's an axis, if you pre-select a hole it's mapped concentric. If you select a face then only a few things can be done, ect...

Imagine the PartDesign toolbar where you click on something in the 3D and then click the Feature button instead of the Sketch button. These changes would be additional-to and not replace the current process.
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Re: The design group

Post by Palmstroem »

kadet wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 5:28 pm Most users do not change defaults [1, 2, 3, and many others], that is well observed fact. Of course we deal with user group that is probably more keen to mess with preferences but still probably it is minority of FreeCAD users. More advanced users are more likely to change stuff around and personalize the software. That's why having good defaults should be priority.
[2]: ... 16316a64e1
[3]: ... -a-product
Just read a bit in this thread and feel to add some thoughts of mine.

This is the dialog to edit shortcuts as of version 0.21:
FreeCAD_shortcuts_now.png (50.23 KiB) Viewed 757 times
Not very inviting to change shortcuts.
  • You have first to select a category, or find your function by name.
  • Then you have to find it in a list of maybe 200 functions of which you can see 5 1/2.
  • Once you feel like changing a shortcut, you have to deal with the wired dialog on the right side.
  • You do not have any idea, which shortcuts could be 'free' to use, and which 'System' of shortcuts you might destroy, with your customization. If your new shortcut conflicts with an existing one, you get this wired priority list which no one ever knows what it does. Why not provide the user an easy way to change the conflicting shortcut next?
  • You have to deal with 3 different types of shortcuts. (Single keys [A], Dual keys [Ctrl]+[A], Key sequences[V],[T]) which no one ever explains to you. You have to find out by yourself.
What I want to say: This dialog and all the others inside this dialog-conglomerate are not inviting to customize your UI. Quite the opposite, they make you fear to mess something up.

I.E. I think, there is no need for this dialog to be so small and confusing.
Recently I am working on an AddOn to provide a shortcut configuration that is more helpful and inviting to customize your shortcuts.
FreeCAD_ShortCuts.png (248.97 KiB) Viewed 757 times
Work in progress. On the left side, we get almost direct access to various workbenches and categories.
On the right side we can sort our shortcuts by the shortcut or the function and we can search for both and filter the list beyond.
And in the middle, there will maybe be a keyboard layout that highlights the keys and double- or sequence keys. Maybe it will also allow you to change shortcuts by simply drawing and dropping.
When entering 'Ctrl' into the search field, all 'Ctrl' shortcuts will show up in the list on the right side, and all these will be visible on the keyboard layout.

Additionally, I'd like to implement a shortcut trainer that could help users learning shortcuts step by step. The idea would be to show a decent transparent overlay that the users can place wherever they want inside the 3D view that shows the corresponding shortcuts whenever the mouse is moved over a button or menu entry. But this is done not for all shortcuts but just for a small selection of maybe 5 shortcuts.
Once the users start to use these shortcuts, this is recognized and shortcuts get the attribute 'learned'.

By the way. Look at the shortcuts assigned to the numbers and number-pad keys in my draft! Try to replicate them, and you'll see how wired the current default shortcuts are. "That's why having good defaults should be priority."

I think these are things worth discussing in this thread aside from all the comparisons to commercial products and positioning FreeCAD in the market.
In my opinion, the user experience of FreeCAD could be improved significantly by working on some of these dialogs. I'd rather like to improve the shortcuts configuration dialog directly than provide a workaround AddOn that no one ever finds and uses.
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Re: The design group

Post by marcuspollio »

Palmstroem wrote: Sat Feb 03, 2024 12:14 am Recently I am working on an AddOn to provide a shortcut configuration that is more helpful and inviting to customize your shortcuts.
I'd rather like to improve the shortcuts configuration dialog directly than provide a workaround AddOn that no one ever finds and uses.
Hi Palmstroem, just a big thank you for wanting to improve shortcut management !
It's a good idea to try out your implementation with an Addon first, to get feedback from users, test different locale inputs and so on.
Then, when it works smoothly, see how to integrate it wisely into the Preferences window, as the migration of this "Customize" dialog into Preferences is a planned goal.
As far as the interface of your mockup is concerned, I'm not sure about separating the categories and functions on the sides and having the keyboard in the middle. I'd put the categories and functions on one side, and the keyboard on the other.
But this is no place for comments on your project. Have you opened a topic for that?
Cheers !
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Re: The design group

Post by Palmstroem »

Thank you for your suggestions. Good ideas. :D
Now there is a thread for that: viewtopic.php?p=738176#p738176
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Re: The design group

Post by MisterMaker »

Seeing a lot of people making remarks to this group.
Just want to give my 2 cents about that discussion.
It is obviously way more efficient to have a group selected on experience with UI/UX and a combination of developers and designers.
But I also agree with most here that UI is nice, but not that important.
TNP and core is way more important so I rather see more funding go into that issue than UI/UX. From an ex-CATIA v5 survivor I know UI can be sh*t and you can still build a car with it.

So unless someone knows how to get this team and fund it, we are stuck with a bunch of very motivated volunteers. Also some good devs that do get a bit of money! Very great-full about that!

And so far it's not going badly, but with any changes there will be issues, there will be people not satisfied.
But keep in mind, it's called a developers version, I assume it's called 0.22 and not 1.22 for a reason.

For myself I have a couple of things (autodark and classic dark) in style-sheets I like to fix then I want to move towards doing example projects as Blender CEO made me realize we should use Freecad more instead of screwing around with it. Also marketing. And I am a professional CAD user not a professional UI designer or coder.
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