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Valentina as part of FreeCAD

on Sun May 06, 2018 7:07 pm
I've been using FreeCAD for a while and I was recently thinking that it would be very nice to have Valentina tools being part of FreeCAD. It may also create some synergy in the development of both tools. I would be interested to hear what you think about it.

I also asked the question in FreeCAD forum and got a few answers (I can't post external links here yet but you can easily find it by searching Valentina in FreeCAD forum).
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Re: Valentina as part of FreeCAD

on Sun May 06, 2018 8:11 pm
Hi,

I would be interested to hear what you think about it.

This is old idea. People came to us with it since we started the project. As i said many times, we build something more than just adoption of architectural/engineering CAD tools for pattern making. There is already open source project based on FreeCAD - SodaCAD. We even from time to time arguing with its author about right way to make pattern making application.

Don't get me wrong, i totally understand strong sides of CAD like approach. But i believe pattern making has some unique technics you cannot get with regular CAD like approach. They should work together, not fight. And i see very good examples of such work.

There are also technical issues regarding of your idea. As i understand FreeCAD uses AutoCADs file format. It was not designed for our parametric patterns. And there is no open pattern format. What industry made is adaption of DXF to their needs: DXF-AAMA and DXF-ASTM. There are no support for parametric patterns.  This is the reason why we invent our own format that capable support our needs.
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Re: Valentina as part of FreeCAD

on Mon May 07, 2018 5:05 am
Thanks for your kind reply.

You're probably mixing up FreeCAD and LibreCAD.

SodaCAD is be based on LibreCAD, not FreeCAD, but it seems to be abandoned, as there's no commit since 2014 (according to the git repository). Also, LibreCAD uses DXF format, but FreeCAD uses its own format (.FCStd), which is basically a zip file containing xml files and coordinates .brp files, I'm pretty sure it could integrate Valentina's particularities.

You may also have a look at the Sketcher workbench of FreeCAD, it's a very powerful tool allowing to draw patterns with constraints. This is actually what made me dream that Valentina could maybe integrate FreeCAD, to take advantage of such powerful tool. You can see how it works for instance in this video: "FreeCAD Lesson 01 - Turners Cube" (the author sadly passed away a few months ago).
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Re: Valentina as part of FreeCAD

on Mon May 07, 2018 11:43 am
You're probably mixing up FreeCAD and LibreCAD.

Yes, you are right, sorry.

SodaCAD is be based on LibreCAD, not FreeCAD, but it seems to be abandoned, as there's no commit since 2014 (according to the git repository).

Yes, i know. I mentioned it only because of this:

I’m the developer at sodaCad and I nearly predicted this very situation when Valentina was first getting traction. There is a lack of focus in the project. Who are they developing for? When asked they say everybody. That doesn’t work in the real world as professional pattern makers work very differently from the way Valentina does. My own project targets those people working in the industry as professional pattern makers. The user base is small, but in great need. sodaCad is stalled because I lack the time and advanced programming skills to take it to the next level. I haven’t give up though.

You may also have a look at the Sketcher workbench of FreeCAD, it's a very powerful tool allowing to draw patterns with constraints. This is actually what made me dream that Valentina could maybe integrate FreeCAD, to take advantage of such powerful tool. You can see how it works for instance in this video: "FreeCAD Lesson 01 - Turners Cube" (the author sadly passed away a few months ago).

I have watched the video. Very, very good. The Sketcher workbench and constraints are almost exactly what we have been using. Valentina also has some sort of geometrical constraints, but relies a lot on formulas. Such an approach in some cases make creating constraints harder, since you need to select correct angle or length from the list, where in FreeCAD you can just select an object.  Also i predict that FreeCAD will recalculate a sketch a lot faster than we are just because we parse a lot formulas.

Yes, i believe parametric drawings are future, but FreeCAD implementation missing one very important thing for us - gradation or did i miss this part. There is no big problem to draw a pattern. There is problem when you tires to adapt a pattern to other person measurements, especially in automatic way. Our bodies are not proportional, pure graphical way will not work. That's why we use a lot formulas. Where it is not only a+b*0.5, but a lot conditional operators. Also i replicated the way and vocabulary of pattern makers. The way and workflow they have been using to describe a pattern. This is the uniqueness i have been talking about.

What we are trying here to achieve is not for all, just because most won't i don't want spend time to program parametric patterns. They just make one "step", step to more parametric patterns like in case of FreeCAD. This allows you to play with a pattern, have more freedom to make more mistakes and quickly fix them. So, i understand your point of view. For some my point of view seems like utopia. Find article about Valentina and SodaCAD and you will understand what i mean.
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