Open Source CAD and Open Science

Somewhat on this topic, and perhaps already mentioned, but one thing that I’ve been thinking about for next time. The Gosh council has funds to set up some programs, I think a really useful program for our community would be a bit of funding to go towards workshops about converting open projects that were made with closed source tools into entirely open projects.

For instance, I know I myself have made plenty of open designs that I whip together quickly with (evil) fusion 360, And it would be cool to have some dedicated time and funding sometime to go back through projects like that and recreate them with open CAD software.

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Count me in! Espcially in simple DIY electronics there are too many projects out there using either “hand-drawn” but open schematics, or are kinda closed, but easy to reverse engineer and make open using kicad.

Been doing a few here:

put the Franzis Bat-detector into kicad and working on translating to english form here:

or leaking other projects that were not open source (but based on some, closed later for product)… baaaaaaad:

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@hikinghack and @dusjagr, this workshop seems like a really good idea. I would be up for it.

I think we can probably increase the value of the workshop if we get some documentation people in to document the pain points and roadblocks that people face when trying to recreate models. Some of these will be related to every program working differently, but it is useful user feedback for projects. Any bugs or missing functionality that keep coming up could be something that the community could fund developers to work on. Funding the CAD development specific would be outside GOSH scope but would be well within scope of the Open Toolchain Foundation [Join us on Matrix!].


OpenSCAD, FreeCAD or Onshape.
OpenSCAD is particularly useful when what you want to do is naturally expressed using constructive solid geometry, and even more so if you want to share your work.
But OpenSCAD models only geometry, not operations. If you are thinking in terms of parts and operations, FreeCAD is what you want to use of the free alternatives.
FreeCAD has much richer features and traditional design, but I found it quirky and crash-prone, and sometimes the UI would get stuck and I have had to type python into the console to complete operations.
I have also tried Onshape in the browser, but found it unusably slow, and the dimensioning tool was fairly crude compared to what I was used to in FreeCAD.