Cant follow your tutorial on FreeCad

I am studying your first tutorial on FreeCad My OS is Mac OS and I downloaded Freecad 0.1922246 but your version is 0.1921775 and your screen is very different from mine [ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“medium”,“data-attachmentid”:2580}[/ATTACH][ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“title”:“Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 2.54.47 PM.png”,“data-attachmentid”:2579}[/ATTACH]

That’s the issue with technology in general, and open source in particular. With open source you have to rely on the kindness of strangers to produce manuals/videos on how to use it. Commercial software companies have to produce learning materials if they ever hope to sell any copies.

One thing you might try: get a hold of the same version of FreeCAD as Irv is using, learn it, then do what everyone who’s been using FreeCAD for years did: learn the differences in each new version. Yes, it’s more work, but it will give you a lot more exposure to the software, so you’ll understand it better.

When you first start the application you get the start page. You need to use the cycle showing “start page” and turn it to “part design”. That is your starting point.

You also can drag the tool bar around in sections to place them to your liking. This by default can look different as FreeCAD is folding some toolbars to make the default layout fit the screen with just to lines of tools.

Icons and layout change a lot these days as the 0.19 is getting closer to a final release.

However, when you have problems just ask for what you don´t find what issues you have.

I did begin with “parts design” because thats what Dr Vax did in the tutorial

but I made a little progress by dragging the tool bars around as you suggest

however I still dont see the same tool selection that Dr Vax has

and he is referencing tools that I dont have

I’ll bet that the tools are there, they’re just in a different menu now, or have a different name. It can get confusing; one reason I went with Fusion 360, even though they’ve changed menus too, it’s not so often, or so drastic.

I’m sure you are right

the problem is me not FreeCad or Dr Vax

but unless I can get on exactly the same page he’s on I cannot follow his tutorial

You´ll find all tools also under the “part design” or “Sketcher” menu, depending on where you are. By default all options are pretty much visible by default as buttons. I guess in your case some menu collapsed and only shows a view icons and a little one behind. It you hover over it a pop up with the rest will appear. FreeCAD does that when the screen is to small to hold an entire group. It shortens it and creates a popup for them.

FreeCAD is not changing that much. The look of the icons changes from time to time, which can be confusion, but basically the general look stays the same. I have a dis-function and a problem of “reading” icons. I remember them by location mostly. Buttons with similarities are hard for me. And all those buttons with a red dot aren´t making it easier for me. :smiley:

I wait for the day Fusion360 drops the private use and everyone has the choice to pay a few hundred bucks a year or to loose their models. Other companies did the same. Luring the potential customers into and then set a fee to pay or go, when you are deep enough inside the eco system. It would not even be the first CAD software doing so.

I had some free time today and your post gave me the excuse to start learning FreeCAD–something I’ve been putting off. I was able to complete the first of Irv’s tutorials using version 0.18-16146, which crashed on me once. I was able to find all the commands that Irv uses. It helped me to re-arrange the toolbars at the top so that all their icons were showing (which Irv must have done prior to making his video). Grab the dotted lines of the bar and move it down so that a new layer for toolbars appears and drop the grabbed one there. This way you can get them to expand fully. In one case, “coincident constraint”, I had to use the help menu to search for the location of the command in the menus (in 0.18 the icon is a red dot; not the same as in the tutorial).

If there is a specific command that you cannot find, let me know and I’ll try to find it.


[QUOTE=Alan;n2644In one case, “coincident constraint”, I had to use the help menu to search for the location of the command in the menus (in 0.18 the icon is a red dot; not the same as in the tutorial).[/QUOTE]

Yeah, there is the coincident constraint and the normal dot, which look very similar. They fixed that in more recent versions giving the constrains some diagonal beam effect.

More recent versions crash far less than early 0.18 versions. They have done alot in that department since changing the version to 0.18. The main issue when using linux is that the exception handler is missing. On windows (no clue about OSX) it just pops an error in the console when an exception occurs. On linux the application gets terminated instantly and unsaved work is lost.

So frequent saving is a must. You may also tweak the auto backup settings. Recently for me those only happened when using campfer or fillets, but I am using a 0.19 beta with a lot of additional changes and fixes planed for 0.20.

@Mac-7 Did you re-arrange the toolbars to show all the icons?


I hear you on the FC learning curve. If you are going to look at F360, I recommend Paul McWhorter’s YT video series, “Learn Fusion 360 or Die Trying”.

Paul was frustrated trying to learn F360 himself, so he made a video series for people like himself, and me… and, it sounds like you perhaps.

@Mac-7 It would be helpful to know exactly what command or step has stumped you (e.g., the timestamp of Irv’s video).

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: 876069D9-EF0C-4725-BBF5-990E189BBF11.png Views: 0 Size: 612.3 KB ID: 2661”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“2661”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH][ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: 512DED3E-B1AA-42F6-867C-4AE201597F6A.jpeg Views: 0 Size: 2.28 MB ID: 2662”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“2662”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH]
Dr Vax is on the left and my screen is on the right

Yes, I know Paul McWhorter from His arduino tutorials. They were very good

The F360 videos are equally as good. And, yes, I’ve been doing the Arduino tutorials for the past month or so. My kit is sitting on my DR table :slight_smile: 3D printing has brought something of a halt to the tutorials for the moment.

yeah, the tool bars are just collapsed. They are all there.

Grab the handle left to the red dot and drag it to the left or down to create a new line. The “>>” indicates that icons are invisible, which get visible by klicking on it. It should also expand automatically once it gets more space. Revealing squares, circles and so on.

Do the same with the other red dot having the diagonal red lines. That is the Constrains bar. It completely collapsed to one icon. There is also a small “>>” on the right of it showing the other missing icons as a popup. Just drag it next to the first one and you are good to go. You can also drag the others out of the way.

The most important are the two with the dot like icons in front. Those are for drawing and placing constrains. Move the other to the right or create a third row to make space. The first row has space free on the right. Just dump stuff there, if you need to. You cannot loose anything. Just shift the stuff around until you have what you need. It is possible to remove the section you don´t need by using the menu, but then you will search for them later on.

I guess the Mac DrVax is using has a 2K resolution. You may be able to reduce the icon sizes in FreeCAD settings to compensate, but I am not sure about that.

You can use FreeCAD without all this adjusting. Its just to make the feature you need more accessible. You could just click onto the “>>” and then hover to the icon you want to get the hidden functions, but that only works if you know what is hidden where.

The ones with the wired cube and one side blue for example are obsolete. It just rotates the view. It is easier to use the numpad keys for that. Even when using a laptop with this is more handy than using the panel buttons. There is also always the top right gadget inside the draw area, which has exactly the same functionality.

@Mac-7 The screen shots really help.

To supplement the directions from Mr. @Geit, mouse over the circled areas and when the mouse cursor changes to a cross, click and drag the bar down and to the left. An area for you to drop it into should open up.


I was able to re-arrange those toolbars so they all expand and icons are visible:


Hope this helps!



Yes I know. They offer a 1-year free trial and currently $42 a month after that.

Interesting. That’s not what I heard. I read that the 1 year offer gets, for non-commercial use of course, indefinitely. Autocad says they count on the non-commercial user community to help them improve the product, so they have no intention of getting rid of the license model. I would be very interested to read about what you say.