Ondsel a project to promote FreeCAD among professionals 


Ondsel is an open-core company built around the amazing FreeCAD Project.

Few days ago Brad Collette, un active FreeCAD developer, who develops the Path interface to organize the production of models designed by FreeCAD on CNC machines, founded Ondsel which is a projecte will develop solutions that will make FreeCAD more attractive for business users, professional engineers and designers.

If you are unaware of the FreeCAD project, you should know that it offers an open parametric 3D modeling system, characterized by flexible customization and improved functionality through the connection of plugins.

The system allows, by changing the parameters of the model, to play with various design options and to evaluate the work at various points in the development of the model. FreeCAD can be a free replacement for commercial CAD systems like CATIA, Solid Edge, and SolidWorks.

Regarding the new project, it is mentioned that the solutions will be developed within the framework of the Open Core business model, in which the basic components of the system are freely distributed and advanced functions are delivered as part of a commercial product.

“You put all this effort into making your designs parametric and flexible, but they're still useless to other people unless they have FreeCAD and know how to use it,” said Brad Collette, longtime FreeCAD contributor and CTO of Ondsel. “I want to allow designers to post designs on a website where end users can customize aspects of them and then download exactly what they need to 3D print, CNC cut or use in some other application.”

Through a blog post, he disclosed part of the details of the project and it mentions that the company is registered as a public benefit corporation (Public Benefits Corporation), non profit, working for the public good and contributing to the development of the FreeCAD open source project.

All changes related to the main FreeCAD code base, as well as most of the code of its services, Ondsel agrees to supply under open licenses and return to the main project.

“If you wanted to pay for CAM, it was tremendously expensive, and without CAM, the models aren't very useful for CNC,” Brad said. “I started by contributing to a small open source project and making a few friends, and then eventually connected to the FreeCAD project. There was no CAM capability there either. So we started from scratch and moved on."

As well It is planned to hire several developers who will work on the development of FreeCAD to solve complex engineering problems. The company also undertakes not to bind users to its services (vendor lock), to guarantee portability with other products and not to complicate the migration of user data.

From the development plans, highlights the creating a cloud edition of FreeCAD, as well as the development of tools to collaborate on complex projects and build a platform to publish created projects.

are supposed to users will be able to sell projects prepared in FreeCAD to those who do not want to design from scratch, but are ready to tailor a typical ready-made solution to your needs. Thus, small businesses will be able to use a single platform to create their products and bring them to customers.

Historically, the majority of the FreeCAD user base has been creators and hobbyists. Ondsel wants to make FreeCAD more attractive to professional designers, engineers, and business users.

“Our initial set of customers are small businesses with a customizable product for the end user. They want to use their 3D designs on their website so their customers can interact, personalize and explore the product,” said Brad.

While FreeCAD's primary purpose is mechanical engineering and new product design, it can be used in other areas, such as architectural design.

Finally, if you are interested in being able to know more about it, you can consult the details in the following link.

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  1.   Pablo Sanchez said

    I am happy for the FreeCAD team, and it is a gift from them to the users of Free Software and Linux based systems, in which, we already know, SolidWorks and Catia are not supported. Adding an Open Source competitor, as Blender did at the time, will be a breather for those looking to model and work from their GNU/Linux.