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Not so sexy but powerful

I started the CAD journey with freecad. I was looking for an opensource alternative for fusion since they change there license policy. Unfortunately I nerver had time to test freecad.

For my final project, I will probably need a stepper motor. A this time I don’t know if I need a nema 17 motor or a nema 23. However I started designing a nema 17 stepper motor in freecad.

After openning freecad, I was suprised by all the sample project available. freecad seems to have plenty of simulation environment which i didn’t expected.

I started a new empty project I will need a nema 17 stepper motor (or maybe a nema 23 stepper). Instead of finding a model on grabcad, I’ll try to design it using freecad.

Freecad is very helpful to determine what’s next task. Threre is an important menu on the left of the gui, this menu is where you find : - the navigation tree - the operation parameters - the task prediction - Sketch element & constraint

As all prismatic cad tool, I started by creating a new sketch. First you have to select a sketch plane. In my case the XY Plane.

The freecad sketch is a bit frustating… First of all, the insterface isn’t pretty or blue light friendly… But the more frustrating probleme are the constraint ! I need years to figure out how automatic constraint work.

Here is an example, I started to create a polyline.

But when you try to move one of these lines, you discover that they aren’t attach att all…

If you press Ctrl key while drawing a polyline, freecad automatically generate the coincindence constraint on the polyline. Which isn’t so obvious… Then I manage to create a fully constrained polygone.

After a while I manage to master the sysmetry tool, I created this sketch :

When the sketch was fully constraint I extruded the solid.

Tips : Freecad do a descent job indicating how many degrees of freedom your sketch have. It may get stuck with complicated sketch (including symetry) but it is still pretty useful.

I mannaged to create the stepper. A few more sketches to drill atachment point and we’re ready to export the model.

Note : I tried to change the apparence of the different part of the model but you need to make multiple body to do that. I have only extrude the body using three extrusion…

Last update: September 23, 2021