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This video is not based on the normal tutorial series. It is based on the forum discussion on a free cat website, very user posted a link to a YouTube video showing a how to model an electronic in closure for an Arduino Uno board using auto death fusion 360 software and the user was wondering what workflow could Be best used in free kit to get with the same model. The version of free kit I’m using here is with 0.16 stable release on Windows 7 64 bit system. My navigation style within free kit is set to blender mode, and I found out that I could speed up my personal workflow by creating this custom toolbar here and this custom toolbar consists of several macros and several already present commands within freecad. So the first thing I did was to start recording a macro and then switching to, for example, the part design, workbench or a sketch or workbench. And when I stopped recording the macro and then I used fervor command tools. Customized going to this section about macros, and then I assigned icons and tooltips and keyboard shortcuts to those macros which allow me to switch to the appropriate workbench. In this case, for example, the Sketchup workbench, with one click instead of going to the pulldown menu and choosing the sketcher workbench and so on. As I said, I also assigned keyboard shortcuts because I’m, someone who is used to use keyboard shortcuts. I also used the tools.

Customized command to have a toolbar, which is, when you scroll up with first entry, which is global, meaning that it will show up in every workbench. And here I added all those recorded macros in my case for macros, allowing me to switch to a sketch a backbench. The part workbench a part, design workbench and the draft workbench from the freecad website. I also installed the macro force recompute, because I found out I needed read quite often in my daily life with modeling free CAD, and I also added the entries found in the part workbench for measuring linear dimensions, for measuring angular dimensions and to clear those measurements. I also edit the macro from a frequent website how to measure circlets, but I have to admit when I’m working with freecad, I often use our method to measure circlets. When I have a 3d model – and I want to know what diameter a special circle has rest up for, macros is more of to to dry some things, and it is not relevant for this video. So for getting a reference 3gc ad model, I went in the Internet to the site of grab CAD lettuce, URL grab get calm and within the community. I did a search in the library for an Arduino model and I ended up with this model. It is called Arduino Uno reference design by Georgia, Alberto Silva and you have a possibility to download an STL or, in my case, a step file.

Since we are talking about C, I D theta. I prefer a step file over an STL file in order for downloading files, you need to register for free with grab CAD, so I downloaded this file and if you open it in freecad, it has a size of 8.3 megabyte. It will take some time to load and in the end, you will be presented with this result. So the next thing I did was to toggle the XS cross to get an idea very origin and we are in for parties and about the orientation of part. So this is not to my liking, so I selected all of these parts and then I’m applying a placement and I’m choosing the incremental placement, and I want to rotate around the z axis by 90 degrees. I click on apply, wait a few seconds in order to apply a change here, so when this is reset to zero, the change is applied. As you can see here, and then I choose rotate around the y axis and I will have a rotation of 90 degrees and I’m choosing apply and here for change is applied. So the next step would be that I don’t like the origin to be here. I, like the origin to be in the middle of the board, so I’m selecting this faith’s here. I also select this face here. As you can see, both phases are selected and I’m doing a measurement and the measurement ends up with 53 comma, three, four millimeters as the width of the board so I’m choosing again all parts I apply ill apply an incremental change and in this case I want To move all the parts in positive x direction, so I’m, choosing 53 comma; three, four divide it by two: you click on apply, choose okay, and here we go so I’m, deleting now this measurement and I’m repeating everything with the Y direction.

So I will mark these two faces. Click on measure 68 come out 58, so I will choose all the parts apply, an incremental change and envy of 68 comma 5, 8 divided by 2, and the change should not be in positive y direction. So here we go. We will have a negative value, we click on apply, we click on. Ok, we delete the measurement and we toggle the axis cross back change to XO metric view fit all, and now we can save this file here and use as reference now, we need to have the coordinates of the four holes here on the board for later being Able to model our pins, which should hold the ball in place. In order to do that, my favorite method is to use the draft workbench, so we’ll switch to a graph workbench. I will enable the perpendicular snap and the center snap and I will draw a line from the center of this half circle. Perpendicular to this edge. I will select the line here. I also could have selected the line in the tree view and then in the data tab very shown the length of this line so to say well, y coordinate of this hole is 13, comma, nine, seven millimeters the same. We will do when trying to get the x coordinate so I’m selecting the just drawn line here. As you can see, I made a number line here and the length is now 2 comma, 5.

4 millimeter. So this will get us B coordinates of all four holes in respect to this point here being the origin for the measurement. This will get us mainly the same coordinates as used in the reference video. So this is a result with all graphed lines drawn in order to determine all lengths of the lines by just selecting then and reading out a length in the data tab. Now, since we want to also know the position and size of these connectors and Vees connectors, we will use here a different method for measuring, so we will switch to a part workbench. We will insert a cube and, as you may already know, the cube is inserted at the origin. So this point here this lower point of yet is located at the origin, so I can select faces here and get my measurements done. This is how to determine the dimensions of the Arduino port, which we will need to get our free D model. So let’s get started with modeling the arduino case. We will switch to a part design workbench. We will create a new document and we will insert a sketch on the XY plane. So the first thing we’ll do is to draw our rectangle. We do a right click to end the command of a rectangle. We will select these two points and the vertical axis and apply symmetry. We will select these two points and we horizontal access and apply symmetry as well.

We select this line here and apply our isandro dimension of 53 comma, three four millimeters, and we select this line here and apply a vertical dimension of 68 comma five, eight millimeters. Now we have to draw all four circles so I’m choosing circle. I will begin in the lower right corner and I will draw counterclockwise. I do a right click to enter Vega circle command and when I will select all four circles – and if I select now the radius constraint with question pops up cop pops up asking me to you – want to share the same radius for all selected elements. See. As I want so equality is applied as constraint to all four circles and the same radius. Radius is 1, comma, 4 millimeters. Okay. So now we need to coordinate of all those four circles. So I select these two points and select an horizonte constraint of 2 comma 5, 4 millimeters. Now I will also add a vertical dimensional constraint of 13 comma. 9. 7 millimeters. I will repeat this one here being 7 comma 6, 2 millimeters, and I will show this dimension to be 66, comma. 0. 4 millimeters. So the next thing is to apply here – and I mention of 35 comma 5, 6 millimeters. A vertical dimension to be applied here is 66 comma, 0, 4 millimeters it’s the same dimension as with circling here. Flips let’s get first dimension, so a little bit of way to make everything look a little bit neater, okay, and so we want to add here a dimension of 50, comma, 8 millimeters and a vertical coordinate of 15 comma to 4 millimeters.

So since we want to use this sketch as reference sketch, we have to name all those constraints so I’m doing a double click on this constraint here and this name, I use a capital X here I will use a capital y here. I will use a capital X and 1, and here I will use a capital y and the one here with this X 2. This is y 2, so this one is X 3, which one here is y 3. This one is X 4 and this one is y 4. Here we go, we can close the sketch and we are ready to model the case. So we want the XY plane to be the floor and to be let’s, save the ground plane on the inside of our lower cover part. So we insert another sketch on the XY plane. We draw a rectangle tool right click to enter your tank command. We choose this Villa command to apply, fill it on every one of four corners. We do a right click with select when these four arcs and apply equality and the radius of three millimeter to all of those arcs. We then select these two points and a vertical axis to symmetry. Then we select these two points and we horizontal access and choose symmetry again. So now we choose these two points and apply an horizontal dimension constraint. So now we want to have a reference to our base sketch, so we do a click on this light.

Blue mathematical symbol here and we will get this input field here. So what is our reference? We want to use the reference is in sketch, so we will end it here, shift s for getting a capital S, and now everything is displayed which can be used beginning with a capital S. So we click on sketch and we want to use one of the named constraints. So now we insert shift C so a capital C. And yes, we can conduce constraints X to be our destination, so we’ll solve at the moment would be fifty three comma. Three four millimeter, but we want to have an offset of one millimeter and the wall thickness of one comma, six millimeter we want to model from the outside in so we outside dimension of our wall will be a this x dimension here, plus two x offset so Plus two millimeters and plus two times small thickness so plus three comma two result is 58 comma, five, four millimeter. This is also an indication that we will get a valid result. Click on OK and now this mathematical symbol here turns dark blue and when I mention itself turns light gray, so it is not edible editable anymore directly, and if we hover over that field, we will be shown what relationship we just defined. We click on OK and we will repeat the action with this constraint here. We do click on this light, blue mathematical symbol. Here we want to refer to sketch.

We want to refer to shift C. Your cable let’s see, in this case two constraints Y and we will also add two x offset and two times, mall thickness, so plus 2 and plus free comma 2. We click on OK, ok, and here we are, we have made our offset. We are symmetric, our sketch is fully constrained, we close our sketch, we do our padding, and in this case we choose two dimensions and we in a compartment should have a total 8 of 22 millimeters. So at a positive 8 of 11 millimeters varies with bleeding of our case, so the first length should be 11 millimeters and the second length should be 1 comma, 6 millimeter, which is the thickness of a our cover here so to say off the base of our Cover we click on ok and now we want to apply wall thickness. So we select this top face here. We switch to part workbench and we will apply thickness by using this utility here and we want to apply a negative value to have a wall going in direction of inside so minus 1, comma 6 millimeters, the mode we will leave to skin join type Ark. No intersection and self intersection now face is selected. Everything left to default. We click on OK, and here we are so. The next step would be the padding of these pins so for doing the sketch for these pins, we will select our fern sketch.

We will do choose edit duplicate selection, we will click an empty space to deselect everything, and we will select this face here. We will change back to part design and we will choose map a sketch to a face and we will choose sketch 002 to be mapped to this face. So now we will choose now. We will select these four lines and we will toggle them to construction mode. So that they would not be used for the upcoming pet operation, so the next thing is: we want to link to our foreign sketch again, because if we choose some dimensions, for example of the case or the position of the pins, we want to have our model In this way that we only have to edit the basic reference sketch and everything else will adapt, so we do a double click here and we choose here: capital s from sketch shift, see constraints X. Here we go now here we will apply shift s shift C constraints by okay. Now, here we will choose, sketch shift, see constraints X, 1. Okay, now here we will apply, shift, see also sketch constraints y 1. Okay. Now this is from sketch from constraints X, 2. Okay, so here we will refer to sketch constraints. Why? Okay? Here we will refer to sketch constraints x3. Here we will refer to sketch constraints, y3, okay and one more sketch constraints X, 4, and here we will refer to sketch constraints y 4.

Here we go so now we are ready to do our padding, so we will select our sketch apply our pad with 18 of 15 millimeters. You choose ok, so the next thing is that we want to do another pad operation to have a report at a distance. From the ground floor because of soldiering and remnants which are left on the backside of the board, after all necessary electronic hardware, wiring and so on, is done, and so we select miss face here we apply our sketch. We will choose to take external geometry, so we will start here and we will just take over all those 4 circles. We will right click to end our command and when we will choose a circle command, we will over here to show in the lower right corner at our cursor, the small red point, because we have enabled auto constraining in the references. So we will have the same Center s with circle here, okay, so we draw an oval circle here we draw an oval circle here and here it will right click, we select all circlets and we apply equality and enter radius. So I choose yes, and the radius is two millimeters. Okay, we close our sketch. We draw padding of four millimeters, and this is what we have done now, so the next operation will be to have the cutouts made here for these two front, connectors on the Arduino board since ever cut out our haffley related to the lower part and, roughly related To the upper part, we need to have the upper part be updated when we change what I mention of position of the cutouts in the lower part.

So this time we will use a different workflow. We will first apply a sketch to the xz plane using an offset of minus 37 millimeters, so we will create our two rectangles former cutouts. We will close the sketch to be sure that we achieved a small offset from this face here to get an independence solid, because the next operation will be to use a pet operation and then to apply a boolean cut. And when we are doing the upper part of the casing, we will clone this pet. So if we do alter the sketch of these cutouts here, the clone will adapt and also the cut in the upper part of the case. So I now do a right click on this pet. Here I toggle the visibility in order to have more comfort ability for editing my sketch here. So I will do right click here. I will choose my filling tool again. I will apply a fill out here and here on all those four columns. I do a right click. I select all these four arcs again and I will apply a radius of one millimeter to all of them, so the next thing is to make the positioning. So I will apply a horizontal constraint of I did measure in the three step model: five, comma, three, nine millimeters. So I want to have an offset here of zero, comma five millimeters. So my dimension should be four comma: eight, nine millimeters, okay, so I am applying here a dimension of what I did.

Measure was 17 comma, 3, 9 millimeters. So we’ve offset. We have 17 comma 8, 9 millimeters. So now we want to define what’s that component. So, as you can remember, we have our ground floor at 0 we did the padding of 4 millimeter and then we have the Arduino board with a thickness of 2 millimeters. We have want to have an offset of 0 comma 5 millimeters, so this is 4 plus 2 minus 0, comma, 5 millimeters. So we end up with 5 comma 5 millimeters of vertical distance. For this point here now we are able to apply a vertical distance to these two points, so I did measure the 3d model and it showed 18 of connector of 11 millimeters. So, with offset of 0 comma 5 millimeters to both sides, we will end up with 12 millimeters complete 8 of the cut out. So the next thing is that we will constrain here being with a zero comma. Five millimeter cut out 13 comma 33 millimeters. Now we will apply horizontal dimension here of 22, comma 33. No, I added measure 22, comma. 8. 3. So I have to apply positively we offset so we will end up with 23 comma 33 millimeters. Okay. Now I will apply also 12 millimeters here, because I also did measure 11 millimeter plus offset of 0 comma 5 millimeters 2 times. This ends up 12 meter millimeters. So now I am applying here vertical distance of also 5 comma 5 millimeters.

I do close the sketch. I do my pad operation of 3 millimeters. I talk about visibility of this pad and I see oh, we use the wrong by a direction of a pad, no problem. We do right, click on this pad and we will choose edit pad and we will choose reversed, and here we go so now we can select this pad here and then we will also select this pad here. Make sure to keep this order, because the second selected object is being cut away from a first selected object, so we will switch to a part web bench and we will do our bullying cut. So the only thing which remains is the fill it here on this edge. So I just select this face here: go back to party sign, choose the fill tool, apply, zero, comma, six, millimeter fill it choose, okay and we are set with a basic part. So this is the lower half of casing. So at this moment, let’s challenge fate. A little bit and let’s choose file, merge, project and let’s do a merge with the Arduino board, and here we have the correct positions of all pins. Everything looks nice. One thing is not corrected, yet it is with Z position of a board, because at the moment our origin is in the middle of the bottom face of the board itself, but it should be at four millimeters eight. So in this case, we would have to apply to all of these components of the board an incremental change in placement in Z, direction of plus four millimeters, and then everything would be fine, so view we did have some luck, I’m, going to delete all those elements And we can continue with the upper part of our case so for doing the upper part of our case.

We want to reuse the sketch we did use on this lower part, so I’m selecting the sketch I’m changing to the draft workbench and doing a draft clone of a sketch. So, as you can see, we cannot only clone 3d elements. We can also clone 2d elements. So I’m selecting the clone and do apply an incremental or the absolute change in this case, it’s the same of 22 millimeters. This is the 8, the inner 8 of the case. So we click on OK, and the next thing is that we change to whit part design. Workbench. We make sure this clone is selected. We do our pet operation, we choose two dimensions, so the first dimension is 1, comma, 6 millimeter. Of course, what I could do is link to a 1 comma 6 millimeter in the first pet used here. I won’t do this in this model, but you could also do this and we’ll make my model even more parametric. So, if change from wall thickness in the lower part, the ball thickness in the upper part would would also change a second length. We choose to be 11 millimeters, we click on OK, and here we are with the basic outline of our upper part of our case. Okay, so now we toggle visibility off is solid. Here we choose this face here. We change every switch to a part workbench and apply a thickness of minus one, comma, six millimeter again, which is okay, and here we are now, as you can see, I have at the moment no possibility to link with thickness used here to a thickness used here.

I also do not have at the moment the possibility within freecad to project edges or dimensions from different solids or different sketches on different planes within the model. I only have a possibility, as shown previously in this video, to link within a sketch to external edge, but this sketch so should belong to the same solid and it should be lying just under the sketch. I am currently working on and I have the ability to do reference with using expressions, as shown previously so we’re now doing a sketch for the pins. I only have a possibility to select this face. Switch to part design apply a sketch to with face here, and we will draw two circles roughly at a correct position and making sure we are Auto, constraining that they share the same center. Okay. So now we do a right click. We select all the inner circles and apply a radius of one comma, six millimeter to them now. The next thing is to select oops, to select all the outer circles and apply a radius of 2 comma 1 millimeters. Okay. So we switch to construction mode. We draw now a vertical line. We do right, click to end the command and, as you can see in reference to this point, this was our first circle and then counterclockwise, we name the rest, okay. So within this sketch I will now choose the origin. Here. We will just be origin, this point and we will have a dimension and I will link to sketch constraints X divided by two here.

We go – and I will choose this point again and here the origin and apply here a link to sketch constraints Y divided by 2. So I do not need to fully constrain the sketch, but at the moment free CAD does take into account that also construction geometry within a sketch should be constrained in order to be fully constrained within risk edge. So I’m choosing here vertical dimension constraint and I will link to sketch constrains why here we go so the next thing will be to constrain the position of our sketch of our circles. Here we will link to sketch ribs once more sketch constraints X, 1. Okay – and here we go with these two points linking to sketch constraints y 1. Ok, so, as we went counterclockwise, we should now link this point to sketch constraints X 2, and we should putting this point once more to sketch constraints. Why? Okay? So we will repeat the action here linking to sketch constraints x3 and here linking to connect constrains. Why free? Okay, now we do a constraining for our last point and if I’m not mistaken, where is missing one coincidence constraint, so we will now link to sketch constraints X 4 and we will link one last time to sketch constraints. Y 4. Okay – and here we go – the sketch is complete. We can close and I will have to check again now about the padding distance here. So the track of a 3d model used in the reference video turned out wet.

The padding has to be done with ten millimetres length, so the next thing is that we want to have our cutouts for these front connectors. So, as I said, we will make a clone let’s. I just talked about visibility. We are the space bar to be sure what I’m doing clones of correct pad so top of a visibility back again going to draft I’m making clones. If I wouldn’t be recording a video, I would maybe using keyboard shortcuts for all these to speed up our modeling. So now we will use a select pet, zero, zero, five and the clone, and we will switch to part workbench. We will use the cut command, and here we are. We just need to apply those cutouts on the top face and radius here, and we are all set so as follows: cutouts for these two electrical pins – or they are in fact for electrical pins to be reachable will select with face. We go back to part design. Workbench and here we are, and we apply a sketch to the face and we will toggle construction mode off and we will create our two rectangles. We right click, we took it to construction mode and we will draw a line and by applying a horizontal constraint to that line, we make sure that these two lines are co, linear. So the next thing is, we will toggle to a normal mode again and we will apply vertical dimensional constraint of 22 comma 3 because we want to have an offset of 0 comma 5 millimeter here as well.

So this is the same first point here: 22. Comma 3. Okay, so now here these pins are 2.45. For so we want to apply an offset of 0 comma 5 millimeters, so we have to enter 3. Comma. 5. 4. Okay, we repeat this action here as well. Now we will here apply constraint of 30 comma 5 millimeters and we will apply a length in vertical distance of 32 comma 6 millimeters to here – and I just forgot to add the offset here and here so we will have 31 millimeters here and we will have 33, comma six millimeters here so we will have adding fear of 42 comma 1 plus 1. So this is 2 times we offset, and here we are, we will close our sketch, and here we made with two necessary cutouts and let’s, see I just clicked on okay. Without looking very closely at the moment, we have a length of five millimeter, but I want to have the option to first. So if I ever will change my thickness here, the depth of the pocket will adapt. So we click on OK – and these are the two cutouts made here so now for rest of the cutouts. We will edit the sketch, once more and with a 0.16 stable release. Where was something introduced called driven constraints in the sketcher? So when I click here on this line to select it, for example, you are able to not only have dimensional constraints directly controlling the line, for example, giving horizontal or vertical dimension, or whatever you also can switch to now we have color blue driven constraints to just Indicate in this case the length of the line, as you can see on Windows, I have no chance with double clicking for dimension and if I look at the dimension here here, it turns blue and doing a double.

Click in this list. Here will bring up a greyed out input field here, so it is not changeable. I only can use a name and of course I can use expressions to do a reference to this driven constraint here. So now we have to fill in this gap here with some slots, so I’ve already did some math to have a distance, but in between the slots of s near two dimension here of the slots. So we will have six slots here so I’m, just putting up here, six rigs, rectangles I’m doing a right click and I’m using construction mode, and I will use some lines from this point to this whoops. I just realize that these lines aren’t construction lines. So we have to change red let’s, select these lines here we are and move them to construction mode. Now, let’s constraint continue in construction mode and have here a line going horizontally to this line and have also a constraint attached point on object. So we will Pete the action right here. Do a right click! Now, when looking here, these two lines after we see four, is on to grow constraining. So the next thing is that we want to apply equality to all of them here and we want to apply equality to all of these lines and to one of these lines here. So here we go. The next thing is to set up a driving distance here of two millimeters, otherwise I would collide with the retaining pin which I did as pad here.

So the next thing is that we will draw a construction line from this point to this point and we will do a right click and we will select this point and this construction line and apply fix point onto an object as constrained. We will repeat here, we will repeat here. We will repeat here once more and hopefully the last one. Here we are our sketch turn screen everything done. We click on close and, as you can see here, we didn’t collide. So this looks like it could design 42. 4 V, 3d printing, so the only thing left to do is to plot apply off the lot here. If I would select my whole face, the Philips would be also applied to these edges. I do not want to happen that so I’m going to select all the edges here, oops. So after selecting all the edges, I apply fill it with radius of 0, comma 6 millimeter. I click on. Ok, I will toggle the visibility of my fern sketch and I will toggle the visibility of this solid here, and this is our completed sketch. I all complete it. Ok, so one last time we can do file merge project. Now we can apply a placement to all this incremental in the direction of four millimeter. Okay, and here we are, it looks like the cutouts went well and everything seems to be okay, so, of course you could also. I have opened the Arduino Uno board as a separate file and then select all the solids of a board, and then you switch to part workbench choose part May compound and then of course you could also make a simple copy and copy that to the clipboard and Insert it here, so you would just get a solid which is well, you could call it dump, it has no history and you cannot change dimensions afterwards.

Of course you can add pockets or pads or things like that, but you cannot change the history and so I’ve already use dimensions of a solid. So, with this being said, we have reached the end of this video. I hope you had fun in watching it and I could show some new features and some good things and I will leave our file in the forum and I will leave a link to the threat of discussion both for video description on YouTube and well have fun.


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Comment (20)

  1. Nice video ! It’s most likely what I was looking for. I also have some additional questions but I will ask them
    in FreeCAD forum under my post.

  2. Thank you for making these videos. What holds the top and bottom parts together? Could maybe add some little hooks inside the top case part that would extend down and snap into some little holes on the bottom part?

  3. Great video lesson on using FreeCAD. I learned a great deal about using it. But after I finished creating the Arduino Uno case I noticed two flaws in the design. I set the transparency to 90% on both the top and bottom of the case and noticed that the pegs in the top of the case were to short and would allow the Arduino board to slide up and down on them which could result in damage to the board. Also there were no screw holes in the top to hold the two halves together. So I improved the design by lengthening the pegs in both the top and bottom halves of the case and added screw hole in the top half of the case and in the top of the pegs in the bottom half.

  4. so, with the calculation beginning @ 22:00 I get an error: “Incompatible units for + operator”
    after adding units “mm” after each number, it works.
    using FreeCAD 0.18-15043 pre release Oct-2018

  5. Oh look. The board was designed with decimal inches… The units used by engineers who can’t cope with metric but still want it’s benefits.

  6. At 29:00, you pad four pins at same time. I’m using .17 version and only one object can be padded. Is this a limitation now with this version?


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