FreeCAD Path Workbench Tutorial
FreeCAD, apart from the possibilities of the 3D CAD system, where we can create our own 3D models, also has the ability to prepare machining programs for CNC machines. So it also has CAM system capabilities.
But it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s a free program. We get a tool with really great possibilities for free, but it’s hard to compare it to commercial solutions for several thousand dollars. Some things require a specific approach here, there are some restrictions that you just have to accept. In return, we have a free CAM solution that no one will ever take from us. Nobody will make any changes to the license when using FreeCAD that it suddenly becomes paid or there will be some license restrictions.
So hypothetically, even if one day somebody from FreeCAD wants to make paid software, the versions that came out by that time will not disappear from the Internet and you can still use them.
Also, besides being a good solution for hobbyists to program amateur CNC plotters, it can also be an interesting solution for small businesses.
I provide this FreeCAD CAM course for free. All you have to do is take a few hours to study this course and you will be able to decide for yourself if you are interested in this solution more.
We will create tool paths here based on 3D geometry. Which will also be prepared in FreeCAD.
The options for preparing tool paths and generating machining programs can be found in the Path workbench.
So at the beginning we will discuss how to start working in the FreeCAD Path workbench.
Once we have created the 3D model, on the basis of which we want to prepare machining for a CNC milling machine, at the beginning we have to switch to the Path workspace. This is the CAM module in the FreeCAD system.
And as we are already in the Path workspace, as you can see we have icons here responsible for machining operations, but they are all grayed out, which means that we can not start machining this part yet.