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FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open-source and highly customizable, scriptable and extensible. FreeCAD reads and writes many open file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and many others. FreeCAD Features A complete Open CASCADE Technology-based geometry kernel allowing complex 3D operations on complex shape types, with native support for concepts like brep, nurbs curves and surfaces, a wide range of geometric entities, boolean operations and fillets, and built-in support of STEP and IGES formats A full parametric model. All FreeCAD objects are natively parametric, which means their shape can be based on properties or even depend on other objects, all changes being recalculated on demand, and recorded by the undo/redo stack. New object types can be added easily, that can even be fully programmed in Python A modular architecture that allow plugins (modules) to add functionality to the core application. Those extensions can be as complex as whole new applications programmed in C++ or as simple as Python scripts or self-recorded macros. You have complete access from the Python built-in interpreter, macros or external scripts to almost any part of FreeCAD, being geometry creation and transformation, the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry (scenegraph) or even the FreeCAD interface Import/export to standard formats such as STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF, SVG, STL, DAE, IFC or OFF, NASTRAN, VRML in addition to FreeCAD’s native Fcstd file format. The level of compatibility between FreeCAD and a given file format can vary, since it depends on the module that implements it. A Sketcher with constraint-solver, allowing to sketch geometry-constrained 2D shapes. The sketcher currently allows you to build several types of constrained geometry, and use them as a base to build other objects throughout FreeCAD. A Robot simulation module that allows to study robot movements. The robot module already has an extended graphical interface allowing GUI-only workflow. A Drawing sheets module that permit to put 2D views of your 3D models on a sheet. This modules then produces ready-to-export SVG or PDF sheets. The module is still sparse but already features a powerful Python functionality. A Rendering module that can export 3D objects for rendering with external renderers. Currently only supports povray and LuxRender, but is expected to be extended to other renderers in the future. An Architecture module that allows BIM-like workflow, with IFC compatibility. Path module dedicated to mechanical machining like milling (CAM), and is able to output, display and adjust G code. FreeCAD 0.16 Highlights Expression support has been introduced, which allows to define formula relationships between properties of objects. Expression support is a major leap forward for making better parametric models in FreeCAD. Expressions offer easy interface for making models controlled by spreadsheets. Sketcher solver behavior has been majorly improved. Not only it became faster and more stable, it also doesn't hang anymore on unsolvable sketches. And automatic document recomputes triggered after each tiny tweak to the sketch can now be switched off, allowing smooth editing of sketches buried under deep dependencies. FreeCAD now supports touchscreen 3D navigation. This makes it possible to use FreeCAD without a mouse on a convertible laptop with touchscreen and pen, away from a desk. The FEM workbench has made tons of improvements. It has proven to be useabele for various kind of mechanical analysises. Support for expressions/formulas Three new navigation styles: Gesture Navigation (with touchscreen support on Windows), Maya Navigation, and OpenCascade Navigation. Customization of workbenches list (list can be reordered, and any workbenches can be made hidden from the list) Recovery tool New save options (Revert, save as a copy) New homepage Installation instructions:Open terminal and insert command line... $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freecad-maintainers/freecad-stable $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install freecad