This is copied from an email earlier today with Jason.
I agree that CadQuery (CQ) shows promise. It’s currently in alpha, but I’m pretty excited about the possibilities. CQ is fairly closely tied to FreeCAD right now, but the author (Dave Cowden) wants to eventually add an abstraction layer that will allow CQ to work with multiple CAD/CAE kernels including Open CASCADE (OCC) and Parasolid.
The two main issues I see with the 3D modelling features of CQ right now are the lack of sweep and revolve operations. I haven’t had time to add the FreeCAD-based versions of these features yet. I’ve filed several issues based on some of the experience I’ve had so far:
I converted the examples from ParametricParts.com into FreeCAD examples, and they’re available with the source code here: https://github.com/dcowden/cadquery/tree/master/examples/FreeCAD They’re a pretty good place to start getting a feel for the CQ syntax and architecture. As you get into the more advanced examples, you’ll see that CaqQuery really starts to stand out. It takes just a few lines of code to do things that it would take 40-80+ lines to do in OpenSCAD or in straight FreeCAD or OCC scripting. Let me know if you want any help setting up a FreeCAD-CQ tool chain.
One of the more powerful concepts in CQ is that it doesn’t require you to do the math that OpenSCAD does to position geometry. By using selectors, you can easily select a face, create a workplane and then create your geometry. There is a lot of room for improvement with this functionality, and we’ve started a discussion here: https://github.com/dcowden/cadquery/issues/29 This is a powerful feature of CQ, and is one I’d like to see expanded and honed.
I’ve started experimenting with encoding the expert rules for Mach 30’s CubeSAT ground station named Ground Sphere:
I have also captured some thoughts from Mach 30’s Apogee event this year about how to generate 2D drawings, and some other ideas for things like a future UI here: https://github.com/dcowden/cadquery/wiki/Future-Ideas
Dave’s roadmap for CQ is here (http://parametricparts.com/docs/roadmap.html).
It’s perfect that you’re most fluent in Python since it’s what CQ is written is in and seems like a good choice for our design and analysis tools moving forward.
Sorry for the brain dump. I’d love to have your input on all of this, and as much help implementing things as you can lend. I’ve been busy the past few weeks and Dave has had a lot going on, so things have been slow on CQ. It would be great to get you, Dave and I connected sometime soon so we can chat about this CQ trial moving forward. It would also be great to keep analysis in mind too as we move forward with the CQ trial and weave it into the DNA of our workflow.