FreeCAD coding, BIM features and open-source architecture
I am an architect by trade, and one of the main FreeCAD developers (been around since 2008 or so). In FreeCAD, I'm mostly responsible for implementing BIM-related features, but I also work on many of the other areas and workbenches. BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, and describes a family of tools to model and represent buildings digitally. This goes far further than just plans, a BIM model is a complex and faithful representation of a building, and allows to extract not only plans and sections, but a large quantity of information, such as materials, costs, possible maintenance costs over time, construction planning, etc. With a good BIM model, you can also perform a wide range of simulations, such as calculating efforts in structures, energy consumption, etc. And finally, maybe the most important point, BIM models should be highly shareable and should integrate nicely all the work of the different people working on a building project.
Me and others in the FreeCAD community are working to make FreeCAD a first-class BIM modeling application, that is capable to do the same job (or better, why not!) as commercial BIM software. FreeCAD is free and open-source, runs on Mac, Windows and Linux, and will stay free forever (it cannot be "closed" or "bought"). There is quite a lot done already.
Currently, I'm working on FreeCAD when time and money allow, which is highly variable. By sponsoring me here, you are extending the time that I can spend on FreeCAD and therefore fueling the project.
I start this campaign on Patreon at the end of 2016, not knowing very well how far it would go, or if it would make any difference. Today (september 2017), it has grown amazingly far, and it is definitely making a difference, both for FreeCAD and for me. So I am going to set different goals that might be realistically achievable. Thanks a million already to everybody who supported me early on, I never thought we would go that far already.
The story of what I'm doing with FreeCAD is registered on my blog and I also regularly post about it on twitter. If you want to keep track of latest improvements in FreeCAD (not only mine), check the new features section of the FreeCAD forum.
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