Misc Week 15-28

This week, quickly:

  • I looked for a parametric 2D design tool : I currently use inkscape for preparing design to laser cut, but switching from one thickness to another requires mostly a full redesign. I want to be able to draw with parameters and change easily thickness without having to do a full redesign. I found an interesting serie of articles named the failed promise of parametric cad
    • OpenCad, which is 3d, text-based (hence fully parametric): works not too bad in 3d, can be awfully slow to render pieces.
    • FreeCad: Mostly 3d, everything is parametric, but I’ve hard a had time pinning references (which is critical for parametric). Reworking a model can lead to broken pieces, better to have frequent backups (and soft is not too stable, tested on 3 different platforms). Never really tried the 2D mode.
    • Inkscape: no parameters, once it’s done, it’s done.
    • SolveSpace seems to be a solution, I failed at using it…
    • Lots of references here, I didn’t try them all but it seems that a quick scan of the references yields no magic result
    • Any proposition welcome, I’ve almost started my own…
  • Discovered a new tool for annotating online videos. I haven’t tried it but ClipMine seems pretty great, it’s in my todo list
  • I like Visual Studio as an IDE and it has now a Community version, free for hobbyists (it’s not a news in itself, it’s only for me). I must say that I like the trend of companies offering their tools for free for hobbyists. In the same context, Altium has a free version for hobbyist (with some restrictions, like storing everything publicly on the cloud, which is fine for home electronics). Note that Eagle for hobbyists is AFAIK much more limited. If you’re more into making things, Autodesk offers Fusion-360 for free to hobbyists (and start ups). Yoohoo, most of the tools I need are actually legal. Wish they were open-source rather than free to use, but it’s really great (and currently, there  is no OSS competition on these subjects).
  • I know have more than 5k rep on stack overflow, mostly just answering one question from time to time when I got bored
  • I’ve played with arduino, ESP8266 and Internet of things, more details (full post) to come soon.
  • Some howto on living hinges: it’s a topic I want to try but I didn’t find enough time yet. As usual with living hinge, it got me pretty excited and I got quite a few ideasin my mind.

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