FreeCAD appears to be important to making KiCAD work in 3D mode

I bribe mechanical engineers to draw a cube in Auto CAD that I use Free CAD.19 to convert the file to import into KiCAD. I need to stop paying for lunch.

There are some things, very basic, I don’t understand about FreeCAD. Example; I just figured out that there are 21 modes. There is a window at the top “START” that needs to be changed to ??? “PART” or something before I can do anything. When I watch youtubes, my buttons are gray but theirs are ready to use. They can use a mouse to move things and I can not. My drawing window disappears and will not come back so I can’t even follow along with the video. Learned to hit the space key but that only brigs back the xyz.

I need a learning video that starts out simple. “this is a mouse” lol I found KiCAD simple to move to from Eagle. But FreeCAD, can’t even start.

There are few important things to pay attention to when dealing with FreeCAD and any tutorial about it. In the order of most important first:

  1. FreeCAD version. Make sure you are following a recent tutorial for recent version of FreeCAD. Differences in 0.16, 0.17, 0.18, 0.19 are substantial. It’s best to use latest released version as it generally has fewer bugs.
  2. Pay attention to the workbench selected. That’s the “START” and “PART” things you talk about. FreeCAD is almost like a bunch of different programs with how different each workbench tools operate and what they can do.
  3. Pay attention to what is selected. Various actions will be enabled/disabled based on what you have selected. If you can’t do something that tutorial shows you to do try selecting exact same things.

You have to: FreeCAD / File / New before you can do anything in FreeCAD. Without an open drawing (almost) all icons are greyed out.

I can’t recommend a beginners tutorial though. My start with FreeCAD was quite a struggle, but it was also years ago. The whole concept of the workbenches and switching between them takes some time to sink in.
Maybe this works for you:

https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Getting_started

It’s a newer version of where I started, and I just scanned through it, but it seems to miss that you have to start a new drawing before the rest works. (Or it does that by default and I disabled that?)

FreeCAD also has it’s own forum, and that may be a good place to at least sniff around a bit.
https://forum.freecadweb.org/

You might want to check out this playlist:

It is for the realthunder branch, but the first several videos I think are also compatible with the latest 0.19 stable release. Yes, the full series is targeting using FreeCAD for 3D printing (as the title suggests), but he starts out with the basics of how to actually use FreeCAD and what all the tools in Sketcher (for use with Part Design) are for.

I think there are a few other 0.19 targeted video tutorial series on YouTube, but everyone else seems to skip creating a part object to put the body objects inside… (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch (and follow along with) the videos.)