[solved] Wings VS FreeCad

I don’t know much about Wings or FreeCad - however I found several Freecad/Kicad tutorials that make it look easy and so I am leaning towards FreeCad.

Is there any compelling reason to choose either Wings or FreeCad over the other as the primary tool for Kicad?

Also I found an extensive Wings library for Kicad but have not found one for FreeCad. Is there a batch tool to convert Wings to FreeCad?

Wings3D is a visual-only modeler while FreeCAD is a solid modeler. If you need to communicate mechanical data to designers you must use FreeCAD. The various visualization-only model formats supported by KiCad (VRML1/2, X3D) have no value to mechanical designers.

The development (aka ‘product’) branch of KiCad supports visualization of mechanical models (STEP and IGES) via an external plugin:

The kicad_pcb file can be translated into a STEP model for mechanical designers via the ‘kicad2step’ tool:

Unfortunately you have to build those tools on your own at the moment; we’re still working on build/install issues on OSX and Windows.

If you can’t build the tools or need to work with the current KiCad Stable release, you can install FreeCAD and use Maurice’s tools to generate VRML models and create the STEP assembly:

I don’t think Wings3D is a parametric modeller, but FreeCAD is.
If you ever want to do anything besides creating ‘housing shapes’ FreeCAD is the way to go as it’s the only open source CAD tool I know of that let’s you do it this way.

Compare this:

To this:

The learning curve for a tool that is able to do things that way is steeper, yes, but you will be able to do more with it than just housing shapes. Odd shaped board outlines anyone?
Mechanical checks if stuff fits?

OffTopic and won’t help you much besides showing possibilities - but this is a CAD file I’m currently working on privately to get my bandsaw a downfeed (testing the downfeed cylinder size and position before I buy it) and at the same time creating sheetmetal definitions that can be used to lasercut the needed parts (Autodesk Inventor here, but FreeCAD should be capable of similar things):

Thank you for the informative answers.

Unfortunately I am not Cad savvy so I do not understand the explanations. Since I have found simple FreeCad tutorials that do what I want and I did not see any serious warnings, I think I will go with FreeCad.

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FYI - I found two sheet metal addons for FreeCad, one individual is trying to get donations while the other one is “free”. I downloaded and followed a couple examples for the “free” one and it works great!

If you use the measurement addon, you can flatten the sheet and get measurement for making the part from flat stock.

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if you need Mechanical libraries 3D models for KiCAD, it might worth to have a look at

and if you search the forum for “STEP”
you will get a lot of useful links
(hoping that nobody would consider that out of topic :wink: :smiley: )