FreeCAD: pad vs extrusion


FreeCAD: create a pad or an extrusion from a sketch?

Using the “Part Design” workbench, when you build a 3D feature such as a Pad based on a Sketch, you cannot translate or rotate the produced Pad. Only the Sketch can be translated or rotated. Moreover, if you build new features on top of the Pad, only the very first sketch can be translated/rotated. The easy solution is to create an Extrusion from the same starting sketch, selecting “create solid”: the result of the Extrusion can be repositioned without touching the original sketch. Planning to create basic building blocks to be assembled together in different ways (lego style), it is more efficient to create the original Sketches positioned at the origin of the axes, create the Extrusion, clone it if more than one instance is needed, then position it. In this way changes in the position of the final block will be independent from the position of the original sketches. I use this trick to create the cabin, the body and the back of the locomotive as separate building blocks. They can be copied ans assembled together to create the locomotive or two “back” pieces and a longer extrusion of the body sketch to create the Mk3 coaches. Moreover, a Pad extends along the normal to the Sketch plane, while the Extrusion can be along any direction.

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