FreeCAD format online viewer

Browser based viewer for freecad 3D files.

really long url example

This is pretty slick. I am just running it on firefox on my phone. It would be really cool if it supports export from parameters. But just viewing files from github is useful enough.


Pretty amazing
I really like these browser based viewers (like the gcode simulator ones) but I always have at the back of my mind that the viewer isn’t the product. I am.
Could you use this for work if your model has to go to a random location in the cloudz?
I think I just answered my question. You are giving your model to someone else.

In cases like gmail, or office 365, or onshape, that is true. This is different.

Your browser can run code you download from the Internet in just a few seconds. If this person has made a .exe, you would download it, (possibly install it), amd run it locally. This site is a static site where the browser is running all the code. So this is a lot like downloading a .exe and running it really quickly. The “back end” never gets a copy of the model.

In the model I linked, the code is given a url (embedded in the url) and your browser downloads the model from github (into the memory of your browser) and then runs the code on your machine to display the model. The model never goes to their servers.

This is from their info page:

You can load models from your computer. In this case the model won’t be uploaded to any web server, the entire process happens in your browser.

The project is open source. So if you wanted to verify this claim, you can. The source (at least a minimized version) is also downloaded whenever you load the page. So you could verify where the model is going by reviewing the code sent to the browser. Because it is auditable, fraud in this kind of claim doesn’t happen.

You might have noticed they do ask your for cookies. They are doing some tracking, probably at least for analytics. But they aren’t keeping your file.

You actually can. As long as the static site, and all the code are locally saved. It is a little difficult to do, because so many of these programs copy code from a bunch of places to make them work. But if you save all of that code, you can run it from your hard disk.

In this one case, no you are not.

Ncviewer is the same way, just a static site. (which I wrote) also does not have a back end. The import only moves the data as far as your own browser.

How can you tell when a site is loading it in your browser or loading it to the server? It is really hard. If you have a login, then it is probably going to the server. If you can load the model from another machine without giving the model again, it is loading it from the server., ncviewer, are static sites with no server.

Kiri:moto used to do some slicing on the back end. It would upload the model to do the slicing and then compute the toolpaths on the server. But that was using server resources and it is a free open source project (no business model at all). The developer rewrote the code to run everything in the browser. Now the model stays on your computer. The difference from the user’s perspective is really hard to see.

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This adage is a very true one when you get something for free from google or facebook or amazon. It is true of all that nasty shareware we used to use in the late 90s (although those were usually scams). It is true of ad supported apps.

But there are a lot of people who make open source software where no one is the product. You don’t have to pay for anything and the developer starts the work because they are passionate, and they essentially get donations to keep the project growing. Things like blender, inkscape, freecad, linux, are all free because of the generosity, not greed.

Not all open source projects are altruistic either. Things like vscode are open source, but are really back in the “you are the product” camp.

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This is really reassuring.

I guess the problem is like you suggest, being able to tell what is transferring back and forth. It’s the browser based part that feels like a risk to me, although unless I restrict a downloaded app I can’t really tell what it’s doing in the background either. It just feels closer to an upload when it’s a drag and drop in the browser.

I understand the desire to give back to the community and I really like it and support it when I can. I use all the open source products you mention and make the occasional donation.

Again, thanks for clarifying that for me. I appreciate your understanding of what’s going on and your willingness to give a detailed response to my ignorance!

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That is pretty crazy just two days ago I got an email from a father son building duo and they told me about Shapr, the CAD software. I had never seen it before, this tool just shows they might have something new and exciting there.

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Shapr is the only 3D modelling software that runs on iPadOS. :smile:

I got it for my school, but we don’t have a makerspace yet.

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