Aug 23, 2011

A little workaround for compiling FreeCAD dev on Ubuntu 11.04

FreeCAD is an Open Source 3d Parametric Solid Modeler with major improvements during the last months. I had posted earlier this year a how-to guide for compiling the latest development version on Ubuntu.  But now this process needs a workaround to make the Part design module to work properly.
The ./configure command didn't found libeigen3-dev. It seems that FreeCAD has a new dependency. This package is needed to make the Part design module work properly. If you continue and compile FreeCAD without this package the compilation and the installation is successful but the Part design module doesn't work. Unfortunately this package isn't available in the repositories of Ubuntu 11.04.
However the solution is very simple. Go here and download this library. Choose the right version for your system's architecture (32bit or 64bit). Then install it and run the necessary commands to built and install FreeCAD ( ./ , ./configure , make , make install) and you will get a full working FreeCAD version.


  1. Hey,

    You know that there's been a FreeCAD Daily Builds PPA for quite some time now?

    All current Ubuntu releases are supported, 32 and 64-Bit.

    Details on the wiki's Download link, or
    And another PPA which updates every 3-4 weeks.

  2. Hi,

    I didn't have a lot of time when I posted the previous comment anonymously.

    For more details on the FreeCAD PPAs and how to install either of them, visit the FreeCAD Wiki Download page.

    I compiled FreeCAD many times over the last year and didn't like that it installed in my home folder and that it took so much space. I played with building deb packages and uploading on a PPA, then I lobbied the FreeCAD team to create their own PPA and use the Launchpad automated build system. I did the initial research and setup, but Werner did all the work, and for that I am grateful. There is no easier way to keep up to date with the latest development of FreeCAD. The 24-48h delay from the actual svn branch is a small price to pay.

    Development has been focused on the Sketcher lately, and at a furious pace - it's got a LOT more features than even one month ago.

    I invite you to join us on the forums to talk about FreeCAD and maybe share what you've modeled so far.

    And BTW, nice blog, I have one too but can't seem to update regularly, and your domain name is cooler too. :-P


  3. Yes I know it, but I still prefer to compile FreeCAD myself. I added this ppa on a Lucid machine of a friend. It's very useful for anybody who wants to install and update FreeCAD automatically.