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Direct Modeling tools #17
FreeCAD is a feature-based parametric modeling system, hence different modeling steps depend on one or multiple previous steps. Each step is at the same time a tool/operation, and a geometrical object, resulting from that operation. This mix of operation and object is called a feature. Direct modeling, often presented as the opposite of parametric modeling, allows to graphically move vertices, push or pull faces and edges to modify the geometry of an object.
Watch an introduction to direct modeling on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMrvjAPxyN0
The two concepts could however easily coexist in FreeCAD. Each operation performed via direct modeling could be stored into a new feature, that would successively modify the previous object by adding transformations, such as a displacement of a vertex, an edge, or a face, or extrusion of a certain face.
This GSoC project aims at throwing the bases of the necessary feature(s) to hold such transformations as parameters, and the 3D manipulators to allow the user to modify an existing 3D object by clicking and dragging on the screen.
Since direct modeling is a huge area in constant evolution, the work done in this GSoC will only cover a small part of it. But if the bases are done right, extending them will be easy and could develop very far.