Looking for opinions on best way to increase skills on C++ and OpenCascade

Hello all,
I'm a mechanical engineer who is a hard VB6 programmer who is becoming seduced by the sultry sirens of Linux (Ubuntu Gutsy to be precise).
I have a very strong interest in machine tools and I wish to do some CNC "fun" projects ultimately using OpenCascade for the graphics and EMC2 for the business end of things.
I programmed in C many, many years ago but haven't done C++.
I've been steady increasing my skill sets in Linux to the point where I'm becoming somewhat dangerous.
I've gotten the GNU compiler installed, managed to get the Java script to fire off to install the OpenCascade Library.

I'm thinking that I want to attempt as the Germans say "Twei Fleigen mit einem Klappe"(two flies with one swat) in order to develop my C++ skills and understanding of OpenCascade.
Soo.. My plan is to download the source for "Freecad" study and compile it.
I'm thinking that this would probably be the quickest most efficient way of accomplishing my goal??? If anyone has suggestions here, I would like to hear them.

I been watching this forum for a couple months now and it seems that many of you really know what your doing and I'm basically not there yet.. Can anyone recommend a more appropriate venue for me to develop my C++/OpenCascade?


Rob Bachrach's picture

C++ and OCC are both pretty large undertakings and I do not recommend learning them at the same time. However, if you plan on doing so, you should probably start with the tutorial that ships with the OCC software (tutorial.pdf) and the various examples. Understanding the FreeCAD code may be a bit ambitious for your first week.


gearguy3.14's picture

Thank you for the starting point.
(For the newbie ubuntu folks out there. If you got the install to work)
From the terminal:
sudo updatedb (This builds a database of files on your system)
locate tutorial.pdf (self explanatory)
(This is what popped up:)
I think I might shoot for a 3d representation of "Hello World" as a first project after going through the tutorial...

dvdjimmy's picture


maybe I can also help you a little bit on your way as I develop the CAM-Functionality inside FreeCAD. I have also done some projects with emc yet so it might be quite interesting for me as well to exchange some information with you :)

The german spelling "Zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen" might really be a good description for your plans...but if you dont know in which direction to go you might get frustrated very soon...

Take care,


gearguy3.14's picture

I appreciate the offer. At the moment, I feel like need to hit the problem with a hammer, but I don't have the hammer, so I need some steel to make a hammer, but I don't have any steel.....
The IDE for VB6 has sort of spoiled me... I wanted to get the anjuta IDE working but this in itself is turning into a project...... To maintain sanity, I've been thinking about Car's the movie.... It's more about the journey, then the destination..

Dan Falck's picture


Could you tell us a little more about your FreeCad plugins? I am also really into CAM for open source systems. There are a few of us who hang out in IRC under Freenode #cam and discuss cam. Feel free to join and discuss your interests. So far we have mostly worked on an open source version of the old apt360 cam program and a lot of minor python routines for generating g-code.