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Freecad with Gazebo

For all FreeCAD and Gazebo fans, I have written a FreeCAD to gazebo exporter a while ago.
I’ll put it here if anyone is interested.


Just a bit of context for this post. I tweeted out this great tutorial on the SolidWorks URDF exporter to which someone else replied with this great tutorial on how to export URDFs from Blender. Another reply to this read was the FreeCAD exporter given above.

I am really interested in how people are generating their URDFs and Gazebo models. Anyone up for sharing their process. If there is enough interest I might try to work some of the Open Robotics team do a long form post on robot modeling tools.


It seems wonderful, thank you very much for share!

@Katherine_Scott That would be awesome. It is an interesting topic. I think this part of the workflow should have more options specially for free and opensource tools. I’m happy to contribute with what I can and learn more on tools I don’t normally use.

I have been looking forward to FreeCAD for years, thanks for making this! What is your opinion about FreeCAD’s current maturity? Do you think it is finally ready to be a nice open source alternative to proprietary mechanical CAD software with a critical mass of users?

Personally, I believe FreeCAD has evolved much and Is a really nice CAD software. It is not of-course mature enough to be compare to commercial softwares like SolidWorks. But for most purposes (atleast in my use case), is a great tool.

I’ve been looking at ways to export environmental models into gazebo.
Theres a promising tutorial on capturing the textured meshes from googlemaps as they are passed to the GPU, opening them in blender and then extracting collada models from those.

I haven’t tried it yet, there are also some methods for extracting all the data from multiple zoom levels, which would speed up the capture process.

It would be really handy to have some of these pretty good outdoor environments in the Gazebosim model database.

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Unfortunately, all the data that you see flying through Google Maps is copyrighted. While grabbing the data and making a copy yourself is probably not going to get you in trouble, storing that data in the online Gazebo model database is a definite no-no.

There are methods to build worlds based on publicly available data. And can also include registered elevation data.

We’ve created several worlds from government data and are in the Gazebo model database, such as:

Instructions for how we created these are noted in this readme: