FreeCAD, like many modern design applications such as Revit or CATIA, is based on the concept of Workbench. A workbench can be considered as a set of tools specially grouped for a certain task. In a traditional furniture workshop, you would have a work table for the person who works with wood, another one for the one who works with metal pieces, and maybe a third one for the guy who mounts all the pieces together.

In FreeCAD, the same concept applies. Tools are grouped into workbenches according to the tasks they are related to.

The following workbenches are available:

  • Arch.png The Arch Module for working with architectural elements.
  • Workbench Assembly.png The Assembly Module for working with multiple shapes, multiple documents, multiple files, multiple relationships...
  • Workbench Draft.png The Draft Workbench contains 2D tools and basic 2D and 3D CAD operations.
  • Workbench Drawing.png The Drawing workbench for displaying your 3D work on a 2D sheet.
  • Workbench FEM.png The FEM Module provides Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workflow.
  • Workbench Image.png The Image Module for working with bitmap images.
  • Freecad.svg The Inspection Module is made to give you specific tools for examination of shapes. It is still in development.
  • Tree Mesh.svg The Mesh Module for working with triangulated meshes.
  • Workbench OpenSCAD.png The OpenSCAD Module for interoperability with OpenSCAD and repairing CSG model history.
  • Workbench Part.png The Part Module for working with CAD parts.
  • Workbench PartDesign.png The Part Design Workbench for building Part shapes from sketches.
  • Preferences-path.svg The Path Workbench is used to produce G-Code instructions. It is still in early stages of development. Only v 0.16
  • Plot Save.png The Plot Workbench The Plot module allows to edit and save output plots created from other modules and tools.
  • Workbench Points.png The Points Module for working with point clouds.
  • Raytracing.png The Raytracing Module for working with ray-tracing (rendering)
  • Workbench Reverse Engineering.png The Reverse Engineering Module is intended to give you specific tools to convert shapes/solids/meshes into parametric FreeCAD-compatible features. It is still in development.
  • Workbench Robot.png The Robot Module for studying robot movements.
  • FreeCAD-Ship-Ico.png The Ship Workbench FreeCAD-Ship works over Ship entities, that must be created on top of provided geometry.
  • Workbench Sketcher.png The Sketcher Module for working with geometry-constrained sketches.
  • Spreadsheet Create.png The Spreadsheet Workbench for creating and manipulating spreadsheet data.
  • Workbench Start.svg The Start Center allows you to quickly jump to one of the most common workbenches.
  • Workbench Test.png The Test framework is for debugging FreeCAD.
  • Workbench Web.svg The Web Module provides you with a browser window instead of the 3D-View within FreeCAD.

New workbenches are in development, stay tuned!

When you switch from one workbench to another, the tools available on the interface change. Toolbars, command bars and possibly other parts of the interface switch to the new workbench, but the contents of your scene doesn't change. You could, for example, start drawing 2D shapes with the Draft Workbench, then work further on them with the Part Workbench.

Note that sometimes a Workbench is referred to as a Module. However, Workbenches and Modules are different entities. A Module is any extension of FreeCAD, while a Workbench is a special GUI configuration that groups some toolbars and menus. Usually every Module contains its own Workbench, hence the cross-use of the name.

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