Draft Module

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Workbench Draft.svg

Introduction

The Draft Workbench allows you to draw simple 2D objects, and offers several tools to modify them afterwards. It also provides tools to define a working plane, a grid, and a snapping system to precisely control the position of your geometry.

The created 2D objects can be used for general drafting in a way similar to Inkscape or Autocad. These 2D shapes can also be used as the base components of 3D objects created with other workbenches, for example, the Part and Arch Workbenches. Conversion of Draft objects to Sketches is also possible, which means that the shapes can also be used with the PartDesign Workbench for the creation of solid bodies.

FreeCAD is primarily a 3D modelling application, and thus its 2D tools aren't as advanced as in other drawing programs. If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, you may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting such as LibreCAD, QCad, TurboCad, and others.

Draft Workbench Example.png

Drawing objects

These are tools for creating objects.

  • Draft Line.png Line: draws a line segment between two points.
  • Draft Wire.png Wire: draws a line made of multiple line segments (polyline).
  • Draft Circle.png Circle: draws a circle from center and radius.
  • Draft Arc.png Arc: draws an arc segment from center, radius, start angle and end angle.
  • Draft Ellipse.png Ellipse: draws an ellipse from two corner points.
  • Draft Polygon.png Polygon: draws a regular polygon from center, radius, and number of sides.
  • Draft Rectangle.png Rectangle: draws a rectangle from two corner points.
  • Draft Text.png Text: draws a multi-line text annotation.
  • Draft Dimension.png Dimension: draws a dimension annotation.
  • Draft BSpline.png BSpline: draws a B-Spline from a series of points.
  • Draft Point.png Point: inserts a point object.
  • Draft ShapeString.png ShapeString: inserts a compound shape representing a text string at a given point.
  • Draft Facebinder.png Facebinder: creates a new object from selected faces on existing objects.
  • Draft BezCurve.png Bezier Curve: draws a Bezier curve from a series of points.
  • Draft Label.png Label: places a label with an arrow pointing to a selected element. available in version 0.17

Modifying objects

These are tools for modifying existing objects. They work on selected objects, but if no object is selected, you will be invited to select one.

Many operation tools (move, rotate, array, etc.) also work on solid objects (Part, PartDesign, Arch, etc.).

Utility tools

Additional tools available from the menu Draft → Utilities, or via the right-click context menu, depending on the selected object.

Preferences

  • Preferences-draft.svg Preferences: general preferences for the working plane and the drawing tools.
  • Preferences-import-export.svg Import-Export Preferences: preferences available for importing from and exporting to different file formats.

File formats

The Draft module provides FreeCAD with importers and exporters for the following file formats:

Additional features

  • Coordinates: enter coordinates instead of clicking on the 3D view to define a new point.
  • Constraining: limit the pointer to horizontal or vertical movements relative to a previous point.
  • Snapping: place new points on special places on existing objects or on the grid.

Scripting

The Draft tools can be used in macros and from the Python console by using the Draft API.

Tutorials