FreeCAD is primarily a 3D modelling tool. There are times, however, when we must produce 2D drawings for documentation, manufacturing instructions, contracts, permits, etc. The Technical Drawing workbench (TechDraw) is used to produce basic technical drawings based on the 3D model. Each drawing is a Page, which can contain various Views of drawable objects such as Part::Features, PartDesign::Bodies, App::Part groups, and Document Object groups.
Dimensions, sections, hatched areas, annotations, and SVG symbols can be added to the page, which can be further exported to different formats like DXF, SVG, and PDF.
TechDraw was officially included in FreeCAD starting with version 0.17; it is intended to replace the unsupported Drawing Workbench. Both workbenches are still provided in v0.17, but the Drawing module may be removed in future releases. To keep up with TechDraw plans and developments, visit the TechDraw Roadmap.
Note: if your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings, 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.
These are tools for creating Pages.
These are tools for creating Views.
- New View: Adds a 2D View of a one or more Drawable Objects.
- New Projection Group: Invokes a dialog for creating Views of one or more Drawable Objects from multiple directions.
- New Section: Adds a cross-section View of one or more Drawable Objects.
- New Detail: Adds a detail View of a portion of an existing View.
- New Annotation: Adds a text block to a Page.
- New Draft: Adds a View of a Draft module object.
- New Arch: Adds a View of a Arch module Section Plane object.
These are tools to create and manage clipped views.
- Clip: Inserts a clip group into a Page.
- ClipPlus: Adds a View to a clip group.
- ClipMinus: Removes a View from a clip group.
These are tools for working with Dimensions. Linear dimensions can be based on two points, one line or two lines.
- New Length: Adds a Length Dimension.
- New Horizontal: Adds a horizontal distance dimension.
- New Vertical: Adds a vertical distance dimension.
- New Radius: Adds a Radius dimension to a circle or circular arc.
- New Diameter: Adds a Diameter dimension to a circle or a circular arc.
- New Angle: Adds an Angle dimension between two straight edges.
- New Angle3Pt: Adds an Angle dimension using three vertices.
- New Links: Links 1 or more Dimensions to 3D geometry.
These are tools for exporting Pages to other applications.
These are tools for changing the appearance of Pages and Views.
- Hatch Area: Applies a hatch pattern from a file to a Face.
- Geometric Hatch: Hatches a Face using an Autodesk PAT specification.
- New Symbol: Inserts an SVG symbol into a Page.
- New Image: Inserts a png/jpg image into a Page.
- Toggle Frames: Turns View frames and labels on or off in a Page.
- Hatching: TechDraw supports a number of hatching techniques.
- Line Groups: default weights can be assigned to various line types.
The TechDraw module has a preferences screen to adjust default values.
- TechDraw drawings and Python API are not interchangeable with the Drawing Module. It is possible to convert Drawing Pages to TechDraw Pages using Python (
moveViews.py). It is possible to have both TechDraw and Drawing Pages in the same FreeCAD document, as each page is completely independent from each other.
- There are minor differences in specifying editable texts in SVG templates compared to the Drawing module. See forum discussion here.
- Do not Cut/Copy/Paste TechDraw objects. This does not generally work out well.
- None required at the moment.