The TechDraw Workbench is used to produce basic technical drawings from 3D models created with another workbench such as Part, PartDesign, or Arch, or imported from other applications. 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. The resulting drawings can be used for things like documentation, manufacturing instructions, contracts, permits, etc.
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 Workbench may be removed in future releases. To keep up with TechDraw plans and developments, visit the TechDraw Roadmap.
FreeCAD is primarily a 3D modelling application, and thus doesn't have many 2D drawing tools, which are mostly included in the Draft and Sketcher Workbenches. 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.
These are tools for creating Page objects.
These are tools for creating View objects.
- New View: adds a 2D projection view of an object.
- New Projection Group: invokes a dialog to create many views of an object from multiple directions.
- New Section: adds a cross-section view of an existing view.
- New Detail: adds a detail view of a portion of an existing view.
These are tools to create and manage Clip objects (clipped views).
- Clip: inserts a clip group into a page.
- ClipPlus: adds an existing view to a clip group.
- ClipMinus: removes a view from a clip group.
These are tools for creating and working with Dimension objects.
Linear dimensions can be based on two points, on one line, or on two lines.
- New Length: adds a length dimension.
- New Horizontal: adds a horizontal length dimension.
- New Vertical: adds a vertical length 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 an existing dimension to the 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: applies a hatch pattern to a face using an Autodesk PAT specification.
- Toggle Frames: turns on and off the frames and labels surrounding a view.
- Redraw: The Redraw tool attempts to redraw a page without recalculating the 3D model. (This tool was removed in v0.18)
The annotation tools are for "marking up" a drawing with additional information.
- New Annotation: adds a plain text block to serve as an annotation.
- Rich Text Block: The Rich Text Block tool adds an rich text annotation block to a Leader Line or a View. introduced in version 0.19
- Cosmetic Vertex: The Cosmetic Vertex tool adds a Vertex which is not part of the source geometry. introduced in version 0.19
- Midpoints: The Midpoints tool adds Cosmetic Vertices at the midpoints of one or more Edges. introduced in version 0.19
- Quadrant: The Quadrant tool adds Cosmetic Vertices at the quarter points of one or more (circular) Edges. introduced in version 0.19
- Hatching: explanation of the different hatching techniques.
- Line Groups: default weights can be assigned to various line types.
- Templates: the default templates defined for the drawing pages.
- Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.
- TechDraw drawings and its API are not interchangeable with the Drawing Workbench and its API. It is possible to convert Drawing Pages to TechDraw Pages using a Python script (
- 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. In TechDraw the scaling of the SVG document affects the position of the editable text fields. See the forum discussion TechDraw templates scale for more details.
- Do not cut, copy and paste TechDraw objects in the tree view as this generally does not work out well.
- Basic TechDraw Tutorial: introduction to creating drawings with the TechDraw Workbench.
- Creating a new template: instructions to create a new page template in Inkscape for using with the TechDraw Workbench.
Video tutorials by sliptonic