TechDraw Module

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Workbench TechDraw.svg

Introduction

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.

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 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.

TechDraw Workbench Example.png

Pages

These are tools for creating Page objects.

Views

These are tools for creating View objects.

  • Techdraw-view.png New View: adds a 2D projection view of an object.
  • Techdraw-viewsection.png New Section: adds a cross-section view of an existing view.
  • Techdraw-viewdetail.png New Detail: adds a detail view of a portion of an existing view.

Clips

These are tools to create and manage Clip objects (clipped views).

  • Techdraw-clip.svg Clip: inserts a clip group into a page.
  • Techdraw-clipplus.svg ClipPlus: adds an existing view to a clip group.
  • Techdraw-clipminus.svg ClipMinus: removes a view from a clip group.

Dimensions

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.

  • Dimension Radius.png New Radius: adds a radius dimension to a circle or circular arc.
  • Dimension Diameter.png New Diameter: adds a diameter dimension to a circle or a circular arc.
  • Dimension Angle.png New Angle: adds an angle dimension between two straight edges.
  • TechDraw Dimension Angle3Pt.png New Angle3Pt: adds an angle dimension using three vertices.
  • Dimension Link.png New Links: links an existing dimension to the 3D geometry.

Import/Export

These are tools for exporting pages to other applications.

Decoration

These are tools for changing the appearance of pages and views.

  • Techdraw-hatch.png Hatch Area: applies a hatch pattern from a file to a face.
  • Techdraw-geomhatch.png Geometric Hatch: applies a hatch pattern to a face using an Autodesk PAT specification.
  • Techdraw-toggleframe.png Toggle Frames: turns on and off the frames and labels surrounding a view.

Additional features

  • 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-techdraw.svg Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.

Scripting

The TechDraw tools can be used in macros and from the Python console by using two APIs.

Limitations

  • 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 (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. 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.

Tutorials