This area is the main help area for newcomers to FreeCAD.
Please note that like FreeCAD itself, these pages are in continuous development. FreeCAD already features many interesting tools for the final user, and more are continuously added, which is why at the moment there is still missing or outdated documentation for the end user.
But don't feel discouraged, browse the contents of this section, and, if you cannot find the information you need, don't hesitate to ask! Among the developers or in the small but growing FreeCAD users community, there will certainly be someone who can help you. You can leave comments related to this wiki documentation site on the FreeCAD help forum and ask your questions there.
And if you have some information you would like to appear here, why not contribute and help us make this manual grow. Head to the Help FreeCAD page, that will help you to get started.
If you would like to know how the development of FreeCAD has started years ago visit the History page.
- Application Overview: A general overview of FreeCAD
- Installing: How to install FreeCAD on Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac
- Getting started: A quick overview of the available tools
- FAQ: Frequently asked questions
- Tutorials covering different parts of FreeCAD
- Mouse Model: The use of the mouse to navigate in the 3D space
- Document structure: How a FreeCAD document is organized
- Preferences and Customization: How you can configure FreeCAD to your needs
- Properties: How objects properties work in FreeCAD
- Workbench Concept: How the FreeCAD interface is organized
- Macros: How to easily automate often repeated tasks
- File formats: The different file formats that FreeCAD can read and write
These are the base workbenches bundled with every installation of FreeCAD:
- Use the Arch Workbench to work with architectural elements.
- The Complete Workbench holds all commands and features from all the modules and workbenches which met certain quality criteria.
- The Draft Workbench contains 2D tools and basic 2D and 3D CAD operations.
- Use the Drawing Workbench to display your 3D work on a 2D sheet.
- The FEM Workbench provides a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workflow.
- Use the Image Workbench to work with bitmap images.
- The Inspection Workbench provides specific tools for examination of shapes. It is still in development.
- Use the Mesh Workbench to work with triangulated meshes.
- The OpenSCAD Workbench for interoperability with OpenSCAD and repairing Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) model history.
- Use the Part Workbench to work with CAD parts.
- Use the Part Design Workbench to build Part shapes from sketches.
- Use the Path Workbench to produce G-Code instructions. It is still in a stage of development. Only basic functions in 0.16
- Use the Plot Workbench to edit and save output plots created from other modules and tools.
- Use the Points Workbench to work with point clouds.
- Use the Raytracing Workbench to work with ray-tracing (rendering)
- The Reverse Engineering Workbench is intended to give you specific tools to convert shapes/solids/meshes into parametric FreeCAD-compatible features. It is still in development.
- Use the Robot Workbench to study robot movements.
- The Ship Workbench FreeCAD-Ship works over Ship entities, that must be created on top of provided geometry.
- Use the Sketcher Workbench to work with geometry-constrained sketches.
- Use the Spreadsheet Workbench to create and manipulating spreadsheet data.
- The Start Center Workbench allows you to quickly jump to the most common workbenches.
- The TechDraw Workbench is the more advanced and feature-rich successor of Drawing
- The Test Framework Workbench is for debugging FreeCAD.
- The Web Workbench provides you with a browser window instead of the 3D-View within FreeCAD.
Power users have extended FreeCAD with various custom external workbenches, that are not integrated into the FreeCAD source code, but are easy to install on an existing FreeCAD installation. See here for an overview of the already available workbenches. For instructions how to install these workbenches refer to the tutorial How to install additional workbenches.
Power users have written various macros to enhance FreeCAD with more capabilities. For a list of the macros refer to the macros recipes page. For instructions how to install the macros refer to the How to install macros tutorial.
- Commands Reference: A complete list of the available FreeCAD commands.
This is the official FreeCAD online help. Please note that the whole online help system is currently being reworked. It will be used to generate a .CHM file, that will be distributed with the binary packages of FreeCAD. At the moment the online help summarizes some of the most complete sections of this wiki.
- The Power users hub is the place to go if you would like to see more advanced use of FreeCAD
- David is a very low cost 3D scanning system that can already work well with FreeCAD
- Architecture workflow : An example of how FreeCAD can begin to have its preliminary place in an architecture workflow...
- If you would like to help FreeCAD, head to the Help FreeCAD page.
- The FreeCAD Community Portal lists projects made by community members around FreeCAD.
- Don't understand a term or phrase as used in FreeCAD? Try the Glossary page.