This is the main help area for newcomers to FreeCAD.
These pages are in continuous development, so there may be missing or outdated information. If you cannot find the information that you need, don't hesitate to ask in the FreeCAD forum.
If you'd like to contribute to FreeCAD, see the Help FreeCAD page. If you'd like to edit this wiki, request a wiki account with editor permissions in the forum, and read the WikiPages for the general guidelines that you should follow.
If you would like to know how FreeCAD 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
- Interface: the FreeCAD interface is composed of various graphical elements on the screen.
- 3D view: the area where 2D and 3D geometry is drawn.
- Combo view: the panel that contains the tree view, the task panel, and the property editor.
- Tree view: the element that shows all objects in the document and their parametric history.
- Task panel: the panel that shows different actions and options depending on the drawing tool selected.
- Property editor: the place where object properties are modified.
- Selection view: the panel that shows elements that are currently selected.
- Report view: the text box that shows different messages from the application and its tools.
- Python console: the editor that allows you to run Python code interactively, and see results in the 3D view.
- DAG view: an alternative to the tree view, which shows the relationships between different objects in the document through a graph.
- Interface Customization: how to configure the toolbars with custom tools.
- Mouse navigation: the different types of using the mouse or trackpad to navigate in the 3D view.
- Preferences Editor: the system that allows you to control many properties of the base system and of the individual workbenches.
- Workbenches: how the FreeCAD interface is organized
- 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 Surface Module the Surface workbench provides tools to create and modify surfaces.
- 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 written various macros to enhance FreeCAD with more capabilities.
When many macros or functions are put together, and are organized in toolbars and menus, they can become a new workbench.
External workbenches are collections of functions that are not part of the base FreeCAD system, usually developed by experienced users, and targeting a particular need.
- 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.