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These pages are in continuous development, so there may be missing or outdated information.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
- Installing help files: how to install the offline documentation which is based on this wiki.
- 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, including the 3D view, the tree view, the property editor, the task panel, and the Python console.
- 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.
- File formats: the different file formats that FreeCAD can read and write.
Workbenches are collections of tools that are used for a relatively specific task.
These are the base workbenches bundled with every installation of FreeCAD:
- Std Base. This is not really a workbench, but this category serves to collect all "standard" commands and tools of the system which can be used in all workbenches.
- 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 design solids with constructive solid geometry (CSG) workflow.
- Use the PartDesign Workbench to build solids from sketches and parametric operations in what is called feature editing workflow.
- 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 workbenches and tools.
- Use the Points Workbench to work with point clouds.
- Use the Raytracing Workbench to work with rendering and ray-tracing.
- 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 developed 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.