Headless FreeCAD

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This wiki page will document various aspect of running FreeCAD in the console without enabling the GUI (Graphical User Interface) or what is called 'headless'.

Scenegraph Representation

As it's not possible to create or access the view provider in headless mode. What's possible is to load FreeCADGui in headless mode but there is no way to access the GUI document because it won't be created and consequently there exist no view providers.

However, what's possible is to create a scenegraph representation of an object. This works this way:

import FreeCADGui as Gui
from pivy import coin

doc = App.newDocument()
obj = doc.addObject("Part::Box","Box")
view = Gui.subgraphFromObject(obj)
reference: forum thread


Searching FreeCAD Modules

  1. Open the terminal
    $ /path/to/FreeCAD -c
    $ /path/to/FreeCADCmd
  2. A python shell will start with a prompt. Type help()
    [FreeCAD Console mode <Use Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit.>]
    >>> help()
    Welcome to Python 3.x's help utility!
    If this is your first time using Python, you should definitely check out
    the tutorial on the Internet at https://docs.python.org/3.8/tutorial/.
    Enter the name of any module, keyword, or topic to get help on writing
    Python programs and using Python modules.  To quit this help utility and
    return to the interpreter, just type "quit".
    To get a list of available modules, keywords, symbols, or topics, type
    "modules", "keywords", "symbols", or "topics".  Each module also comes
    with a one-line summary of what it does; to list the modules whose name
    or summary contain a given string such as "spam", type "modules spam".
  3. Type modules freecad
    help> modules freecad