Part Module

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Part workbench icon

Introduction

The solid modelling capabilities of FreeCAD are based on the OpenCASCADE Technology (OCCT) kernel, a professional-grade CAD system that features advanced 3D geometry creation and manipulation. The Workbench Part.svg Part Workbench is a layer sitting on top of the OCCT libraries, that gives the user access to OCCT geometric primitives and functions. Essentially all 2D and 3D drawing functions in every workbench (Workbench Draft.svg Draft, Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher, Workbench PartDesign.svg PartDesign, etc.), are based on these functions exposed by the Part Workbench. Therefore, the Part Workbench is considered the core component of the modelling capabilities of FreeCAD.

A more detailed discussion of Part workbench versus Part Design workbench can be found here: Part and Part Design.

The objects created with the Part Workbench are relatively simple; they are intended to be used with boolean operations (unions and cuts) in order to build more complex shapes. This modeling paradigm is known as the constructive solid geometry (CSG) workflow, and it was the traditional methodology used in early CAD systems. On the other hand, the PartDesign Workbench provides a more modern workflow to constructing shapes: it uses a parametrically defined sketch, that is extruded to form a basic solid body, which is then modified by parametric transformations (feature editing), until the final object is obtained.

Part objects are more complex than mesh objects created with the Mesh Workbench, as they permit more advanced operations like coherent boolean operations, modifications history, and parametric behaviour.

Part Workbench relationships.svg

The Part Workbench is the basic layer that exposes the OCCT drawing functions to all workbenches in FreeCAD.

Tools

The Part module tools are all located in the Part menu that appears when you load the Part module.

Primitives

These are tools for creating primitive objects.

  • Part Box.svg Box: Creates a box.
  • Part Cone.svg Cone: Creates a cone.
  • Part Torus.svg Torus: Creates a torus (ring).
  • Part Primitives.svg Primitives: A tool to create one of the following primitives:
    • Part Plane.svg Plane: Creates a plane.
    • Tree Part Box Parametric.svg Box: Creates a box. This object can also be created with the Part Box.svg Box tool.
    • Tree Part Cylinder Parametric.svg Cylinder: Creates a cylinder. This object can also be created with the Part Cylinder.svg Cylinder tool.
    • Tree Part Cone Parametric.svg Cone: Creates a cone. This object can also be created with the Part Cone.svg Cone tool.
    • Tree Part Sphere Parametric.svg Sphere: Creates a sphere. This object can also be created with the Part Sphere.svg Sphere tool.
    • Part Ellipsoid.svg Ellipsoid: Creates a ellipsoid.
    • Tree Part Torus Parametric.svg Torus: Creates a torus. This object can also be created with the Part Torus.svg Torus tool.
    • Part Prism.svg Prism: Creates a prism.
    • Part Wedge.svg Wedge: Creates a wedge.
    • Part Helix.svg Helix: Creates a helix.
    • Part Spiral.svg Spiral: Creates a spiral.
    • Part Circle.svg Circle: Creates a circular edge.
    • Part Ellipse.svg Ellipse: Creates an elliptical edge.
    • Part Point.svg Point: Creates a point (vertex).
    • Part Line.svg Line: Creates a line (edge).
    • Part RegularPolygon.svg Regular Polygon: Creates a regular polygon.
  • Part Builder.svg Builder: Creates shapes from various primitives.

Modifying objects

These are tools for modifying existing objects.

  • Part Revolve.svg Revolve: Creates a solid by revolving an object (not a solid) around an axis.
  • Part Mirror.svg Mirror: Mirrors the selected object across a mirror plane.
  • Part Fillet.svg Fillet: Fillets (rounds) edges of an object.
  • Part Chamfer.svg Chamfer: Chamfers edges of an object.
  • Part Loft.svg Loft: Lofts from one profile to another.
  • Part Sweep.svg Sweep: Sweeps one or more profiles along a path.
  • Part CompOffsetTools.png Offset tools:
    • Part Offset.svg 3D Offset: Constructs a parallel shape at a certain distance from an original.
    • Part Offset2D.svg 2D Offset: Constructs a parallel wire at certain distance from an original, or enlarges/shrinks a planar face.
  • Part Boolean.svg Boolean: Performs boolean operations on objects.
  • Part Cut.svg Cut: Cuts (subtracts) one object from another.
  • Part Fuse.svg Fuse: Fuses (unions) two objects.
  • Part Common.svg Common: Extracts the common (intersection) part of two objects.
  • Part CompJoinFeatures.png Join features:
    • Part JoinConnect.svg Connect: Connects interiors of walled objects.
    • Part JoinEmbed.svg Embed: Embeds a walled object into another walled object.
    • Part JoinCutout.svg Cutout: Creates a cutout in a wall of an object for another walled object.
  • Part CompSplittingTools.png Splitting tools:
    • Part BooleanFragments.svg Boolean fragments: Creates all pieces obtained from Boolean operations.
    • Part SliceApart.svg Slice a part: Slices and splits an object by intersecting it with other objects.
    • Part Slice.svg Slice: Slices an object by intersecting it with other objects.
    • Part XOR.svg XOR: Removes space shared by an even number of objects (symmetric version of Cut).
  • Part Section.svg Section: Creates a section by intersecting an object with a section plane.
  • Part Attachment.svg Attachment: Attaches an object to another object.

Measure

Part Measure Menu.png Measure: Tools for linear and angular measurements.

Other tools

  • Part Import.svg Import: Imports from *.IGES, *.STEP, or *.BREP files.
  • Part Export.svg Export: Exports to *.IGES, *.STEP, or *.BREP files.

Context menu items

  • Std SetAppearance.svg Appearance: Determines the appearance of a whole object (color, transparency etc.).
  • Part FaceColors.svg Set colors: Assigns colors to individual faces of objects.

Preferences

  • Preferences-part design.svg Preferences: Preferences available for Part Tools (the Part workbench also uses the PartDesign Preferences).
  • Preferences-import-export.svg Import Export Preferences: Preferences available for importing from and exporting to different file formats.
  • Fine-tuning: Some extra parameters to fine-tune Part behavior.

Scripting

See Part scripting.

Tutorials