This is the main help area for newcomers to FreeCAD.
FreeCAD is in continuous development, so there may be missing or outdated information.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, please donate, and see the Help FreeCAD page for other ways to contribute. 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, Linux and Mac
- Installing help files: how to install the offline documentation which is based on this wiki.
- Installing additional components: how to install additional third-party components that can work together with FreeCAD.
- 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.
- Selection methods: the different methods of selecting objects in the software.
- Object name: all objects have a read-only
Namethat uniquely identifies them, and a
Labelwhich is user editable.
- 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 used for specific tasks. These are the base workbenches bundled with every FreeCAD installation:
- Std Base. This is not really a workbench, but rather a category of 'standard' commands and tools that can be used in all workbenches.
- The Arch Workbench for working with architectural elements.
- The Draft Workbench contains 2D tools and basic 2D and 3D CAD operations.
- The FEM Workbench provides Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workflow.
- The Image Workbench for working with bitmap images.
- The Inspection Workbench is made to give you specific tools for examination of shapes. It is still under development.
- The Mesh Workbench for working with triangulated meshes.
- The OpenSCAD Workbench for interoperability with OpenSCAD and repairing constructive solid geometry (CSG) model history.
- The Part Workbench for working with CAD parts.
- The Part Design Workbench for building Part shapes from sketches.
- The Path Workbench is used to produce G-Code instructions. It is still under development.
- The Points Workbench for working with point clouds.
- The Raytracing Workbench for working with ray-tracing (rendering).
- The Reverse Engineering Workbench is intended to provide specific tools to convert shapes/solids/meshes into parametric FreeCAD-compatible features. It is still under development.
- The Robot Workbench for studying robot movements.
- The Sketcher Workbench for working with geometry-constrained sketches.
- The Spreadsheet Workbench for creating and manipulating spreadsheet data.
- The Start Center Workbench allows you to quickly jump to one of the most common workbenches.
- The Surface Workbench provides tools to create and modify surfaces. It is similar to the Part Builder Face from edges option.
- The TechDraw Workbench for producing technical drawings from 3D models. It is the successor of the Drawing Workbench.
- The Test Framework Workbench is for debugging 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.
- The Power users hub is the place to go if you would like to see more advanced use of FreeCAD
- 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.