The Arch Workbench provides a modern building information modelling (BIM) workflow to FreeCAD, with support for features like fully parametric architectural entities such as walls, beams, roofs, windows, stairs, pipes, and furniture. It supports industry foundation classes (IFC) files, and production of 2D floor plans in combination with the TechDraw Workbench.
The Arch Workbench imports all tools from the Draft Workbench, as it uses its 2D objects to build 3D parametric architectural objects. Nevertheless, Arch can also use solid shapes created with other workbenches like Part and PartDesign.
The BIM functionality of FreeCAD is now progressively split into this Arch Workbench, which holds basic architectural tools, and the BIM Workbench, which is available from the Addon Manager. This BIM Workbench adds a new interface layer on top of the Arch tools, with the aim of making the BIM workflow more intuitive and user-friendly. See FreeCAD BIM migration guide.
The developers of Draft, Arch, and BIM also collaborate with the greater OSArch community, with the ultimate goal of improving building design by using entirely free software.
These are tools for creating architectural objects.
- Wall: creates a wall from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
- Curtain Wall: creates a curtain wall from scratch or using a selected object as a base. introduced in version 0.19
- Structural element: creates a structural element from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
- Rebar tools: the Reinforcement Addon augments the Arch Workbench Structures.
- Straight Rebar: creates a Straight reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- UShape Rebar: creates a UShape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- LShape Rebar: creates a LShape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- Bent Shape Rebar: creates a Bent Shape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- Stirrup Rebar: creates a Stirrup reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- Helical Rebar: creates a Helical reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
- ColumnReinforcement: creates a reinforcing bars inside a Column Arch Structure object.
- ColumnReinforcement TwoTiesSixRebars: creates a reinforcing bars inside a Column Arch Structure object.
- BeamReinforcement: creates reinforcing bars inside a Beam Arch Structure object.
- Rebar: creates a custom reinforcement bar in a selected structural element using a sketch.
- Floor: Creates a floor including selected objects
- Building Part: Creates a building part including selected objects
- Building: Creates a building including selected objects
- Site: Creates a site including selected objects
- Project: Creates a project including selected objects
- Reference: Links objects from another FreeCAD file into this document
- Window: Creates a window using a selected object as a base
- Section Plane: Adds a section plane object to the document
- Axis tools: The Axis tool allows you to places a series of axes in the current document.
- Roof: Creates a sloped roof from a selected face
- Space: Creates a space object in the document
- Stairs: Creates a stairs object in the document
- Panel tools: Allows you to build all kinds of panel-like elements.
- Panel: Creates a panel object from a selected 2D object
- Panel Cut: Creates a 2D cut view from a panel introduced in version 0.17
- Panel Sheet: Creates a 2D cut sheet including panel cuts or other 2D objects introduced in version 0.17
- Nest: Allow to nest several flat objects inside a container shape introduced in version 0.17
- Frame: Creates a frame object from a selected layout
- Fence: Creates a fence object from a selected post and path. introduced in version 0.19
- Truss: Creates a truss from a selected line of from scratch. introduced in version 0.19
- Equipment: Creates an equipment or furniture object
- Profile: Creates a parametric 2D profile. introduced in version 0.19
- Pipe tools introduced in version 0.17
- Material tools: The Material tools allows to add materials to the active document.
- Schedule: Creates different types of schedules
These are tools for modifying architectural objects.
- Cut with a line: Cut an object according to a line. introduced in version 0.19
- Cut with plane: Cut an object according to a plane.
- Add component: Adds objects to a component
- Remove component: Subtracts or removes objects from a component
- Survey: Enters or leaves surveying mode
These are additional tools to help you in specific tasks.
- Component: Creates a non-parametric Arch component
- Clone component: Produces Arch Components that are clones of selected Arch objects (not to be confused with Draft Clone)
- Split Mesh: Splits a selected mesh into separate components
- Mesh To Shape: Converts a mesh into a shape, unifying coplanar faces
- Select non-solid meshes: Selects all non-solid meshes from the current selection or from the document
- Remove Shape: Turns cubic shape-based arch object fully parametric
- Close Holes: Closes holes in a selected shape-based object
- Merge Walls: Merge two or more walls
- Check: Check if the selected objects are solids and don't contain defects
- Ifc Explorer: Browse the contents of an IFC file
- Toggle IFC Brep flag: Forces a selected object to be exported as an IfcFacetedBrep.
- 3 Views from mesh: Creates top, frontal and side views from a mesh.
- Create IFC spreadsheet...: Creates a spreadsheet to store IFC properties of an object
- Toggle Subcomponents: Shows or hides the subcomponents of an Arch object.
- Preferences: preferences for the default appearance of walls, structures, rebars, windows, stairs, panels, pipes, grids and axes.
- IFC: industry foundation classes
- DAE: Collada mesh format
- OBJ: Obj mesh format (export only)
- 3DS: 3DS format (import only)
- SHP: GIS Shapefiles (import only)
- Architecture workflow: An example of how FreeCAD can begin to have its preliminary place in an architecture workflow.
- Arch tutorial (v0.14)
- Quick arch overview on Yorik's blog (v0.13)
- Video presentation of the Arch workbench (2016)
- Arch panel tutorial (v0.15)
- BIM modeling chapter from the FreeCAD manual
- Import from STL or OBJ
- Export to STL or OBJ