Draft Ellipse

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Draft Ellipse.svg Draft Ellipse

Menu location
Draft → Ellipse
Draft, Arch
Default shortcut
Introduced in version
See also
Draft Circle, Draft Arc


The Ellipse tool creates an ellipse in the current work plane by entering two points, defining the corners of a rectangular box in which the ellipse will fit. It uses the Draft Linestyle set on the Draft Tray.

This tool can also be used to create elliptical arcs by specifying the start and end angles. To create circles and circular arcs use the Draft Circle and Draft Arc tools. You can also approximate an elliptical or circular arc using the Draft BSpline and Draft BezCurve tools.

Draft ellipse example.jpg

Ellipse defined by the rectangle corners

How to use

  1. Press the Draft Ellipse.png Draft Ellipse button, or press E then L keys.
  2. Click a first point on the 3D view, or type a coordinate and press the Draft AddPoint.svg add point button.
  3. Click a second point on the 3D view, or type a coordinate and press the Draft AddPoint.svg add point button.

The ellipse can be turned into an elliptical arc after creation, by setting its first angle and last angle properties to different values.


  • To enter coordinates manually, simply enter the numbers, then press Enter between each X, Y and Z component. You can press the Draft AddPoint.svg add point button when you have the desired values to insert the point.
  • Press R or click the checkbox to toggle relative mode. If relative mode is on, the coordinates of the second point are relative to the first one; if not, they are absolute, taken from the origin (0,0,0).
  • Press T or click the checkbox to toggle continue mode. If continue mode is on, the Ellipse tool will restart after you finish the shape, allowing you to draw another one without pressing the tool button again.
  • Press L or click the checkbox to toggle filled mode. If filled mode is on, the ellipse will create a filled face (DataMake Face true); if not, the ellipse will not make a face (DataMake Face false).
  • Hold Ctrl while drawing to force snapping your point to the nearest snap location, independently of the distance.
  • Hold Shift while drawing to constrain your second point horizontally or vertically in relation to the first one.
  • Press Esc or the Close button to abort the current command.


An Ellipse object shares many properties with a Draft Circle, but some properties only make sense for the ellipse.


  • DataFirst Angle: specifies the angle of the first point of the ellipse; normally 0°.
  • DataLast Angle: specifies the angle of the last point of the ellipse; normally 0°.
  • DataMajor Radius: specifies the major radius of the ellipse.
  • DataMinor Radius: specifies the minor radius of the ellipse.
If the both radius have the same value, the ellipse looks the same as a Draft Circle.
  • DataMake Face: specifies if the Ellipse makes a face or not. If it is true a face is created, otherwise only the perimeter is considered part of the object. This property only works if the shape is a full ellipse.
For it to be a full ellipse DataFirst Angle and DataLast Angle should have the same value; otherwise, an elliptical arc is displayed. The values 0° and 360° are considered the same.


  • ViewPattern: specifies a Draft Pattern with which to fill the face of the shape. This property only works if DataMake Face is true, and if ViewDisplay Mode is "Flat Lines".
  • ViewPattern Size: specifies the size of the Draft Pattern.


See also: Draft API and FreeCAD Scripting Basics.

The Ellipse tool can by used in macros and from the Python console by using the following function:

Ellipse = makeEllipse(majradius, minradius, placement=None, face=True, support=None)
  • Creates an Ellipse object with given major (majradius) and minor (minradius) radius in millimeters.
    • The bigger value will be used for the major radius (X axis) if no other placement is given.
  • If a placement is given, it is used; otherwise the shape is created at the origin.
  • If face is True, the ellipse will make a face, that is, it will appear filled.


import FreeCAD, Draft

Ellipse1 =  Draft.makeEllipse(3000, 200)
Ellipse2 =  Draft.makeEllipse(700, 1000)

ZAxis = FreeCAD.Vector(0, 0, 1)
p3 = FreeCAD.Vector(1000, 1000, 0)
place3 = FreeCAD.Placement(p3, FreeCAD.Rotation(ZAxis, 90))

Ellipse3 =  Draft.makeEllipse(700, 1000, placement=place3)