# Draft Module

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Draft workbench icon

## Introduction

The Draft Workbench allows you to draw simple 2D objects, and offers several tools to modify them afterwards. It also provides tools to define a working plane, a grid, and a snapping system to precisely control the position of your geometry.

The created 2D objects can be used for general drafting in a way similar as is done with Inkscape or Autocad. These 2D shapes can also be used as the base components of 3D objects created with other workbenches, for example, the Part and Arch Workbenches. Conversion of Draft objects to Sketches is also possible, which means that the shapes can also be used with the PartDesign Workbench for the creation of solid bodies.

FreeCAD is primarily a 3D modelling application, and thus its 2D tools aren't as advanced as in other drawing programs. If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, you may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting such as LibreCAD, QCad, or others.

## Drawing objects

These are tools for creating objects.

• Line: draws a line segment between two points.
• Polyline: draws a line made of multiple line segments (polyline).
• Fillet: draws a fillet (rounded corner) or a chamfer (straight line) between two simple Lines. introduced in version 0.19
• Arc: draws an arc segment from center, radius, start angle and end angle.
• Arc 3Points: draws a circular arc segment from three points that are located in the circumference. introduced in version 0.19
• Circle: draws a circle from center and radius.
• Ellipse: draws an ellipse from two corner points.
• Rectangle: draws a rectangle from two corner points.
• Polygon: draws a regular polygon from center, radius, and number of sides.
• BSpline: draws a B-Spline from a series of points.
• Cubic Bezier Curve: draws a Bezier curve of third degree by dragging two points. introduced in version 0.19
• Bezier Curve: draws a Bezier curve from a series of points.
• Point: inserts a point object.
• Facebinder: creates a new object from selected faces on existing objects.
• ShapeString: inserts a compound shape representing a text string at a given point.

## Modifying objects

These are tools for modifying existing objects. They work on selected objects, but if no object is selected, you will be invited to select one.

Many operation tools (move, rotate, array, etc.) also work on solid objects (Part, PartDesign, Arch, etc.).

• Shape 2D View: creates a 2D object which is a flattened 2D view of a 3D object.

### Obsolete

This command is considered obsolete because the Drawing Workbench is obsolete. However, the command itself is still available.

These commands have been removed from the interface.

## Draft Tray toolbar

The Draft tray toolbar appears when the workbench is started, and allows selecting the working plane, together with some visual properties like the line color, shape color, text size, line width, and automatic group.

## Draft Snap toolbar

The Draft Snap toolbar allows selecting the currently snapping mode. Its button keep depressed when a mode is active.

• Toggle snap: toggles object snapping globally on or off.
• Endpoint: snaps to the endpoints of line, arc and spline segments.
• Midpoint: snaps to the middle point of line and arc segments.
• Center: snaps to the center point of arcs and circles.
• Angle: snaps to the special cardinal points of circles and arcs, at 45° and 90°.
• Intersection: snaps to the intersection of two line or arc segments. Hover the mouse over the two desired objects to activate their intersection snaps.
• Perpendicular: on line and arc segments, snaps perpendicularly to the latest point.
• Extension: snaps on an imaginary line that extends beyond the endpoints of line segments. Hover the mouse over the desired object to activate its extension snap.
• Parallel: snaps on an imaginary line parallel to a line segment. Hover the mouse over the desired object to activate its parallel snap.
• Special: snaps on special points defined by the object. introduced in version 0.17
• Near: snaps to the closest point or edge on the nearest object.
• Ortho: snaps on imaginary lines that cross the last point, and extend at 0°, 45° and 90°.
• Grid: snaps to the intersections of the grid lines, if the grid is visible.
• Working plane: always places the snapped point on the current working plane, even if you snap to a point outside that working plane.
• Dimensions: shows temporary X and Y dimensions while snapping.
• Toggle grid: toggles the visibility of the grid on or off.

## Utility tools

Additional tools available from the menu Draft → Utilities, or via the right-click context menu, depending on the selected object.

### Obsolete

These tools were removed from the interface in v0.19 because they no longer had any purpose.

## Preferences

• Preferences: general preferences for the working plane and the drawing tools.
• Import Export Preferences: preferences available for importing from and exporting to different file formats.

## File formats

These are functions for opening, importing or exporting other file formats. Opening will open a new document with the contents of the file, while importing will append the contents of the file to the current document. Export will save the selected objects to a file. If nothing is selected, all objects will be exported. Be aware that the purpose of the Draft Module is to work with 2D objects, so those import routines focus only on 2D objects, and although DXF and OCA formats also support object definitions in 3D space (objects are not necessarily flat), they will not import volumetric objects such as meshes, 3D surfaces, etc., but rather lines, circles, texts or flat shapes. Currently supported file formats are: The Draft module provides FreeCAD with importers and exporters for the following file formats:

### Install importers

• Coordinates: enter coordinates instead of clicking on the 3D view to define a new point.
• Constraining: limit the pointer to horizontal or vertical movements relative to a previous point.
• Snapping: place new points on special places on existing objects or on the grid.
• Copy Mode: All modification tools can either modify the selected objects or create a modified copy of them. Pressing and holding Alt while the object is being modified, e.g. moved or rotated, creates a copy when the key is released.
• Construction Mode: Allows you to create geometries separate from the rest by simply switching them on and off.
• Working plane: allows you to select a surface on which to build your shapes.

## Unit tests

To run the unit tests of the workbench execute the following from the operating system terminal.

```freecad -t TestDraft
```

## Scripting

The Draft tools can be used in macros and from the Python console by using the Draft API.

The workbench includes a module to create samples of all objects in a new document. introduced in version 0.19

Use this to test that all objects are produced correctly.

```import drafttests.draft_test_objects as dto
doc = dto.create_test_file()
```

Inspecting the code of this module is useful to understand how to use the programming interface.

```\$INSTALLDIR/Mod/Draft/drafttests/draft_test_objects.py
```

Where `\$INSTALLDIR` is the toplevel directory where the software was installed; for example, in Linux it may be `/usr/share/freecad`.

Test objects for the Draft Workbench.