Draft Rotate

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Draft Rotate.svg Draft Rotate

Menu location
Modification → Rotate
Draft, Arch
Default shortcut
Introduced in version
See also
Draft Move, Draft Array


The Rotate tool rotates or copies the selected objects by a given angle around a reference point.

The Rotate tool can be used on 2D shapes created with the Draft Workbench or Sketcher Workbench, but can also be used on many types of 3D objects such as those created with the Part Workbench or Arch Workbench.

To move without rotation, use Draft Move. To produce various copies in different arrangements use Draft Array, Draft PathArray and Draft PointArray.

Draft Rotate example.jpg

Rotating one object using a center reference point, from one reference angle to another angle


  1. Select the objects that you wish to move or copy.
  2. Press the Draft Rotate.svg Draft Rotate button, or press R then O keys. If no object is selected, you will be invited to select one.
  3. Click a first point on the 3D view, or type a coordinate and press the Draft AddPoint.svg add point button. This serves as the base point of the operation, through which the axis of rotation will pass.
  4. Click a second point on the 3D view, or type a base angle. This defines a baseline that will rotate around the first point.
  5. Click a third point on the 3D view, or type a rotation angle. This indicates the rotation of the baseline, and thus the objects.


  • Press X, Y or Z after a point to constrain the next point on the given axis.
  • 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 T or click the checkbox to toggle continue mode. If continue mode is on, the Rotate tool will restart after you finish the operation, allowing you to rotate or copy the objects again without pressing the tool button again.
  • Press P or click the checkbox to toggle copy mode. If copy mode is on, the Rotate tool will keep the original shape in its place but will make a copy at the set angle set by the third point.
You can use both T and P to place several copies in sequence. In this case, the duplicated element is the last placed copy.
  • Hold Alt after the second point to also toggle copy mode. Keeping Alt pressed after clicking on the third point will allow you to continue placing copies using the same rotation base point and baseline; release Alt to finish the operation and see all copies.
  • Hold Ctrl while rotating to force snapping your point to the nearest snap location, independently of the distance.
  • Hold Shift while rotating to constrain your next point horizontally or vertically in relation to the rotation base point.
  • Press Esc or the Close button to abort the current command; copies already placed will remain.


See also: Autogenerated API documentation and FreeCAD Scripting Basics.

To rotate objects use the rotate method of the Draft module.

rotated_list = rotate(objectslist, angle, center=Vector(0,0,0), axis=Vector(0,0,1), copy=False)
  • objectslist contains the objects to be rotated. It is either a single object or a list of objects.
  • angle is the angle of rotation in degrees.
  • center is the center point of rotation.
  • axis is the direction of the axis of rotation.
  • If copy is True copies are created instead of rotating the original objects.
  • rotated_list is returned with the original rotated objects, or with the new copies. It is either a single object or a list of objects, depending on objectlist.


import FreeCAD as App
import Draft

doc = App.newDocument()

polygon1 = Draft.make_polygon(3, radius=300)
Draft.move(polygon1, App.Vector(1000, 0, 0))

# Rotation around the origin
angle1 = 45
rot2 = Draft.rotate(polygon1, angle1, copy=True)
rot3 = Draft.rotate(polygon1, 2*angle1, copy=True)
rot4 = Draft.rotate(polygon1, 4*angle1, copy=True)

polygon2 = Draft.make_polygon(3, radius=1000)
polygon3 = Draft.make_polygon(5, radius=500)
Draft.move(polygon2, App.Vector(2000, 0, 0))
Draft.move(polygon3, App.Vector(2000, 0, 0))

# Rotation around another point
angle2 = 60
cen = App.Vector(3100, 0, 0)
list2 = [polygon2, polygon3]
rot_list2 = Draft.rotate(list2, angle2, center=cen, copy=True)
rot_list3 = Draft.rotate(list2, 2*angle2, center=cen, copy=True)
rot_list4 = Draft.rotate(list2, 4*angle2, center=cen, copy=True)


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