Difference between revisions of "Feature list"

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This is an extensive, but not complete, list of features which FreeCAD implements. If you want to look into the future see the [[Development roadmap]] for a quick overview of what's coming next. Also, the [[Screenshots]] are a nice place to go.  
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This is an extensive, but not complete, list of features which FreeCAD implements. If you want to look into the future see the [[Development roadmap|Development roadmap]] for a quick overview of what's coming next. Also, the [[Screenshots|Screenshots]] are a nice place to go.  
  
 
== Release notes == <!--T:2-->
 
== Release notes == <!--T:2-->
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* [[Release notes 0.16|Release 0.16]] - April 2016
 
* [[Release notes 0.16|Release 0.16]] - April 2016
 
* [[Release notes 0.17|Release 0.17]] - April 2018
 
* [[Release notes 0.17|Release 0.17]] - April 2018
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* [[Release notes 0.18|Release 0.18]] - March 2019
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* [[Release notes 0.19|Release 0.19]] - Month 2020
  
 
== Key features == <!--T:4-->
 
== Key features == <!--T:4-->
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* [[Image:Feature3.jpg|left]] A full '''parametric model'''. All FreeCAD objects are natively parametric, meaning their shape can be based on [[Property|properties]] or even depend on other objects.  All changes are recalculated on demand, and recorded by an undo/redo stack.  New object types can be added easily, and can even be [[Scripted objects|fully programmed in Python]].{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature3.jpg|left]] A full '''parametric model'''. All FreeCAD objects are natively parametric, meaning their shape can be based on [[Property|properties]] or even depend on other objects.  All changes are recalculated on demand, and recorded by an undo/redo stack.  New object types can be added easily, and can even be [[Scripted objects|fully programmed in Python]].{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature4.jpg|left]] A '''modular architecture''' that allows plugin extensions (modules) to add functionality to the core application. An extension can be as complex as a whole new application programmed in C++ or as simple as a [[Power users hub|Python script]] or self-recorded [[macros|macro]]. You have complete access to almost any part of FreeCAD from the built-in '''Python''' interpreter, macros or external scripts, be it [[Topological data scripting|geometry creation and transformation]], the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry ([[scenegraph]]) or even the [[PySide|FreeCAD interface]] {{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature4.jpg|left]] A '''modular architecture''' that allows plugin extensions (modules) to add functionality to the core application. An extension can be as complex as a whole new application programmed in C++ or as simple as a [[Power users hub|Python script]] or self-recorded [[macros|macro]]. You have complete access to almost any part of FreeCAD from the built-in '''Python''' interpreter, macros or external scripts, be it [[Topological data scripting|geometry creation and transformation]], the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry ([[scenegraph]]) or even the [[PySide|FreeCAD interface]] {{clear}}
* [[Image:Feature5.jpg|left]] Import/export to '''standard formats''' such as [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_10303 STEP], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGES IGES], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obj OBJ], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_%28file_format%29 STL], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dxf DXF], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svg SVG], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_(file_format) STL], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COLLADA DAE], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Foundation_Classes IFC] or [http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/data/off/off.html OFF], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASTRAN NASTRAN], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRML VRML] in addition to FreeCAD's native [[Fcstd file format]]. The level of compatibility between FreeCAD and a given file format can vary, since it depends on the module that implements it.{{clear}}
+
* [[Image:Feature5.jpg|left]] Import/export to '''standard formats''' such as [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_10303 STEP], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGES IGES], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obj OBJ], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_%28file_format%29 STL], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dxf DXF], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svg SVG], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STL_(file_format) STL], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COLLADA DAE], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Foundation_Classes IFC] or [http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/data/off/off.html OFF], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASTRAN NASTRAN], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRML VRML] in addition to FreeCAD's native {{FileName|[[File Format FCStd|FCStd]]}} file format. The level of compatibility between FreeCAD and a given file format can vary, since it depends on the module that implements it.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature7.jpg|left]] A [[Sketcher Workbench|Sketcher]] with integrated constraint-solver, allowing you to sketch geometry-constrained 2D shapes. The constrained 2D shapes built with Sketcher may then be used as a base to build other objects throughout FreeCAD.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature7.jpg|left]] A [[Sketcher Workbench|Sketcher]] with integrated constraint-solver, allowing you to sketch geometry-constrained 2D shapes. The constrained 2D shapes built with Sketcher may then be used as a base to build other objects throughout FreeCAD.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature9.jpg|left]] A [[Robot Workbench|Robot simulation]] module that allows you to study robot movements in a graphical environment.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature9.jpg|left]] A [[Robot Workbench|Robot simulation]] module that allows you to study robot movements in a graphical environment.{{clear}}
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* [[Image:Feature-raytracing.jpg|left]] A [[Raytracing Module|Rendering]] module that can export 3D objects for rendering with external renderers. It currently only supports [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POV-Ray povray] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LuxRender LuxRender], but is expected to be extended to other renderers in the future.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature-raytracing.jpg|left]] A [[Raytracing Module|Rendering]] module that can export 3D objects for rendering with external renderers. It currently only supports [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POV-Ray povray] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LuxRender LuxRender], but is expected to be extended to other renderers in the future.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature-arch.jpg|left]] An [[Arch Module|Architecture]] module that allows [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_Information_Modeling Building Information Modeling] (BIM)-like workflow, with [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Foundation_Classes Industry Foundation Classes] (IFC) compatibility.{{clear}}
 
* [[Image:Feature-arch.jpg|left]] An [[Arch Module|Architecture]] module that allows [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_Information_Modeling Building Information Modeling] (BIM)-like workflow, with [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Foundation_Classes Industry Foundation Classes] (IFC) compatibility.{{clear}}
* [[Image:Feature-CAM.jpg|left]] [[Path Workbench|Path module]] dedicated to mechanical machining like milling (CAM), and is able to output, display and adjust [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-code G code].{{clear}}
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* [[Image:Feature-CAM.jpg|left]] A [[Path Workbench|Path module]] dedicated to mechanical machining for [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-aided_manufacturing Computer Aided Manufacturing] (CAM). Using the Path module you may output, display and adjust the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-code G code] used to control the target machine.{{clear}}
* [[Image:Feature_spreadsheet.png|left]] [[Spreadsheet_Workbench|Integrated Spreadsheet]] and an [[Expressions|expression parser]] to drive formula-based models or retrieve data from models.{{clear}}
+
* [[Image:Feature_spreadsheet.png|left]] An [[Spreadsheet_Workbench|Integrated Spreadsheet]] and an [[Expressions|expression parser]] which may be used to drive formula-based models and organize model data in a central location.{{clear}}
  
 
== General features: == <!--T:6-->
 
== General features: == <!--T:6-->
  
 
<!--T:7-->
 
<!--T:7-->
*'''FreeCAD is multi-platform'''. It runs and behaves exactly the same way on Windows Linux and macOS platforms.
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* '''multi-platform'''. FreeCAD runs and behaves exactly the same way on Windows, Linux, macOS and other platforms.
  
 
<!--T:8-->
 
<!--T:8-->
* '''FreeCAD is a full GUI application'''. FreeCAD has a complete Graphical User Interface based on the famous [http://www.qtsoftware.com/ Qt] framework, with a 3D viewer based on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Inventor Open Inventor], allowing fast rendering of 3D scenes and a very accessible scene graph representation.
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* '''full GUI application'''. FreeCAD has a complete Graphical User Interface based on the [http://www.qtsoftware.com/ Qt] framework, with a 3D viewer based on [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Inventor Open Inventor]; allowing fast rendering of 3D scenes and a very accessible scene graph representation.
  
 
<!--T:9-->
 
<!--T:9-->
* '''FreeCAD also runs as a command line application''', with low memory footprint. In command line mode, FreeCAD runs without its interface, but with all its geometry tools. It can be, for example, used as server to produce content for other applications.
+
* '''runs as a command line application'''. In command line mode, FreeCAD runs without its interface but with all its geometry tools. In this mode it has a relatively low memory footprint and can be used, for example, as a server to produce content for other applications.
  
 
<!--T:10-->
 
<!--T:10-->
* '''FreeCAD can be imported as a [[Embedding FreeCAD|Python module]]''', inside other applications that can run Python scripts, or in a Python console. Like in console mode, the interface part of FreeCAD is unavailable, but all geometry tools are accessible.
+
* '''can be imported as a [[Embedding FreeCAD|Python module]]''' FreeCAD can be imported into any application that can run Python scripts. As in command line mode, the interface part of FreeCAD is unavailable, but all geometry tools are accessible.
  
 
<!--T:11-->
 
<!--T:11-->
* '''Workbench concept''': In the FreeCAD interface, tools are grouped by [[workbenches]]. This allows to display only the tools used to accomplish a certain task, keeping the workspace uncluttered and responsive, and the application fast to load.
+
* '''workbench concept'''. In the FreeCAD interface, tools are grouped by [[workbenches|workbenches]]. This allows you to display only the tools used to accomplish a certain task, keeping the workspace uncluttered and responsive, and allowing the application to load rapidly.
  
 
<!--T:12-->
 
<!--T:12-->
* '''Plugin/Module framework for late loading of features/data-types'''. FreeCAD is divided into a core application and modules, that are loaded only when needed. Almost all the tools and geometry types are stored in modules. Modules behave like plugins, and can be added or removed to an existing installation of FreeCAD.
+
* '''plugin/module framework for late loading of features/data-types'''. FreeCAD is divided into a core application with modules that are loaded only when needed. Almost all tools and geometry types are stored in modules. Modules behave like plugins; in addition to delayed loading, individual modules can be added to or removed from an existing installation of FreeCAD.
  
 
<!--T:13-->
 
<!--T:13-->
* '''Parametric associative document objects''': All objects in a FreeCAD document can be defined by parameters. Those parameters can be modified on the fly, and recomputed anytime. The relationship between objects is also stored, so modifying one object also modifies its dependent objects.
+
* '''parametric associative document objects'''. All objects in a FreeCAD document can be defined by parameters. Those parameters can be modified and recomputed at any time. Since object relationships are maintained, the modification of one object will automatically propagate to any dependent objects.
  
 
<!--T:14-->
 
<!--T:14-->
* '''Parametric primitive creation''' (box, sphere, cylinder, etc)
+
* '''parametric primitive creation'''. Primitive objects such as box, sphere, cylinder, etc. can be created by specifying their geometry constraints.
  
 
<!--T:15-->
 
<!--T:15-->
* Graphical '''modification operations''' like translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, offset (trivial or after [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240754626_Self-intersection_Removal_in_Triangular_Mesh_Offsetting Jung/Shin/Choi]) or shape conversion, in any plane of the 3D space
+
* '''graphical modification operations'''.  FreeCAD can perform translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, offset (either trivial or as described in [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240754626_Self-intersection_Removal_in_Triangular_Mesh_Offsetting Jung/Shin/Choi]) or shape conversion, in any plane of the 3D space.
  
 
<!--T:16-->
 
<!--T:16-->
* '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_solid_geometry Boolean operations]''' (union, difference, intersect)
+
* '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_solid_geometry constructive solid geometry] (boolean operations)'''. FreeCAD can do constructive solid geometry operations (union, difference, intersect).
  
 
<!--T:17-->
 
<!--T:17-->
* Graphical creation of '''planar geometry''' like lines, wires, rectangles, b-splines, circular or elliptic arcs in any plane of the 3D space
+
* '''graphical creation of planar geometry'''.  Lines, wires, rectangles, b-splines, and circular or elliptic arcs can be created graphically in any plane of the 3D space.
  
 
<!--T:18-->
 
<!--T:18-->
* Modeling with straight or revolution '''extrusions''', '''sections''' and '''fillets'''.
+
* '''modeling with straight or revolved''' '''extrusions''', '''sections''' and '''fillets'''.
  
 
<!--T:19-->
 
<!--T:19-->
* Topological components like '''vertices, edges, wires''' and '''planes''' (also via Python scripting).
+
* '''topological components''' like '''vertices''', '''edges''', '''wires''' and '''planes'''.
  
 
<!--T:20-->
 
<!--T:20-->
* '''Testing and repairing''' tools for meshes: solid test, non-two-manifolds test, self-intersection test, hole filling and uniform orientation.
+
* '''testing and repairing'''.  FreeCAD has tools for testing meshes (solid test, non-two-manifolds test, self-intersection test) and for repairing meshes (hole filling, uniform orientation).
  
 
<!--T:21-->
 
<!--T:21-->
* '''Annotations''' like texts or dimensions
+
* '''annotations'''.  FreeCAD can insert annotations for text or dimensions.
  
 
<!--T:22-->
 
<!--T:22-->
* '''Undo/Redo framework''': Everything is undo/redoable, with access to the undo stack, so multiple steps can be undone at a time.
+
* '''Undo/Redo framework'''. Everything in FreeCAD is undo/redoable, with user access to the undo stack. Multiple steps can be undone at one time.
  
 
<!--T:23-->
 
<!--T:23-->
* '''Transaction management''': The undo/redo stack stores document transactions and not single actions, allowing each tool to define exactly what must be undone or redone.
+
* '''transaction oriented'''. The undo/redo stack stores document transactions, not single actions, allowing each tool to define exactly what must be undone or redone.
  
 
<!--T:24-->
 
<!--T:24-->
* '''Built-in [[Scripting|scripting]] framework''': FreeCAD features a built-in [http://www.python.org/ Python] interpreter, and an API that covers almost any part of the application, the interface, the geometry and the representation of this geometry in the 3D viewer. The interpreter can run single commands up to complex scripts, in fact entire modules can even be programmed completely in Python.
+
* '''built-in [[Scripting|scripting]] framework'''. FreeCAD features a built-in [http://www.python.org/ Python] interpreter, with an API that covers almost any part of the application, the interface, the geometry and the representation of this geometry in the 3D viewer. The interpreter can run complex scripts as well as single commands; entire modules can be programmed completely in Python.
  
 
<!--T:25-->
 
<!--T:25-->
* '''Built-in Python console''' with syntax highlighting, autocomplete and class browser: Python commands can be issued directly in FreeCAD and immediately return results, permitting scriptwriters to test functionality on the fly, explore the contents of the modules and easily learn about FreeCAD internals.
+
* '''built-in Python console'''.  The Python interpreter includes a console with syntax highlighting, autocomplete and a class browser. Python commands can be issued directly in FreeCAD and immediately return results, permitting script writers to test functionality on the fly, explore the contents of FreeCAD's modules and easily learn about FreeCAD internals.
  
 
<!--T:26-->
 
<!--T:26-->
* '''User interaction mirroring on the console''': Everything the user does in the FreeCAD interface executes Python code, which can be printed on the console and recorded in macros.
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* '''mirrors user interaction'''Everything the user does in the FreeCAD interface executes Python code, which can be printed on the console and recorded in macros.
  
 
<!--T:27-->
 
<!--T:27-->
* '''Full macro recording & editing''': The Python commands issued when the user manipulates the interface can then be recorded, edited if needed, and saved to be reproduced later.
+
* '''full macro recording and editing''' capabilities. The Python commands issued when the user manipulates the interface can be recorded, edited if needed, and saved to be reproduced later.
  
 
<!--T:28-->
 
<!--T:28-->
* '''Compound (ZIP based) document save format''': FreeCAD documents saved with .[[fcstd file format|fcstd]] extension can contain many different types of information, such as geometry, scripts or thumbnail icons.  The .fcstd file is itself a zip container, so a saved FreeCAD file has already been compressed.
+
* '''compound (ZIP based) document save format'''. FreeCAD documents are saved with a {{FileName|.[[File Format FCStd|FCStd]]}} extension. The document can contain many different types of information such as geometry, scripts or thumbnail icons.  The {{FileName|.FCStd}} file is itself a zip container; a saved FreeCAD file has already been compressed.
  
 
<!--T:29-->
 
<!--T:29-->
* '''Fully customizable/scriptable Graphical User Interface'''. The [http://www.qtsoftware.com Qt]-based interface of FreeCAD is entirely accessible via the Python interpreter. Aside from the simple functions that FreeCAD itself provides to workbenches, the whole Qt framework is accessible too, allowing any operation on the GUI, such as creating, adding, docking, modifying or removing widgets and toolbars.
+
* '''fully customizable/scriptable Graphical User Interface'''. The [http://www.qtsoftware.com Qt]-based interface of FreeCAD is entirely accessible via the Python interpreter. Aside from simple functions FreeCAD itself provides to workbenches, the entire Qt framework is accessible. The user may perform any operation on the GUI such as creating, adding, docking, modifying or removing widgets and toolbars.
  
 
<!--T:30-->
 
<!--T:30-->
* '''Thumbnailer''' (Linux systems only at the moment): The FreeCAD document icons show the contents of the file in most file manager applications such as Gnome's Nautilus.
+
* '''thumbnailer'''. (currently only Linux systems) FreeCAD document icons show the contents of the file in most file manager applications such as Gnome's Nautilus.
  
 
<!--T:31-->
 
<!--T:31-->
* '''A modular MSI installer''' allows flexible installations on Windows systems. Packages for Ubuntu systems are also maintained.
+
* '''modular MSI installer'''.  FreeCAD's installer allows flexible installations on Windows systems. Packages for Ubuntu systems are also maintained.
  
 
==In development== <!--T:32-->
 
==In development== <!--T:32-->
  
 
<!--T:33-->
 
<!--T:33-->
* [[Image:Feature-assembly.jpg|left]] An [[Assembly project|Assembly]] module that allows to work with multiple projects, multiple shapes, multiple documents, multiple files, multiple relationships...  This module is currently in planning state.{{clear}}
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* [[Image:Feature-assembly.jpg|left]] An [[Assembly project|Assembly]] module that allows one to work with multiple projects, multiple shapes, multiple documents, multiple files, multiple relationships...  This module is currently in the planning state.{{clear}}
  
 
==Extra Workbenches == <!--T:36-->
 
==Extra Workbenches == <!--T:36-->
Power users have created various custom [[external workbenches]].
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Power users have created various custom [[external workbenches|external workbenches]].
  
  
 
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Latest revision as of 22:18, 25 February 2020

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This is an extensive, but not complete, list of features which FreeCAD implements. If you want to look into the future see the Development roadmap for a quick overview of what's coming next. Also, the Screenshots are a nice place to go.

Release notes

Key features

  • Feature3.jpg
    A full parametric model. All FreeCAD objects are natively parametric, meaning their shape can be based on properties or even depend on other objects. All changes are recalculated on demand, and recorded by an undo/redo stack. New object types can be added easily, and can even be fully programmed in Python.
  • Feature4.jpg
    A modular architecture that allows plugin extensions (modules) to add functionality to the core application. An extension can be as complex as a whole new application programmed in C++ or as simple as a Python script or self-recorded macro. You have complete access to almost any part of FreeCAD from the built-in Python interpreter, macros or external scripts, be it geometry creation and transformation, the 2D or 3D representation of that geometry (scenegraph) or even the FreeCAD interface
  • Feature5.jpg
    Import/export to standard formats such as STEP, IGES, OBJ, STL, DXF, SVG, STL, DAE, IFC or OFF, NASTRAN, VRML in addition to FreeCAD's native FCStd file format. The level of compatibility between FreeCAD and a given file format can vary, since it depends on the module that implements it.
  • Feature7.jpg
    A Sketcher with integrated constraint-solver, allowing you to sketch geometry-constrained 2D shapes. The constrained 2D shapes built with Sketcher may then be used as a base to build other objects throughout FreeCAD.
  • Feature9.jpg
    A Robot simulation module that allows you to study robot movements in a graphical environment.
  • Feature8.jpg
    A technical drawing module with options for detail views, cross sectional views, dimensioning and others, allowing you to generate 2D views of existing 3D models. The module then produces ready-to-export SVG or PDF files. An older Drawing module with sparse Gui-commands but a powerful Python functionality also exists.
  • Feature-raytracing.jpg
    A Rendering module that can export 3D objects for rendering with external renderers. It currently only supports povray and LuxRender, but is expected to be extended to other renderers in the future.


General features:

  • multi-platform. FreeCAD runs and behaves exactly the same way on Windows, Linux, macOS and other platforms.
  • full GUI application. FreeCAD has a complete Graphical User Interface based on the Qt framework, with a 3D viewer based on Open Inventor; allowing fast rendering of 3D scenes and a very accessible scene graph representation.
  • runs as a command line application. In command line mode, FreeCAD runs without its interface but with all its geometry tools. In this mode it has a relatively low memory footprint and can be used, for example, as a server to produce content for other applications.
  • can be imported as a Python module FreeCAD can be imported into any application that can run Python scripts. As in command line mode, the interface part of FreeCAD is unavailable, but all geometry tools are accessible.
  • workbench concept. In the FreeCAD interface, tools are grouped by workbenches. This allows you to display only the tools used to accomplish a certain task, keeping the workspace uncluttered and responsive, and allowing the application to load rapidly.
  • plugin/module framework for late loading of features/data-types. FreeCAD is divided into a core application with modules that are loaded only when needed. Almost all tools and geometry types are stored in modules. Modules behave like plugins; in addition to delayed loading, individual modules can be added to or removed from an existing installation of FreeCAD.
  • parametric associative document objects. All objects in a FreeCAD document can be defined by parameters. Those parameters can be modified and recomputed at any time. Since object relationships are maintained, the modification of one object will automatically propagate to any dependent objects.
  • parametric primitive creation. Primitive objects such as box, sphere, cylinder, etc. can be created by specifying their geometry constraints.
  • graphical modification operations. FreeCAD can perform translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, offset (either trivial or as described in Jung/Shin/Choi) or shape conversion, in any plane of the 3D space.
  • constructive solid geometry (boolean operations). FreeCAD can do constructive solid geometry operations (union, difference, intersect).
  • graphical creation of planar geometry. Lines, wires, rectangles, b-splines, and circular or elliptic arcs can be created graphically in any plane of the 3D space.
  • modeling with straight or revolved extrusions, sections and fillets.
  • topological components like vertices, edges, wires and planes.
  • testing and repairing. FreeCAD has tools for testing meshes (solid test, non-two-manifolds test, self-intersection test) and for repairing meshes (hole filling, uniform orientation).
  • annotations. FreeCAD can insert annotations for text or dimensions.
  • Undo/Redo framework. Everything in FreeCAD is undo/redoable, with user access to the undo stack. Multiple steps can be undone at one time.
  • transaction oriented. The undo/redo stack stores document transactions, not single actions, allowing each tool to define exactly what must be undone or redone.
  • built-in scripting framework. FreeCAD features a built-in Python interpreter, with an API that covers almost any part of the application, the interface, the geometry and the representation of this geometry in the 3D viewer. The interpreter can run complex scripts as well as single commands; entire modules can be programmed completely in Python.
  • built-in Python console. The Python interpreter includes a console with syntax highlighting, autocomplete and a class browser. Python commands can be issued directly in FreeCAD and immediately return results, permitting script writers to test functionality on the fly, explore the contents of FreeCAD's modules and easily learn about FreeCAD internals.
  • mirrors user interaction. Everything the user does in the FreeCAD interface executes Python code, which can be printed on the console and recorded in macros.
  • full macro recording and editing capabilities. The Python commands issued when the user manipulates the interface can be recorded, edited if needed, and saved to be reproduced later.
  • compound (ZIP based) document save format. FreeCAD documents are saved with a .FCStd extension. The document can contain many different types of information such as geometry, scripts or thumbnail icons. The .FCStd file is itself a zip container; a saved FreeCAD file has already been compressed.
  • fully customizable/scriptable Graphical User Interface. The Qt-based interface of FreeCAD is entirely accessible via the Python interpreter. Aside from simple functions FreeCAD itself provides to workbenches, the entire Qt framework is accessible. The user may perform any operation on the GUI such as creating, adding, docking, modifying or removing widgets and toolbars.
  • thumbnailer. (currently only Linux systems) FreeCAD document icons show the contents of the file in most file manager applications such as Gnome's Nautilus.
  • modular MSI installer. FreeCAD's installer allows flexible installations on Windows systems. Packages for Ubuntu systems are also maintained.

In development

  • Feature-assembly.jpg
    An Assembly module that allows one to work with multiple projects, multiple shapes, multiple documents, multiple files, multiple relationships... This module is currently in the planning state.


Extra Workbenches

Power users have created various custom external workbenches.