PartDesign Workbench

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Workbench PartDesign.svg

With the release of FreeCAD version 0.17, the PartDesign workbench benefits from important changes. This documentation reflects this new version. For FreeCAD 0.16 users, please refer to the old PartDesign Legacy page.


The PartDesign Workbench provides advanced tools for modeling complex solid parts. It is mostly focused on creating mechanical parts that can be manufactured and assembled into a finished product. Nevertheless, the created solids can be used in general for any other purpose such as architectural design, finite element analysis, or machining and 3D printing.

The PartDesign Workbench is intrinsically related to the Sketcher Workbench. The user normally creates a Sketch, then uses the PartDesign Pad tool to extrude it and create a basic solid, and then this solid is further modified.

While the Part Workbench is based on a constructive solid geometry (CSG) methodology for building shapes, the PartDesign Workbench uses a parametric, feature editing methodology, which means a basic solid is sequentially transformed by adding features on top until the final shape is obtained. See the feature editing page for a more complete explanation of this process, and then see Creating a simple part with PartDesign to get started with creating solids.

The bodies created with PartDesign are often subject to the topological naming problem which causes internal features to be renamed when the parametric operations are modified. This problem can be minimized by following the best practices described in the feature editing page, and by taking advantage of datum objects as support for sketches and features.

PartDesign Example.png


The Part Design tools are all located in the Part Design menu and the PartDesign toolbar that appear when you load the Part Design workbench.

Structure tools

These are tools to organize the Model tree.

  • Std Part.png Part: adds a new Part container in the active document and makes it active.
  • Group.svg Group: adds a Group in the active document's Model tree.

Part Design Helper tools

  • PartDesign Body.png Create body: Creates a Body in the active document and makes it active.
  • PartDesign NewSketch.png Create sketch: creates‎ a new sketch on a selected face or plane. If no face is selected while this tool is executed, the user is prompted to select a plane from the Tasks panel. The interface then switches to the Sketcher_Workbench in sketch editing mode.
  • Sketcher MapSketch.png Map sketch to face: Maps a sketch to a previously selected plane or a face of the active body.

Part Design Modeling tools

Datum tools

Additive tools

These are tools for creating base features or adding material to an existing solid body.

  • PartDesign Pad.png Pad: extrudes a solid from a selected sketch.
  • PartDesign Revolution.png Revolution: creates a solid by revolving a sketch around an axis. The sketch must form a closed profile.
  • PartDesign AdditiveLoft.png Additive loft: creates a solid by making a transition between two or more sketches.
  • PartDesign AdditivePipe.png Additive pipe: creates a solid by sweeping one or more sketches along an open or closed path.

Subtractive tools

These are tools for subtracting material from an existing body.

  • PartDesign Pocket.png Pocket: creates a pocket from a selected sketch.
  • PartDesign Hole.png Hole: creates a hole feature from a selected sketch. The sketch must contain one or multiple circles.
  • PartDesign Groove.png Groove: creates a groove by revolving a sketch around an axis.
  • PartDesign SubtractiveLoft.png Subtractive loft: creates a solid shape by making a transition between two or more sketches and subtracts it from the active body.
  • PartDesign SubtractivePipe.png Subtractive pipe: creates a solid shape by sweeping one or more sketches along an open or closed path and subtracts it from the active body.

Transformation tools

These are tools for transforming existing features. They will allow you to choose which features to transform.

  • PartDesign Mirrored.png Mirrored: mirrors one or more features on a plane or face.
  • PartDesign LinearPattern.png Linear Pattern: creates a linear pattern based on one or more features.

Dress-up tools

These tools apply a treatment to the selected edges or faces.

  • PartDesign Fillet.png Fillet: fillets (rounds) edges of the active body.
  • PartDesign Chamfer.png Chamfer: chamfers edges of the active body.
  • PartDesign Draft.png Draft: applies an angular draft to selected faces of the active body.
  • PartDesign Thickness.png Thickness: creates a thick shell from the active body and opens selected face(s).


  • PartDesign Boolean.png Boolean operation: imports one or more Bodies or PartDesign Clones into the active body and applies a Boolean operation.


Some additional functionality found in the Part Design menu:

  • Migrate: migrates files created with older FreeCAD versions. If the file is pure PartDesign feature-based, migration should succeed. If the file contains mixed Part/Part Design/Draft objects, the conversion will most likely fail.
  • PartDesign WizardShaft.png Shaft design wizard: Generates a shaft from a table of values and allows to analyze forces and moments. The shaft is made with a revolved sketch that can be edited.
  • PartDesign InternalExternalGear.png Involute gear: creates an involute gear profile that can be used by a Pad.

Contextual Menu tools

  • PartDesign MoveTip.png Set tip: redefines the tip, which is the feature exposed outside of the Body.
  • Move object after other object: allows reordering of the Body tree by moving the selected sketch, datum geometry or feature to another position in the list of features.


  • Std DlgParameter.png Preferences...: Preferences available in PartDesign Tools.
  • Std DlgParameter.png Fine-tuning: Some extra parameters to fine-tune PartDesign behavior