Part Module

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Part workbench icon

Introduction

The solid modelling capabilities of FreeCAD are based on the OpenCASCADE Technology (OCCT) kernel, a professional-grade CAD system that features advanced 3D geometry creation and manipulation. The Workbench Part.svg Part Workbench is a layer sitting on top of the OCCT libraries, that gives the user access to OCCT geometric primitives and functions. Essentially all 2D and 3D drawing functions in every workbench (Workbench Draft.svg Draft, Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher, Workbench PartDesign.svg PartDesign, etc.), are based on these functions exposed by the Part Workbench. Therefore, the Part Workbench is considered the core component of the modelling capabilities of FreeCAD.

The objects created with the Part Workbench are relatively simple; they are intended to be used with boolean operations (unions and cuts) in order to build more complex shapes. This modeling paradigm is known as the constructive solid geometry (CSG) workflow, and it was the traditional methodology used in early CAD systems. On the other hand, the PartDesign Workbench provides a more modern workflow to constructing shapes: it uses a parametrically defined sketch, that is extruded to form a basic solid body, which is then modified by parametric transformations (feature editing), until the final object is obtained.

Part objects are more complex than mesh objects created with the Mesh Workbench, as they permit more advanced operations like coherent boolean operations, modifications history, and parametric behaviour.

Part Workbench relationships.svg

The Part Workbench is the basic layer that exposes the OCCT drawing functions to all workbenches in FreeCAD.


Tools

The tools are located in the Part menu or the Measure menu.

Primitives

These are tools for creating primitive objects.

  • Part Box.svg Box: Draws a box by specifying its dimensions
  • Part Cylinder.svg Cylinder: Draws a cylinder by specifying its dimensions
  • Part Sphere.svg Sphere: Draws a sphere by specifying its dimensions
  • Part Cone.svg Cone: Draws a cone by specifying its dimensions
  • Part Torus.svg Torus: Draws a torus (ring) by specifying its dimensions
  • Part Tube.svg Tube: draws a tube by specifying its internal radius and external radius. introduced in version 0.19
  • Part Primitives.svg Primitives: A tool to add any of the defined geometric primitives.
  • Part Builder.svg Builder: A tool to create more complex shapes from various parametric geometric primitives

Modifying objects

These are tools for modifying existing objects. They will allow you to choose which object to modify.

  • Part Extrude.svg Extrude: Extrudes planar faces of an object
  • Part Revolve.svg Revolve: Creates a solid by revolving another object (not solid) around an axis
  • Part Mirror.svg Mirror: Mirrors the selected object on a given mirror plane
  • Part Fillet.svg Fillet: Fillets (rounds) edges of an object
  • Part Chamfer.svg Chamfer: Chamfers edges of an object
  • Part RuledSurface.svg Ruled Surface:
  • Part Loft.svg Loft: Lofts from one profile to another
  • Part Sweep.svg Sweep: Sweeps one or more profiles along a path
  • Part CompOffsetTools.png Offset tools:
    • Part Offset.svg 3D Offset: Constructs a parallel shape at a certain distance from original.
    • Part Offset2D.svg 2D Offset: Constructs a parallel wire at certain distance from original, or enlarges/shrinks a planar face.
  • Part Thickness.svg Thickness: Hollows out a solid, leaving openings next to select faces.
  • Part Boolean.svg Boolean: Performs boolean operations on objects
  • Part Cut.svg Cut: Cuts (subtracts) one object from another
  • Part Fuse.svg Fuse: Fuses (unions) two objects
  • Part Common.svg Common: Extracts the common (intersection) part of two objects
  • Part CompJoinFeatures.png Join features: smart booleans for walled objects (e.g., pipes).
    • Part JoinConnect.svg Connect: Connects interiors of objects.
    • Part JoinEmbed.svg Embed: Embeds a walled object into another walled object.
    • Part JoinCutout.svg Cutout: Creates a cutout in a wall of an object for another walled object.
  • Part CompSplittingTools.png Splitting tools:.
    • Part BooleanFragments.svg Boolean fragments: makes all the pieces that can be obtained by Boolean operations between objects.
    • Part SliceApart.svg Slice a part: tool to split shapes by intersection with other shapes
    • Part Slice.svg Slice: Splits an object into pieces by intersections with another object.
    • Part XOR.svg XOR: removes space shared by even number of objects (symmetric version of Cut).
  • Part Defeaturing.svg Defeaturing:
  • Part Section.svg Section: Creates a section by intersecting an object with a section plane
  • Part CrossSections.svg Cross sections...: Creates one or more cross-sections through a selected shape
  • Part Attachment.svg Attachment: attachment is a utility to attach an object to another one.

Measure

Part Measure Menu.png Measure: Allows linear and angular measurement between points, edges, and faces.

Other tools

  • Part Import.svg Import: This tool allows you to add a file *.IGES, *.STEP, *.BREP to the current document.
  • Part Export.svg Export: This tool allows you to export a part object in a *.IGES, *.STEP, *.BREP file.
  • Part BoxSelection.svg BoxSelection: add to the selection the faces of the shapes that are touches by the rectangular selection.
  • Part ShapeFromMesh.svg Shape from Mesh: Creates a shape object from a mesh object.
  • Part PointsFromMesh.svg Points from mesh: creates a shape object made of points from the mesh. introduced in version 0.19
  • Convert to solid: Converts a shape object to a solid object.
  • Part ReverseShapes.svg Reverse shapes: Flips the normals of all faces of the selected object.

Context menu items

  • Appearance: determines appearance of the whole part (color transparency etc.).
  • Part FaceColors.svg Set colors: assigns colors to part faces.

Preferences

  • Preferences-part design.svg Preferences: preferences available for Part Tools (the Part workbench also uses the PartDesign Preferences).
  • Preferences-import-export.svg Import Export Preferences: preferences available for importing from and exporting to different file formats.
  • Fine-tuning: some extra parameters to fine-tune Part behavior.

Scripting

See Part scripting.

Tutorials