Difference between revisions of "Release notes 0.19"

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{{VeryImportantMessage|This page tracks new features as they are added to the development version of FreeCAD, which is currently 0.19. When the 0.19 feature freeze happens, delete these messages, and don't add more features to this page. FreeCAD 0.19 is expected to be released in 2020.}}
{{VeryImportantMessage|This page tracks new features as they are added to the development version of FreeCAD, which is currently 0.19. When the 0.19 feature freeze happens, delete these messages, and don't add more features to this page. FreeCAD 0.19 is expected to be released in 2020.}}
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Revision as of 13:19, 17 January 2020

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This page tracks new features as they are added to the development version of FreeCAD, which is currently 0.19. When the 0.19 feature freeze happens, delete these messages, and don't add more features to this page. FreeCAD 0.19 is expected to be released in 2020.

Are features missing? Mention them in the Release notes for v0.19 forum thread.

See Help FreeCAD for ways to contribute to FreeCAD.

FreeCAD 0.19 was released on DD Month 2020, get it from the Download page. This is a summary of the most interesting changes. The complete list of changes can be found in the MantisBT bugtracker FC 0.19 changelog.

Older FreeCAD release notes can be found in Feature list.

FreeCAD release 0.19 main.jpg

Simpson and Shipton short stroke steam engine circa 1845, using horizontal rotating piston, by "un1corn", Users Showcase.


FreeCAD highlight 1 0.19.jpg

Horizontal 4 cylinder rotary valve steam engine, by "un1corn", Users Showcase.

FreeCAD highlight 2 0.19.png

Add a high quality image here that highlights a development in FreeCAD 0.19, with its author, and link to the image's origin.


Add a high quality image here that highlights a development in FreeCAD 0.19, with its author, and link to the image's origin.

FreeCAD highlight 4 0.19.png

Add a high quality image here that highlights a development in FreeCAD 0.19, with its author, and link to the image's origin.


With more than 3000 commits in the master branch since the 0.18 release, this is one of the most extensive releases ever, with several new components like the new "App::Link" object, as well as many new tools in the TechDraw Workbench that make FreeCAD even more powerful for 3D solid modelling and assembly. Beside that, the FreeCAD ecosystem has continued to grow with more specialized external workbenches.

Python 3 and Qt5

The effort to migrate from Python 2 and Qt4 to Python 3 and Qt5 is essentially complete and most developers have moved to the Python3/Qt5 toolchains.

Undoubtedly there are unforeseen bugs; these will be addressed as they are reported. Any existing dependence on Python 2 or Qt4 will not be supported beyond 1st January 2020 when Python 2 officially became unsupported by the Python Foundation. Please note that certain addons have not been ported yet to Python3/Qt5. This may be due to several reasons including lack of time by their developers, or broken dependencies that may not be easily fixed, or simply because the addon is considered obsolete. Individuals interested in the migration of a particular workbench or tool are encouraged to participate in the FreeCAD forum; see also, Python3 and Qt5 Compatible Addon Workbenches (in preparation for 0.18).

Some issues

Fixed issue with Std Part containers visibility when the viewport is displayed in full screen in Qt5:



  • The Compile on Linux/Unix page was reviewed to better explain the requisites to compile on different Linux distributions. As many developers use Debian based systems, this section received the most attention. Users of other Linux distributions are encouraged to maintain the documentation for their particular distribution. Compile on Windows was also rewritten to explain how to use the LibPack for compilation.
  • The Source documentation page also received a clean-up to better explain how to produce the programming (API) documentation from C++ and Python sources.
  • The Doxygen page was reviewed and extended to give more details about the syntax that is used in C++ files to produce the programming documentation.
  • The Source code management page was also reworked with better descriptions and examples of using git to manage branches and contribute code.
  • The External workbenches page was re-organized, so that all feature-rich, publicly available workbenches are listed. If you'd like to add a workbench to this page, showcase it in the forum, and provide supporting information like user manual, wiki pages, and a link to its repository. Then push for it to be included in the Addon Manager.
  • There have been improvements to the Tutorials and Video tutorials pages. In particular, it has been stressed to readers that they should consider only video tutorials that are made with versions 0.17 or above.

Known Limitations

  • Black screen due to video card drivers, while running FreeCAD inside a virtual machine; issue #3939.
  • Logitech Wingman USB joystick can cause erratic behavior when spinning and zooming in the view; forum discussion.
  • Gesture navigation is fully supported for Windows but yet to be maintained in Linux and MacOS. Problem: the developer, DeepSOIC, doesn't have a MacOS machine with its special trackpad, and hasn't tested it on Linux either; forum discussion.

User interface

Navi Cube 0.19.png The navigation cube got a few retouches; now it uses transparency to be easier on the eyes, and the arrows are bigger to improve clicking on them.

Forum discussion, pull request #2076.

COIL Icons.png New COIL icon theme developed by user 1D_Inc. This is a minimalistic icon set inspired on Blender's 2.8 outline-style icons (a coil of threads or strands alludes to the appearance of the icons). The intention is to have professional-looking icons that can be used with different color themes, including light, dark, and monochrome.

Forum discussion 1 (old thread), discussion 2 (main thread), 1D_SVG_Tools repository.

IconThemes.png New icon theme management developed by user triplus.

Forum discussion.

Dark theme1.PNG New dark stylesheet developed by user userzmp2000.

Forum dscussion, BlenderLike-dark.qss.

Darker.png Dark themes by user pablogil. Blue, green, and orange variations, which are darker than previous templates.

Forum discussion.

App::Link and assembly


The "App::Link" object allows lightweight linking of objects in a document and from external documents.

After 2.5 years in development, the "Link" object, or more formally App::Link, was introduced in FreeCAD. This is a special type of App::DocumentObject with certain properties that will hopefully allow for doing assemblies easier.

A "Link" allows objects to use another object's data, such as geometry or even their 3D visual representation, in the same or different files. It can be thought of as a thin, absolute clone, or as the same object living into two different "instances". Some functionality offered by a "Link" is already present in some workbenches like Arch and BIM (clones, external references), but the "Link" implementation is at the core level, and thus can be used by all workbenches in different ways.

The "Link" component was thought and developed almost single-handedly by user realthunder. The motivations and design implementations behind this project are described in his GitHub page, Link. In order to accomplish this feature, several core changes to FreeCAD were made; these are also extensively documented in Core-Changes.

The history of "Link" can be traced to some essential forum threads:

Finally, the pull request and merge happened:

The "Link" object prepares FreeCAD for the phase that was scheduled to happen after the redesign of PartDesign in FreeCAD 0.17, which is working with assemblies.

"Assembly3" is an assembly workbench written in Python by realthunder, that makes use of the "Link" functionality. The workbench served as a testbed for the "Link" component during its development. While Assembly3 is still not officially part of FreeCAD, with the inclusion of "Link", it is a matter of time for Assembly3 to be provided as an installable add-on, just like A2plus Workbench is provided currently.

Other additions in the App::Link merge

Beside the introduction of "App::Link", the "LinkMerge" branch also introduced some changes visible to the user with regards to object properties, expressions, visual selection, and the tree view. These are described in the Core-Changes page.

Custom-property.gif Dynamic properties can be added to any C++ or Python object. This can make macros such as Macro PropertyMemo obsolete.

Forum discussion | Animated gif

Selection.png Selected elements hidden by other elements are highlighted to indicate their position within the model.

Addon Manager

Addon Manager update 0.19.png The Addon Manager was upgraded; it is now able to display more complete information on all external workbenches and macros, and show an icon for each of them. It also allows checking for updates on start, and using custom repositories.

Forum discussion.

Addon manager ui tweak.png It will also show information on whether the addon is obsolete, already installed, or available for update.

Forum discussion, pull request #2605.

Arch Workbench

Freecad-solar-diagram.jpg The Arch Site tool once more is able to produce sun path diagrams if the given latitude, longitude, and declination are provided. This requires Pysolar 0.7 or above, and only works with Python 3.

Forum discussion, commit 2177f4437, commit c05bc0990.

Arch Site Compass.png The Arch Site tool now can display a compass to show the direction of the "true North" (declination) in the model. By the default, North is aligned to the Y axis. This is useful when working in real world coordinates.

Forum discussion, pull request #2111, commit ff1fb11af, pull request #2360.

Arch SectionPlane ClipView.png The Arch SectionPlane tool now has the ability of clipping the view, to act as a camera.

Forum discussion, commit 9a64f3fad9.

Arch Fence example.png The Arch Fence tool was added to produce fence objects starting from a post and a path.

Forum discussion, pull request #2151, pull request #2173, pull request #2263, pull request #2270.

Arch Fence in action.

BeamReinforcementDialog Stirrups.png Improvements in the Reinforcement Addon, which extends the Arch Rebar tool.

Automated reinforcement graphical user interface: the intention is to facilitate the automatic creation of simple and complex rebars. This development was carried out as a Google Summer of Code 2019 project: Suraj_Dadral/gsoc_proposal.

Forum discussion, FreeCAD-Reinforcement (master code), SurajDadral/FreeCAD-Reinforcement (development fork).

Draft Workbench

V0ODfsN9nY.gif The Draft Edit tool was upgraded to allow editing many Draft objects at the same time, and also display better trackers.

Forum discussion | Animated gif | Pull request #1968, commit 272a8dfcc9, commit 7de2248bb, pull request #2108, pull request #2430.

The tool was also moved into its own module: commit a4e2df115d, commit c351b9094.

Draft SubelementHighlight example.png New Draft SubelementHighlight tool to highlight the nodes and edges of certain objects, like Draft Wires, in order to edit them using modifiers like Draft Move, Draft Rotate, and Draft Scale. It allows you to select multiple objects to edit instead of just one. Once the objects are highlighted, you can select specific sub-elements, vertices and edges, and transform (move, rotate, scale) only these.

This tool was particularly developed to help edit the shape of Arch Walls that are based on Draft Wires. When various walls are selected, and the tool is used, the base wires automatically become visible, and display their nodes prominently.

Forum discussion | Video demonstration 1, 2 | Pull request #1975.

Draft CubicBezCurve example.png New Draft CubicBezCurve tool, to create 3rd degree Bezier curves in a way similar to Inkscape.

Forum discussion | Animated gif | Pull request #2072.

Draft Arc 3Points example.png New Draft Arc 3Points tool, to create circular arcs by specifying three points through which the arc passes. Originally developed in the BIM Workbench and then migrated to Draft.

Forum discussion, commit 4f19a65559, commit 0b905fade0, pull request #2286.

Draft layers.png New Draft Layer tool that replaces the seldom used Draft VisGroup, providing a true layer system as it exists in other CAD systems. Draft Layer supports adding objects by drag-and-drop, controls object visibility and, optionally, object color.

Forum discussion (development), forum discussion (announcement), commit 5ee99ca4ee, commit 36bc48c9bf.

Draft-TechDraw integration.png Substantial reworking of Draft SVG routines to improve inclusion of 2D projections in TechDraw pages. This benefits tools like Draft Shape2DView and Arch SectionPlane, when used with TechDraw NewDraft and TechDraw NewArch.

Forum discussion.

Draft Fillet example.png New Draft Fillet tool that creates a fillet (rounded corner) or a chamfer (straight line) between two simple Draft Lines.

Forum discussion, pull request #2441, pull request #2492.

Draft LinkArray example.png The introduction of the App Link object made it possible to create arrays which have many exact references to an existing object instead of shape duplicates (simple copies). This results in more memory efficient arrays. This is possible with the new Draft LinkArray and Draft PathLinkArray tools. Draft LinkArray works in its tree modes, "ortho", "polar", and the new "circular" mode, which was introduced in a separate commit.

Pull request #2350.

Draft PolarArray example.png New Draft PolarArray tool to create polar arrays directly. Previously, the same could be done by using Draft Array and then modifying the properties of the created array.

This Draft PolarArray tool can create the new App Link objects or the traditional copies.

Forum discussion, pull request #2824.

Draft CircularArray example.png The Draft Array tool has a new "circular" mode. This is controlled by new properties: DataRadialDistance, DataTangentialDistance, DataNumberCircles, and DataSymmetry.

Forum discussion, pull request #2585.

Moreover, a new Draft CircularArray tool was developed to create these circular arrays directly. This tool can create the new App Link objects or the traditional copies.

Forum discussion, pull request #2824.

Further Draft Improvements

  • The Draft Wire tool now is called "Polyline" in the menu, instead of "DWire"; all options and functionality remain the same, so this doesn't break compatibility; commit 39e748229e.
  • Undergoing efforts to split tools into their own module files to ease maintenance of the codebase for the future; forum discussion, commit 16c26cb3b1.
  • Reorganization of some functions and classes to improve management of the code in separate modules; pull requests #2823 (GuiCommandBase), #2829 (utilities), #2830 (GUI utilities), #2831 (ToDo class), #2832 (translate function).
  • Undergoing efforts to document the Python source code (adding complete docstrings), in order to produce better programming documentation that can be used by both users and developers. See Source documentation for instructions on generating the documentation with Doxygen.
  • A "DraftEditPickRadius" preference was added to control the area of influence of the pointer when picking vertices in edit mode (Draft Edit). Forum discussion, pull request #2642, issue #4162.

FEM Workbench

Femconcrete Wall 3D rx PSS.png After half a year in development and testing the "femconcrete" branch was added to the FEM Workbench. This provides tools to estimate the level of reinforcement required in a concrete structure to prevent brittle failure under tension or shear. In essence, it is a post processing routine for the CalculiX solver, which calculates the principal tensile stresses in the concrete from an elastic analysis and uses those to determine the minimum reinforcement in the three coordinate directions required to prevent failure.

Forum discussion, Analysis of reinforced concrete with FEM (tutorial) | Pull request #2267.

FcFEM Plate with Hole 2.png After a few months in development the "fcFEM" macro was published. It implements a finite element solver entirely in Python. Its author designed it to overcome the limitations of other external solvers, like CalculiX and z88. Some of the intended improvements include creating mixed mesh analyses, improved beam and shell elements, arc-length control for overcoming limit points in elastic-plastic analyses, implementation of zero-thickness interface elements for different applications, and others.

In due time this solver could be distributed together with the FEM Workbench, meaning that the FreeCAD project would have its own finite element solver for doing mechanical and structural analyses.

Forum discussion | fcFEM repository (LGPL 2).

FEM Beso topology optimization.png Topology optimization has long been a feature desired for those working with FEM. In 2016 the BESO (Bi-directional Evolutionary Structural Optimization) project was started, implementing an iterative method with the CalculiX solver that removes ineffective elements from a mesh in order to optimize the mass of the design. In the 0.19 development cycle, a simple graphical interface has been developed to facilitate generating the beso configuration files.

Forum discussion | beso repository (LGPL 3).

FEM ToOptix topology optimization.png Similar to beso, the ToOptix project also provides a macro to perform topology optimization; it currently only works in structural and heat transfer studies.

Forum discussion (just a mention) | ToOptixFreeCADAddon repository (GPL 2).

Further FEM Improvements

  • Updated coding standards that strive for PEP8 compliance with Python; forum discussion, commit ad03ee9bdf, commit 27cb54009b.
  • The Elmer project has developed a library for handling batch type pre-processing for the ElmerSolver, using the FEM Workbench. This includes creating mesh objects for FreeCAD, manipulating the mesh sizes of solids, creating finite element meshes using Gmsh, running ElmerGrid and exporting the mesh for ElmerSolver, and selecting and naming bodies and boundaries for ElmerSolver; forum discussion, elmerfem repository (Elmer main repository), FreeCADBatchFEMTools repository (library to interact with FEM Workbench, LGPL 2.1).
  • The integration of the OOFem solver, which started in 2018, is progressing, so it is now another option that can be used for structural analysis in FreeCAD. This solver is interesting in that it has interface elements, as well as arc-length control, in addition to many non-linear material models. The integration of OOFEM into FEM has been carried in various commits that together serve as documentation on how to integrate similar solvers; forum discussion, femoofem branch, OOFEM main website, oofem repository (LGPL 2.1).

Part Workbench

Part PointsFromMesh example.png New command Part PointsFromMesh to create an object made of points from an imported mesh. Then the points can be used as reference objects to do further operations, such as define a plane, and draw a sketch. This can be used to reverse engineer or remodel meshes by creating solid objects.

Forum discussion (and video), pull request #2450.

  • New Face method: Part.Face.cutHoles(list_of_wires) to cut holes into a face. The face usually needs to be validated after operation.
  • The "App::Link" merge introduced two new commands, Part TransformedCopy and Part ElementCopy. These commands create non-parametric copies of a body with a transformed placement, and of an element (vertex, edge, or face); commit 6da72b9859. These operations essentially make the Macro Repro Wire obsolete.

PartDesign Workbench

PartDesign Feature not attached.png Features that have an "Attachment" property now show when the attachment mode is "deactivated" by displaying a small overlay to the left of the icon in the tree view. Features that are attached to a plane or other reference don't display this overlay.

Forum discussion, pull request #2272.

Path Workbench

CoolantModes.png Added coolant modes for coolant management.

Forum discussion, pull request #2463.

Further Path Improvements

Render Workbench

Added support for Blender's standalone "Cycles" renderer; commit 759067912f; FreeCAD-render repository. The Cycles standalone renderer usually needs to be compiled from source, as the binary is normally not provided by itself in a complete Blender distribution.

Besides this, the Render Workbench already has support for Pov-Ray, Luxrender and Appleseed.

Sketcher Workbench

Sketcher Elements mode filter.png In the Sketcher "Elements" panel there is now a "Mode" filter to select "normal", "construction", "external", or "all" geometry. This is useful to perform an action with only one type of geometry. For example, one use case is selecting only the "construction" edges, and deleting them after being used.

Spreadsheet Workbench

The introduction of "App::Link" also brought some improvements to the Expressions capabilities of FreeCAD, which are visible in the Property editor, and the Spreadsheet Workbench. These are described in Core-Changes.

  • A new expression syntax is introduced to unambiguously reference a property of the owner object, by omitting the object reference and starting with a leading dot (.), similar to Python relative import syntax. So instead of Cylinder.Height, now you can use .Height.
  • You can refer to an object by its Name or by its Label. In the case of a Label, it must be enclosed in << and >> symbols, such as <<Label>>. For example, <<Metal_cylinder>>.Height.
  • Improved spreadsheet recomputation logic, and cell copy and paste functions.

Start Workbench

FreeCAD Start WB thumbs.png Re-added example files to the Start page with saved thumbnails in their icons.

Forum discussion, pull request #2316.

Surface Workbench


TechDraw Workbench

Hypno sameSize.png Improved placing and scaling of a 3D viewport screenshot in a TechDraw page.

Forum discussion.

Techdraw balloon.png New TechDraw Balloon tool to add balloon decorators to create notes with numbers, letters, and text.

Forum discussion, pull request #2013.

Techdraw leaderline.png New TechDraw LeaderLine and TechDraw RichTextBlock tools to create better annotations in the drawing page.

Forum discussion, commit 7f07195f93, commit 6c699887c0; testing and bug fixing commit ab986d9a00, commit 15f440525e, commit 8ef3f13fbb, commit bf38ae958f, commit 74737f71fd, commit be257182ba, commit de3715908e, commit 916fe7ced3.

Cosmetic dimension.png New TechDraw CosmeticVertex, TechDraw Midpoints, and TechDraw Quadrant tools, which allow the user to place fake or "cosmetic" vertices that can be used to create dimensions. The midpoint and quadrant vertices can be used to add more points to straight and curved edges (circular arcs), respectively; the "CosmeticVertex" tool can add a point anywhere on the drawing view without requiring being based on existing geometry.

Forum discussion, commit 59e47de506, commit 94b167f3a2.

Cosmetic eraser.png New TechDraw FaceCenterLine, TechDraw 2LineCenterLine, and TechDraw 2PointCenterLine tools, to add a line in the center of a face, or between two existing edges, or between two existing points, respectively.

Also, TechDraw DecorateLine to change the appearance of single edges, and TechDraw CosmeticEraser to remove any of the cosmetic features from the view.

Forum discussion (v1, alpha), forum discussion (v2), commit 656e1654ff, commit 93431edfba, commit f25826bba3, commit 11d8aaed61, commit 941968b37c.

TechDraw WeldingSymbol example.png New TechDraw WeldingSymbol tool to provide welding symbols. One of the most requested features from the older Drawing Workbench is finally in TechDraw.

Forum discussion (testing), forum discussion (main thread); pull request #2446.

Old welding symbols from Drawing Workbench.

TechDraw ActiveView example.png New TechDraw ActiveView tool. It produces a static image from the active 3D view, and puts it in a new TechDraw view. The result is a snapshot that doesn't update with changes to the model, and which is very fast to produce because it doesn't perform hidden line removal calculations. It is intended for rapid visualization of models, or to display flat projections of models without needing to add dimensions, a workflow that may be interesting for architectural visualization. Together with Arch SectionPlane and TechDraw NewArch, TechDraw ActiveView hopes to improve the interaction between Arch and TechDraw to document building models.

Forum discussion, commit 13676bfe57.

TechDraw GOST Landscape A4 NotInGOST.svg New page templates, Russian State Standard of Technical Documentation (Unified system for design documentation), GOST 2.104-2006, GOST Р 21.1101-2013.

Forum discussion, pull request #2249.

TechDraw A4 Landscape CN.svg New page templates, the People's Republic of China Templates A series; please use with font family "HYSWLongFangSong".

Forum discussion, pull request #2322.

A3 (L) -- freesans (italic) -- vpetje (da) -- logotip (ne) -- sestavna risba (5).svg New page templates, A-size, Slovenian (GPL 2).

Forum discussion, FreeCADTemplates repository.

Only LGPL2 compatible code can be provided directly with TechDraw; code contributed under GPL2 or GPL3 needs to be stored in a separate repository.

TechDraw Dimension standardization.png The drawing of dimensions was completely rewritten. Now any drawn dimension is fully compliant with one of ISO 129-1 or ASME Y14.5M standards. There are four styles to choose from: ISO oriented (rotated value), ISO Referencing (horizontal value), ASME Inlined (horizontal value), ASME Referencing (value connected by a reference line).

Forum discussion, pull request #2552.

TechDraw Dimension Horizontal Extent example.png New TechDraw Dimension Horizontal Extent and TechDraw Dimension Vertical Extent, to obtain the maximum dimensions in a view.

Forum discussion, pull request 2680, commit a7d9661b1d.

Improvements on the handling of sectional views with TechDraw NewSection.

Forum discussion.

Further TechDraw Improvements

  • There has been discussions about changing the standard behavior of TechDraw. Instead of keeping the drawing pages updated automatically, they would be updated only on demand; this would mitigate the effects of TechDraw slowing down the rest of FreeCAD when modelling. Moreover, now that "App::Link" is included in FreeCAD, TechDraw pages may be stored in a separate file, and loaded on demand; forum discussion (main discussion), forum discussion (alternatives).
  • Fixed font size issues when exporting to SVG; forum discussion, pull request #2219.
  • Fixed regression in caption handling and hide caption property where not applicable; pull request #2228.
  • Added options for page size, line width and background when saving to SVG; this improves Draft/Arch and TechDraw integration; pull request #2455.
  • New panning of the page using the middle mouse button; forum discussion, pull request #2458.
  • Finer control of drawing updates; forum discussion, pull request #2468, commit 5bed53f858, commit b2d8eeeb65.
  • Also new TechDraw Redraw tool to force a drawing page update while ignoring the state of the options "Update with 3d", "Allow page override", or "KeepUpdated". This tool disappeared in 0.18, but was re-implemented for 0.19; forum discussion.

Material Handling



See Macros recipes for many more macros.

Structural frame.png Automatic light-gauge steel frame creator and panelizer.

Forum discussion | Screencast | FreeCAD-Steel_Frame repository (GPL 3).

Additional modules

See external workbenches for the full list of additional workbenches that can be installed in FreeCAD. If you want to see your workbench added, join the forum and present your code.

3D Printing Tools

3D Printing Tools 0.19.jpg Previously it was called "MeshTools". It has utilities for working with imported STL meshes which could be used for 3D printing, like scaling the mesh up and down, scale it to fit a 3D printer, make objects transparent, hide and show objects, change colors and line widths of groups of objects, and others.

Forum discussion | 3D Printing Tools repository (LGPL 2.1).


A2plus.jpg The successor to the Assembly2 workbench, A2plus is the most mature assembly workbench, and has received important updates in this development cycle, like an improved point on plane constraint, and point on line constraint, using the center of a sphere as the point; this improves the constraining of spheres.

Forum discussion | A2plus repository (LGPL 2.1).

Please note: A2plus is not compatible with Assembly2 or other assembly workbenches. If you have previous assemblies, they will need to be re-created entirely in A2plus.


Assembly3 0.19.png Assembly3 is an assembly workbench created by developer realthunder, that is inspired by Assembly2, but is not compatible with it. Assembly3 makes use of realthunder's "App::Link" object and various significant changes to the internal code of FreeCAD. Because of this reason, Assembly3 cannot be installed simply from the Addon Manager. Instead, realthunder provides a pre-compiled version of FreeCAD that includes Assembly3. This workbench serves as a testing environment for the "App::Link" object, and other changes that realthunder plans to submit to the main FreeCAD source code.

Forum discussion (massive thread) | FreeCAD_assembly3 repository (GPL 3).

Please note: Assembly3 is not compatible with Assembly2 or other assembly workbenches. If you have previous assemblies, they will need to be re-created entirely in Assembly3.


Assembly4 0.19.png Assembly4 is an assembly workbench created by developer Zolko, that uses realthunder's "App::Link" object and many other changes to the base FreeCAD system, particularly the new expression engine. Because of this, Assembly4 doesn't work with versions below 0.19. Assembly4 can be installed from the Addon Manager.

Unlike A2plus and Assembly3, Assembly4 tries to perform assembly without using a constraint solver, but rather with the concept of arranging local coordinate systems (LCS) and setting relationships through mathematical expressions.

Forum discussion (original idea), forum discussion (main thread) | FreeCAD_Assembly4 repository (LGPL 2.1).

Please note: Assembly4 is not compatible with Assembly3 or other assembly workbenches. If you have previous assemblies, they will need to be re-created entirely in Assembly4.


ArchTextures 0.19.png The ArchTextures Workbench was developed to provide basic texture support to Arch Workbench elements like walls and roofs, in order to quickly visualize a building. It is not intended to produce photo-realistic renderings, just simple texturing of materials like wood, brick, and concrete. It also provides lights (directional, point, and spot), which makes it more feature complete to set up a scene.

Forum discussion (help requests), forum discussion (development), forum discussion (only announcements), forum discussion (announcement of lights) | FreeCAD-ArchTextures repository (MIT).


BOLTSFC 0.19.png BOLTS is an "open library of technical specifications"; it is meant to provide free, standardized parts defined parametrically that can be used in different CAD systems like OpenSCAD and FreeCAD. The BOLTS library was launched in 2013 but received little maintenance since 2016. Now, with a new maintainer and repository, the project has revived with the BOLTSFC workbench that provides an interface to insert the different parametric objects.

Forum discussion | Homepage | BOLTSFC repository, BOLTS main repository (GPL 3).

CurvedShapes Workbench

Curved shapes wb.png The CurvedShapes workbench has tools for designing 3D surfaces starting from a skeleton of multiple curves in the XY, XZ, or YZ planes. It was created particularly to simplify the modelling of the wings of aircrafts.

Forum discussion | CurvedShapesWorkbench repository (LGPL 3).

Dodo (formerly Flamingo)

FlamingoBlob.png Dodo is the successor to the Flamingo Workbench, a workbench specialized in creating piping and frames. While Flamingo was developed for Python 2 and Qt4, Dodo is meant to work with Python 3 and Qt5. It provides the same features as Flamingo, but has improved tools and interfaces.

Forum discussion (main thread), forum discussion (Dodo announcement), tutorial | flamingo repository (LGPL 3), dodo repository (LGPL 3).


Fastener workbench.png The Fasteners Workbench to generate standard ISO screws, bolts, washers, and other fasteners, was updated to work with Python 3 and Qt5.

Forum discussion, FreeCAD_FasternersWB repository (GPL 2), additional details.

Geomatics Workbench

Geomatics Workbench 0.19.png A workbench that provides functionality specific to Geomatics and Survey engineering, such as importing geodata information, and creating surfaces from clouds of points. There are some issues with rendering objects that use large coordinates (kilometers) and importing large DXF files. If you want to help solving these issues, please contact the developers.

Forum discussion | FreeCAD-Geomatics-Workbench repository (LGPL 2.1).

MeshRemodel Workbench

MeshRemodel Workbench 0.19.png This workbench helps convert a mesh, for example, an imported STL file, into a native FreeCAD object. It will not do the conversion automatically, but it will help re-build, or re-model, the imported mesh. The general workflow is to select the mesh object, then create a "points" object from it; then these points can be used as references for creating FreeCAD objects such as lines, polygons, circles, arcs, and BSplines. These wires can then be turned into a Sketch object, which can be padded to create a 3D solid with the PartDesign Workbench.

Forum discussion (only announcement) | MeshRemodel repository (LGPL 2.1).

MOOC Workbench

MOOC Workbench 0.19.png The MOOC workbench is an educational tool that offers interactive tutorials and exercise evaluations to learn to use FreeCAD. It was developed as part of a series of courses on Digital Manufacturing.

At this moment, the workbench is only offered in the French language.

Forum discussion | mooc-workbench repository (GPL 2).

NodeEditor (PyFlow)

NodeEditor 0.19.png The NodeEditor workbench implements a system of nodes that can be used to dynamically control the properties of objects, similar to Blender's node system to edit materials. The NodeEditor is based on a slightly modified version of the PyFlow framework, which is under active development.

A node editor has been a requested feature for a very long time, at least since 2014 (see this thread). A fully working node editor has the potential of simplifying the drawing of complex shapes using generative algorithms that produce a shape based on the values of its inputs. This could be used to create various types of meshes and surfaces with applications in architecture and mechanical design.

Forum discussion | NodeEditor repository (MIT License), PyFlow customized fork (Apache 2.0 license), PyFlow original project (Apache 2.0 license).

Trails (and PyTrails and Turns)

Trails Workbench 0.19.png The Trails workbench was formerly known as the "Transportation Engineering" workbench. It consists of a toolset for developing highway and railway designs, including horizontal alignments, vertical profiles, and 3D models. Read more in the wiki page Civil Engineering/Transportation Workbench.

Forum discussion (original thread that started the project), forum discussion (main thread, very long), video example | freecad.trails repository (LGPL 2.1).

Most of the functions used in the Trails workbench have been placed in a new Python library called PyTrails. The expectation is that Trails serves as a FreeCAD based graphical interface for PyTrails, while PyTrails remains a general purpose library that can be used outside FreeCAD in other projects.

Forum discussion (PyTrails announcement) | PyTrails repository (LGPL 2.1).

The Turns workbench is a small component that was created during development of the Trails workbench. It performs vehicle swept-path analysis (turning analysis) for highway intersections and other entrances.

Forum discussion (main thread) | freecad.turns repository (LGPL 2.1).

Other Modules

Scripting based on the CadQuery CAD scripting API. A new code editor is available and script variables can be edited dynamically through a parameter dialog. The workbench also supports normal file operations for CadQuery scripts (open, new, close, etc), and example scripts to help users learn new concepts. Cadquery workbench.png
github discussion
A collection of tools to create and edit NURBS curves and surfaces. Sw2r-3.jpg
Defeaturing Workbench
discussion github
Edit imported STEP models and remove selected features from the model. Defeaturing workbench.png
Electromagnetic (EM)
Electromagnetic Screenshot EM window.png
discussion github
Import Autodesk Inventor files (in progress). InventorLoader.png
KicadStepUp Workbench
discussion sourceforge
Provide support for KiCad and FreeCAD users in ECAD and MCAD collaboration. Kicad stepup.PNG
Lithophane Workbench
github discussion
Create Lithophanes by projecting images onto solid surfaces Lithophane Windmill.png
Manipulator Workbench
Tools to aid in part manipulation Manipulator workbench.png
discussion github Microelly's "FreeCAD Buch"
A collection of scripts for managing freeform surfaces and curves. Nurbs workbench.png
SheetMetal Workbench
Discussion (thread 1 | thread 2 | thread 3) github
Tools for designing and bending objects made from sheet metal Basebend-unfold.jpg
A collection of NURBS surface modeling tools focused on low degree and seam continuity. Silk Workbench.png
SQL Workbench
discussion github
Perform Structured Query Language (SQL) queries on FreeCAD document files to retrieve and report model data. SQL Workbench.png