Release notes 0.20

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This page tracks new features as they are added to the development version of FreeCAD, which is currently 0.20. When the 0.20 feature freeze happens, delete these messages, and don't add more features to this page. FreeCAD 0.20 is expected to be released in 202x.
!!! All images on this page must use the _relnotes_0.20 suffix !!!

Are features missing? Mention them in the Release notes for v0.20 forum thread.

See Help FreeCAD for ways to contribute to FreeCAD.

FreeCAD 0.20 was released on DD Month 202x, 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 0.20 changelog.

Older FreeCAD release notes can be found in Feature list.



Python 3 and Qt5

Some issues


To compile FreeCAD under Windows, there are different Libpacks (prepackaged libraries) available:

  • Libpack for Windows with Qt xx, OCC yy, and Python zz

Lowest supported Python version is 3.6.9 according to

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7, 8 and 10
  • Linux Ubuntu Bionic Beaver (18.04) and Focal Fossa (20.04)
  • MacOS minimum version 10.12 Sierra

Other development news:


Known limitations

User interface

Navi Cube relnotes 0.20.gif The navigation cube was reworked to enable these new features:
  • There are now edge faces to view the scene at angles of 45°.
  • The new preferences option Rotate to nearest allows to view the scene at the nearest sensible state. When it is off, clicking to a cube face will end up always to the same position, no matter in what cube state you were when you clicked the face. See the animation at the left to understand what this means. Try the same click sequence as in the animation without the option Rotate to nearest to experience the difference.
  • By clicking at the dot at the upper right of the cube you can quickly see the backview of the current scene.
  • The size of the cube can be adjusted by the preferences option Cube size.

Forum discussion, pull request #4502 .

Improved tooltips relnotes 0.20.gif Tooltips now display the command name in the title, making it easier for new users to look for help. At the end of the tooltip the "internal" command name is added in parentheses: (Std_WhatsThis). This is also the name of the page that documents the command in the Wiki. Forum discussion, pull request #4978 .
Std UserEditMode relnotes 0.20.gif The new Std UserEditMode command allows the user to choose an edit mode that will be used when an object is double-clicked in the Tree view. Click the image at the left so see an animation of the selection. If a selected edit mode is not applicable, the object's default edit mode is used instead. Pull request #5110.
Dependencies-selection relnotes 0.20.png The Tree view context menu has the new entry Add dependent objects to selection.
Forum discussion, pull request #4133.

In the image the Hole001 object was selected by the user and then
its dependencies were added to the selection via the context menu.

Further user interface improvements

App::Link and assembly

Core system, App, Base, and Gui namespaces

Object selection relnotes 0.20.png When using Edit → Copy or Edit → Duplicate selection for an object with dependencies there is a new Use Original Selections button in the object selection dialog. Click this button to copy/duplicate only the objects you originally selected prior to opening the dialog, ignoring dependencies and ignoring any actions you might have taken while the dialog was open, such as checking or unchecking some of the checkboxes. The effect is the same as if you had unchecked all the checkboxes next to the objects you did not originally select and pressed OK. Note: special care should be taken when copying/duplicating TechDraw Pages. It is recommended to also copy/duplicate all of the children of the Page (Templates, Views, Dimensions, etc.). Otherwise changes to one of the Pages will also impact the other page, for example, deleting one of the Views in one Page also removes it from the other Page. Deleting one of the pages will also remove all the content from the other Page if copies of the content are not also made.

Addon Manager

Arch Workbench

Draft Workbench

  • A Global checkbox was added to the task panel of many drafting commands. Checking it allows input of coordinates in the global coordinate system even if the working plane is not aligned with the global XY plane.
  • The Draft Hatch.svg Draft Hatch command was introduced. It creates hatches on the faces of a selected object using patterns from AutoCAD PAT files.
  • Work on the Draft SetStyle.svg Draft SetStyle command, still in progress in FreeCAD version 0.19, was completed.
  • A double-click edit option was added for Draft Text.svg Draft Texts. It opens the same edit task panel used when creating a text.
  • For Draft Dimension.svg Draft Dimensions the arch ViewUnit Override for imperial architectural dimensions was introduced.
  • Draft Shape2DView.svg Draft Shape2DView objects now have an DataAuto Update property. Setting it to false can be useful if there are many Draft Shape2DViews in a document or if they are complex.

Further Draft improvements

FEM Workbench

FEM Gmsh-MeshSizeFromCurvature relnotes 0.20.png
Effect of Mesh Size From Curvature; left: set to 12, right: deactivated
There is a new property for the Gmsh mesher. The number of mesh elements per times the radius of the curvature can be specified. The default is 12 and to get a finer mesh at small corners or holes, this value can be increased for better results. This feature requires Gmsh 4.8 or newer.

Forum discussion, pull request #4596

FEM Gmsh-RecombinationAlgorithm relnotes 0.20.png
Effect of the rcombination algorithm; left: using Simple, right: using Simple full-quad
FreeCAD allows now to select an algorithm as well as 3D mesh recombination for the Gmsh mesher. For more details about the mesh element recombination see FEM MeshGmshFromShape.

Pull request #4706

Further FEM improvements

  • A new solver was added: Solve → FEM SolverMystran.svg Solver Mystran. Multiple commits.
  • A new constraint was added: Model → Geometrical Constraints → FEM ConstraintSpring.svg Constraint Spring. PR #4982
  • The element order of Gmsh meshes can be changed via the mesh dialog. PR #4660
  • Material cards can now contain values for the electrical conductivity. PR #4647
  • Material cards added for Nitrogen and Argon. PR #4649
  • Support for the Gmsh mesh algorithms "HXT" (3D) and "Packing Parallelograms" (2D) added. PR #4654
  • Allow to set for the Gmsh property High Order Optimize a certain algorithm. PR #4705
  • Nonlinear solid materials with simple hardening can now have an arbitrary number of yield points. PR #5024


Material handling


Improved support for NASTRAN GRID elements

The Mesh import tool now supports the high-precision "GRID*" element. The standard-precision "GRID" element was also improved, now supporting both space-delimited numeric input as well as fixed-field-width input, per the NASTRAN95 format documentation.

Further Mesh improvements

Fixed false negatives during self-intersection tests when facets are coplanar: PR #5002.

OpenSCAD Workbench

Interoperability with OpenSCAD has been improved, adding support for several operations missing from earlier versions (linear extrude with rotations, rotational extrusions). Several operations are modified to provide improved FreeCAD object equivalents, particularly for twisted extrusions. Surface generation from discrete data was modified to give more OpenSCAD-like results, rather than splined surfaces.

Add OpenSCAD element - now has additional options

Load    - load a scad file
Save    - save a scad file
Refresh - Update FreeCAD view
Clear   - Clear text input

There is also a text box for feedback of OpenSCAD errors.

Part Workbench

Further Part improvements

  • The dialog to edit Cylinders allows now to specify an angle in respect to the normal of the chosen attachment plane. This way one can create skew cylinders. Pull request #4708

PartDesign Workbench

PD Pocket-direction relnotes 0.20.gif
Pocketing along different directions.
Click on the image to show the animation.
It is now possible to specify the direction for the pocket extrusion.

Pull request #5164

PD Pad-Length-along-reference relnotes 0.20.gif
Padding along an edge from the model.
Click on the image to show the animation.
There is a new option to pad along the direction of an edge in the 3D model.

Pull request #4685

PD Pad-Length-alog-direction relnotes 0.20.gif
Effect of the new option Length along sketch normal.
Click on the image to show the animation.
There is a new option to pad a certain length along the direction. The length is either measured along the sketch normal or along the custom direction.

Forum discussion, pull request #3893

PartDesign Cylinder direction relnotes 0.20.png The dialog to edit Cylinder (additive and subtractive) allows now to specify an angle in respect to the normal of the chosen attachment plane. This way one can create skew cylinders.

Pull request #4708

PartDesign Chamfer Face Selection relnotes 0.20.png When Distance and Angle is specified in the Chamfer tool and faces are selected, the distance will be applied along the selected faces. Likewise if two distances are specified then Size 1 will be applied along the selected face.

This behaviour can be swapped to the other face using the flip direction button. Forum discussion, pull request #5039

PartDesign Loft Vertex relnotes 0.20.png It is now possible to create an Additive Loft, Subtractive Loft, Additive Pipe or Subtractive Pipe towards or from a Vertex of either a sketch or a body. This allows for example to create pyramids.

Pull request #5170 (for lofts), Pull request #5193 (for pipes)

PartDesign Helix Growth relnotes 0.20.png The Helix feature has the new mode Height-Turns-Growth to create flat spirals.

Forum thread PR #4590

Further PartDesign improvements

  • In the Helix feature on can now also use the sketch normal as axis. PR #5199
  • The Sprocket feature can now create also ISO-normed sprockets. Forum thread PR #4478
  • The Loft and Pipe features now allow using the body's faces for sections. PR #5155
  • It is now possible to select several faces before calling the Pad or Pocket dialog. In this case the first selected face will be used to determine the default padding/pocketing direction. commit d34a5616

Path Workbench

Render Workbench

Sketcher Workbench

SketcherSplitExample2 relnotes 0.20.png New Sketcher Split.svg Split function to split existing lines or arcs.

Forum discussion pull request #4420

SketcherCreateRoundedRectangleExample relnotes 0.20.png New Sketcher CreateOblong.svg Rounded rectangle tool to create rectangles with rounded corners.

Forum discussion Main pull request #4835

SketcherCreateCenteredRectangleExample relnotes 0.20.png New Sketcher CreateRectangle Center.svg Centered rectangle tool to define rectangles via a center point.

Main commit

Radiam anim relnotes 0.20.gif New Sketcher ConstrainRadiam.svg Radiam function to automatically assign weight on B-spline pole, diameter on complete circle, or radius on arc. Support multi-selection as diameter/radius tools.

Forum discussion Main pull request #4855

SketcherRemoveAxesAlignmentResult relnotes 0.20.png New Sketcher RemoveAxesAlignment.svg Remove Axes Alignment constraint tool to remove axes alignment while trying to preserve the constraint relationship of the selection.

Main commit

Further Sketcher improvements

Sketcher bug fixes

Spreadsheet Workbench

Spreadsheet-Preferences-Spreadsheet relnotes 0.20.png The workbench now has Std DlgPreferences.svg Preferences. They are used by the Spreadsheet Import.svg Spreadsheet Import and Spreadsheet Export.svg Spreadsheet Export commands.

Pull request #5073

  • It is now possible to select in the row/column context-menu at what positions new rows/columns will be inserted. Pull request #4704.

Further Spreadsheet improvements

Start Workbench

Surface Workbench

TechDraw Workbench

TechDraw ExtensionExample relnotes 0.20.png Several new tools, so-called Extensions, are now available. They offer new cosmetic features to enhance drawings:

Further TechDraw improvements


External workbenches

Note: these are the new workbenches created in this development cycle, or older workbenches that received updates. See external workbenches for more workbenches that can be installed, and which cover a wide variety of topics. If you want to see your workbench added, join the forum and present your code.

3D Printing Tools






CurvedShapes Workbench

Dodo (formerly Flamingo)



The FCGear Workbench received a couple of improvements

  • For involute gears, the outside (aka tip) and root diameter are exposed as properties (details)
  • Gear objects are now attachable (details)
  • Gear objects can now be used as additive features in PartDesign Bodies (details)
  • The creation of gear objects now appears in the undo stack (details)

MeshRemodel Workbench

MOOC Workbench

NodeEditor (PyFlow)

Trails, PyTrails, Turns, pivy_trackers, and Geomatics