The TechDraw Workbench is used to produce basic technical drawings from 3D models created with another workbench such as Part, PartDesign, or Arch, or imported from other applications. Each drawing is a Page, which can contain various Views of drawable objects such as Part::Features, PartDesign::Bodies, App::Part groups, and Document Object groups. The resulting drawings can be used for things like documentation, manufacturing instructions, contracts, permits, etc.
TechDraw was officially included in FreeCAD starting with version 0.17; it is intended to replace the unsupported Drawing Workbench. Both workbenches are still provided in v0.17, but the Drawing Workbench may be removed in future releases. To keep up with TechDraw plans and developments, visit the TechDraw Roadmap.
FreeCAD is primarily a 3D modelling application, and thus doesn't have many 2D drawing tools, which are mostly included in the Draft and Sketcher Workbenches. If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, you may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting such as LibreCAD, QCad, TurboCad, and others.
These are tools for creating Page objects.
These are tools for creating View objects.
- Insert View: adds a 2D projection view of an object.
- Insert Projection Group: invokes a dialog to create many views of an object from multiple directions.
- Insert Section View: inserts a cross-section view of an existing view.
- Insert Detail View: inserts a detail view of a portion of an existing view.
These are tools to create and manage Clip objects (clipped views).
- Insert Clip Group: inserts a clip group into a page.
- Add View to Clip Group: adds an existing view to a clip group.
- Remove View from Clip Group: removes a view from a clip group.
These are tools for creating and working with Dimension objects.
Linear dimensions can be based on two points, on one line, or on two lines.
- New Length: adds a length dimension.
- New Horizontal: adds a horizontal length dimension.
- New Vertical: adds a vertical length dimension.
- New Radius: adds a radius dimension to a circle or circular arc.
- New Diameter: adds a diameter dimension to a circle or a circular arc.
- New Angle: adds an angle dimension between two straight edges.
- New Angle3Pt: adds an angle dimension using three vertices.
- New Links: links an existing dimension to the 3D geometry.
These are tools for exporting pages to other applications.
- Export Page as SVG: saves the current page as SVG file.
- Export Page as DXF: saves the current page as DXF file.
These are tools to decorate pages or views:
- Hatch Face using Image File: applies a hatch pattern from a file to a face.
- Apply Geometric Hatch to Face: applies a hatch pattern to a face using an Autodesk PAT specification.
- Turn View Frames On/Off: turns on/off frames and labels surrounding a view.
The annotation tools are for "marking up" a drawing with additional information.
- Insert Annotation: adds a plain text block as annotation.
- Insert Rich Text Annotation: adds an rich text block as annotation to a leaderline or a view. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Cosmetic Vertex: adds a Vertex which is not part of the source geometry. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Midpoint Vertices: adds Cosmetic Vertices at midpoints of selected edges. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Quadrant Vertices: adds Cosmetic Vertices at quarter points of selected (circular) edges. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Welding Information to Leader: adds welding specifications to an existing leaderline. introduced in version 0.19
- Line Groups: to control the appearance of various types of lines.
- Templates: the default templates defined for the drawing pages.
- Hatching: explanation of the different hatching techniques.
- Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.
- TechDraw drawings and its API are not interchangeable with the Drawing Workbench and its API. It is possible to convert Drawing Pages to TechDraw Pages using a Python script (
- It is possible to have both TechDraw and Drawing Pages in the same FreeCAD document, as each page is completely independent from each other.
- There are minor differences in specifying editable texts in SVG templates compared to the Drawing module. In TechDraw the scaling of the SVG document affects the position of the editable text fields. See the forum discussion TechDraw templates scale for more details.
- Threads are not implemented. A possible workaround is to use a diameter dimension and put a suitable text into the "Format Spec" property, e.g. "M4x15"
- Do not cut, copy and paste TechDraw objects in the tree view as this generally does not work out well.
- Basic TechDraw Tutorial: introduction to creating drawings with the TechDraw Workbench.
- Creating a new template: instructions to create a new page template in Inkscape for using with the TechDraw Workbench.
- Measurement Of Angles On Holes: instructions for adding center lines and subsequent angle representations on holes.
- Miscellaneous: instructions for different settings like center marks, etc.
- Creating a Pitch Circle: instructions for adding pitch circle
Video tutorials by sliptonic
- TechDraw Workbench Part 1 (Basics), Part 2 (Dimensions), Part 3 (Multiview)
- TechDraw Workbench Part 4 (Section and Detail), Part 5 (Customizing Templates)