Manual:All workbenches at a glance

    From FreeCAD Documentation

    One of the biggest difficulties for new users of FreeCAD, is to know in which workbench to find a specific tool. The table below will give you an overview of the most important workbenches and their tools. Refer to each workbench page in the FreeCAD documentation for a more complete list.

    Four workbenches are also designed to work in pairs, and one of them is fully included into the other: Arch contains all the Draft tools, and PartDesign all the Sketcher tools. However, for clarity, they are separated below.


    The Part Workbench provides basic tools for working with solid parts: primitives, such as cubes and spheres, and simple geometric operations and boolean operations. Being the main anchor point with OpenCasCade, the Part workbench provides the foundation of FreeCAD's geometry system, and almost all other workbenches produce Part-based geometry.

    Tool Description Tool Description
    Part Box.svg Box Draws a box Part Cone.svg Cone Draws a cone
    Part Cylinder.svg Cylinder Draws a cylinder Part Sphere.svg Sphere Draws a sphere
    Part Torus.svg Torus Draws a torus (ring) Part Primitives.svg Create primitives Creates various other parametric geometric primitives
    Part Builder.svg Shape builder Create more complex shapes from primitives Part Fuse.svg Union Fuses (unions) two objects
    Part Common.svg Common Extracts the common (intersection) part of two objects Part Cut.svg Cut Cuts (subtracts) one object from another
    Part JoinConnect.svg JoinConnect Connects interiors of walled objects Part JoinEmbed.svg JoinEmbed Embeds a walled object into another walled object
    Part JoinCutout.svg JoinCutout Creates a cutout in a wall of an object for another walled object Part Extrude.svg Extrude Extrudes planar faces of an object
    Part Fillet.svg Fillet Fillets (rounds) edges of an object Part Revolve.svg Revolve Creates a solid by revolving another object (not solid) around an axis
    Part Section.svg Section Creates a section by intersecting an object with a section plane Part CrossSections.svg CrossSections Creates multiple cross sections along an object
    Part Chamfer.svg Chamfer Chamfers edges of an object Part Mirror.svg Mirror Mirrors the selected object on a given mirror plane
    Part RuledSurface.svg Ruled Surface Create a ruled surface between selected curves Part Sweep.svg Sweep Sweeps one or more profiles along a path
    Part Loft.svg Part_Loft Lofts from one profile to another Part Offset.svg Offset Creates a scaled copy of the original object
    Part Thickness.svg Thickness Assign a thickness to the faces of a shape


    The Draft Workbench provides tools to do basic 2D CAD drafting tasks: lines, circles, etc... and a series of generic handy tools such as move, rotate or scale. It also provides several drawing aids, such as grid and snapping. It is principally meant to draw the guidelines for Arch objects, but also serves as FreeCAD's "swiss knife".

    Tool Description Tool Description
    Draft Line.svg Line Draws a line segment between 2 points Draft Wire.svg Wire Draws a line made of multiple line segments (polyline)
    Draft Circle.svg Circle Draws a circle from center and radius Draft Arc.svg Arc Draws an arc segment from center, radius, start angle and end angle
    Draft Ellipse.svgEllipse Draws an ellipse from two corner points Draft Polygon.svg Polygon Draws a regular polygon from a center and a radius
    Draft Rectangle.svg Rectangle Draws a rectangle from 2 opposite points Draft Text.svg Text Draws a multi-line text annotation
    Draft Dimension.svg Dimension Draws a dimension annotation Draft BSpline.svg BSpline Draws a B-Spline from a series of points
    Draft Point.svg Point Inserts a single point Draft ShapeString.svg Shapestring The ShapeString tool inserts a compound shape representing a text string at a given point in the current document
    Draft Facebinder.svg Facebinder Creates a new object from selected faces on existing objects Draft BezCurve.svg Bezier Curve Draws a Bezier curve from a series of points
    Draft Move.svg Move Moves or copies objects from one location to another Draft Rotate.svg Rotate Rotates objects by a certain angle around a point
    Draft Offset.svg Offset Offsets an object to a certain distance Draft Trimex.svg Trimex Trims, extends or extrudes an object
    Draft Upgrade.svg Upgrade Turns or joins objects into a higher-level object Draft Downgrade.svg Downgrade Turns or separates objects into lower-level objects
    Draft Scale.svg Scale Scales objects in relation to a point Draft Shape2DView.svg Shape 2D View Creates a 2D object which is a flattened view of another object
    Draft Draft2Sketch.svg Draft to Sketch Converts a Draft object to a Sketch and vice-versa Draft OrthoArray.svg Array Creates a rectangular array from an object
    Draft Clone.svg Clone Creates linked copies of objects Draft Mirror.svg Mirror Mirrors objects across a line


    The Sketcher Workbench contains tools to build and edit complex 2D objects, called sketches. The geometry inside these sketches can be precisely positioned and relationed by the use of constraints. They are primarily meant to be the building blocks of PartDesign geometry, but are useful everywhere in FreeCAD.

    Tool Description Tool Description
    Sketcher CreatePoint.svg Point Draws a point Sketcher Line.svg Line Draws a line segment from 2 points
    Sketcher Arc.svg Arc Draws an arc segment from center, radius, start angle and end angle Sketcher Create3PointArc.svg Arc 3 points Draws an arc segment from two endpoints and another point on the circumference
    Sketcher Circle.svg Circle Draws a circle from center and radius Sketcher Create3PointCircle.svg Circle 3 points Draws a circle from three points on the circumference
    Sketcher CreateEllipse.svg Ellipse Draws an ellipse by center point, major radius point and minor radius point Sketcher CreateEllipseBy3Points.svg Ellipse 3 points Draws an ellipse by major diameter (2 points) and minor radius point
    Sketcher CreateArcOfEllipse.svg Arc of ellipse Draws an arc of ellipse by center point, major radius point, starting point and ending point Sketcher CreatePolyline.svg Polyline Draws a line made of multiple line segments. Several drawing modes available
    Sketcher CreateRectangle.svg Rectangle Draws a rectangle from 2 opposite points Sketcher CreateTriangle.svg Triangle Draws a regular triangle inscribed in a construction geometry circle
    Sketcher CreateSquare.svg Square Draws a regular square inscribed in a construction geometry circle Sketcher CreatePentagon.svg Pentagon Draws a regular pentagon inscribed in a construction geometry circle
    Sketcher CreateHexagon.svg Hexagon Draws a regular hexagon inscribed in a construction geometry circle Sketcher CreateHeptagon.svg Heptagon Draws a regular heptagon inscribed in a construction geometry circle
    Sketcher CreateOctagon.svg Octagon Draws a regular octagon inscribed in a construction geometry circle Sketcher CreateSlot.svg Slot Draws an oval by selecting the center of one semicircle and an endpoint of the other semicircle
    Sketcher CreateFillet.svg Fillet Makes a fillet between two lines joined at one point Sketcher Trimming.svg Trimming Trims a line, circle or arc with respect to a clicked point
    Sketcher External.svg External geometry Creates an edge linked to external geometry Sketcher ToggleConstruction.svg Construction mode Toggles an element to/from construction mode. A construction object will not be used in a 3D geometry operation and is only visible while editing the Sketch that contains it
    Constraint PointOnPoint.svg Coincident Affixes a point onto (coincident with) one or more other points. Constraint PointOnObject.svg Point on object Affixes a point onto another object such as a line, arc, or axis.
    Constraint Vertical.svg Vertical Constrains the selected lines or polyline elements to a true vertical orientation. More than one object can be selected before applying this constraint. Constraint Horizontal.svg Horizontal Constrains the selected lines or polyline elements to a true horizontal orientation. More than one object can be selected before applying this constraint.
    Sketcher ConstrainParallel.svg Parallel Constrains two or more lines parallel to one another. Sketcher ConstrainPerpendicular.svg Perpendicular Constrains two lines perpendicular to one another, or constrains a line perpendicular to an arc endpoint.
    Sketcher ConstrainTangent.svg Tangent Creates a tangent constraint between two selected entities, or a co-linear constraint between two line segments. Sketcher ConstrainEqual.svg Equal length Constrains two selected entities equal to one another. If used on circles or arcs their radii will be set equal.
    Sketcher ConstrainSymmetric.svg Symmetric Constrains two points symmetrically about a line, or constrains the first two selected points symmetrically about a third selected point. Sketcher ConstrainLock.svg Lock Constrains the selected item by setting vertical and horizontal distances relative to the origin, thereby locking the location of that item
    Constraint HorizontalDistance.svg Horizontal distance Fixes the horizontal distance between two points or line endpoints. If only one item is selected, the distance is set to the origin. Constraint VerticalDistance.svg Vertical distance Fixes the vertical distance between 2 points or line endpoints. If only one item is selected, the distance is set to the origin.
    Sketcher ConstrainDistance.svg Distance Defines the distance of a selected line by constraining its length, or defines the distance between two points by constraining the distance between them. Sketcher ConstrainRadius.svg Radius Defines the radius of a selected arc or circle by constraining the radius.
    Sketcher ConstrainAngle.svg Internal angle Defines the internal angle between two selected lines. Sketcher MapSketch.svg Map sketch Maps a sketch to the previously selected face of a solid
    Sketcher MergeSketch.svg Merge Merge two or more sketches Sketcher MirrorSketch.svg Mirror Mirrors selected elements of a sketch

    Part Design

    The Part Design Workbench contains advanced tools to build solid parts. It also contains all the tools from the sketcher. Since it can only produce solid shapes (the rule number one of Part Design), it is the main workbench to use when designing pieces (parts) to be manufactured or 3D-printed, as you will always obtain a printable object.

    Tool Description Tool Description
    PartDesign Pad.svg Pad Extrudes a solid object from a selected sketch PartDesign Pocket.svg Pocket Creates a pocket from a selected sketch. The sketch must be mapped to an existing solid object's face
    PartDesign Revolution.svg Revolution Creates a solid by revolving a sketch around an axis PartDesign Groove.svg Groove Creates a groove by revolving a sketch around an axis
    PartDesign Fillet.svg Fillet Fillets (rounds) edges of an object PartDesign Chamfer.svg Chamfer Chamfers edges of an object
    PartDesign Draft.svg Draft Applies angular draft to faces of an object PartDesign Mirrored.svg Mirrored Mirrors features on a plane or face
    PartDesign LinearPattern.svg Linear pattern Creates a linear pattern of features PartDesign PolarPattern.svg Polar pattern Creates a polar pattern of features
    PartDesign Scaled.svg Scaled Scales features to a different size PartDesign MultiTransform.svg Multitransform Allows creating a pattern with any combination of the other transformations
    PartDesign WizardShaft.svg Shaft wizard Generates a shaft from a table of values and allows to analyze forces and moments PartDesign InvoluteGear.svg Involute gear wizard Allows you to create several types of gears


    The Arch Workbench contains tools to work with BIM projects (civil engineering and architecture). It also contains all the tools from the Draft workbench. The main use of the Arch Workbench is to create BIM objects or give BIM attributes to objects built with other workbenches, in order to export them to IFC.

    Tool Description Tool Description
    Arch Wall.svg Wall Creates a wall from scratch or using a selected object as a base Arch Structure.svg Structure Creates a structural element from scratch or using a selected object as a base
    Arch Rebar.svg Rebar Creates a reinforcement bar in a selected structural element Arch Floor.svg Floor Creates a floor including selected objects
    Arch Building.svg Building Creates a building including selected objects Arch Site.svg Site Creates a site including selected objects
    Arch Window.svg Window Creates a window using a selected object as a base Arch SectionPlane.svg Section plane Adds a section plane object to the document
    Arch Axis.svg Axis Adds an axes system to the document Arch Roof.svg Roof Creates a sloped roof from a selected face
    Arch Space.svg Space Creates a space object in the document Arch Stairs.svg Stairs Creates a stairs object in the document
    Arch Panel.svg Panel Creates a panel object from a selected 2D object Arch Frame.svg Frame Creates a frame object from a selected layout
    Arch Equipment.svg Equipment Creates an equipment or furniture object Arch SetMaterial.svg Material Attributes a material to selected objects
    Arch Schedule.svg Schedule Creates different types of schedules Arch CutPlane.svg Cut plane Cut an object according to a plan
    Arch Add.svg Add Adds objects to a component Arch Remove.svg Remove Subtracts or removes objects from a component
    Arch Survey.svg Survey Enters or leaves surveying mode

    Other built-in workbenches

    Although the above summarizes the most important tools of FreeCAD, many more workbenches are available, among them:

    • The TechDraw Workbench for producing technical drawings from 3D models.
    • The Mesh Workbench allows to work with polygon meshes. Although meshes are not the preferred type of geometry to work with in FreeCAD, because of their lack of precision and support for curves, meshes still have a lot of uses, and are fully supported in FreeCAD. The Mesh Workbench also offers a number of Part-to-Mesh and Mesh-to-Part tools.
    • The Raytracing Workbench offers tools to interface with external renderers such as povray or luxrender. Right from inside FreeCAD, this workbench allows you to produce high-quality renderings from your models.
    • The Spreadsheet Workbench permits the creation and manipulation of spreadsheet data, that can be extracted from FreeCAD models. Spreadsheet cells can also be referenced in many areas of FreeCAD, allowing to use them as master data structures.
    • The FEM Workbench deals with Finite Elements Analysis, and permits the performing of pre- and post-processing FEM calculations and to display the results graphically.

    External workbenches

    A number of other very useful workbenches produced by FreeCAD community members also exist. Although they are not included in a standard FreeCAD installation,they are easy to install as plug-ins. They are all referenced in the FreeCAD-addons repository. Among the most developed are:

    • The Drawing Dimensioning Workbench offers many new tools to work directly on Drawing Sheets and allow you to add dimensions, annotations and other technical symbols with great control over their aspect. The Drawing Dimensioning Workbench is no longer maintained.
    • The Fasteners Workbench offers a wide range of ready-to-insert fasteners objects like screws, bolts, rods, washers and nuts. Many options and settings are available.
    • The A2plus workbench offers a series of tools to mount and work with assemblies.

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