PartDesign Workbench

    From FreeCAD Documentation
    PartDesign workbench icon


    The Workbench PartDesign.svg PartDesign Workbench provides advanced tools for modeling complex solid parts. It is mostly focused on creating mechanical parts that can be manufactured and assembled into a finished product. Nevertheless, the created solids can be used in general for any other purpose such as architectural design, finite element analysis, or machining and 3D printing.

    The PartDesign Workbench is intrinsically related to the Sketcher Workbench. The user normally creates a Sketch, then uses the PartDesign Pad tool to extrude it and create a basic solid, and then this solid is further modified.

    While the Workbench Part.svg Part Workbench is based on a constructive solid geometry (CSG) methodology for building shapes, the PartDesign Workbench uses a parametric, feature editing methodology, which means a basic solid is sequentially transformed by adding features on top until the final shape is obtained. See the feature editing page for a more complete explanation of this process, and then see Creating a simple part with PartDesign to get started with creating solids.

    A more detailed discussion of Part workbench versus Part Design workbench can be found here: Part and Part Design.

    The bodies created with PartDesign are often subject to the topological naming problem which causes internal features to be renamed when the parametric operations are modified. This problem can be minimized by following the best practices described in the feature editing page, and by taking advantage of datum objects as support for sketches and features.

    PartDesign Example.png


    The Part Design tools are all located in the Part Design menu and the PartDesign toolbar that appear when you load the Part Design workbench.

    Structure tools

    These tools are in fact not part of the PartDesign Workbench. They belong to the Std Base system. They were developed in v0.17 with the intention that they would be useful to organize a model, and create assemblies; as such, they are very useful when working with bodies created with this workbench.

    • Std Part.svg Part: adds a new Part container in the active document and makes it active.
    • Std Group.svg Group: adds a Group container in the active document, which allows organizing the objects in the tree view.

    Part Design Helper tools

    • PartDesign Body.svg Create body: creates a Body object in the active document and makes it active.
    • Sketcher NewSketch.svg Create sketch: creates‎ a new sketch on a selected face or plane. If no face is selected while this tool is executed, the user is prompted to select a plane from the Tasks panel. The interface then switches to the Sketcher Workbench in sketch editing mode.
    • Sketcher MapSketch.svg Map sketch to face: maps a sketch to a previously selected plane or a face of the active body.
    • Sketcher ValidateSketch.svg Validate sketch: verifies the tolerance of different points and adjusts them.

    Part Design Modeling tools

    Datum tools

    Additive tools

    These are tools for creating base features or adding material to an existing solid body.

    • PartDesign Pad.svg Pad: extrudes a solid from a selected sketch.
    • PartDesign Revolution.svg Revolution: creates a solid by revolving a sketch around an axis. The sketch must form a closed profile.
    • PartDesign AdditiveLoft.svg Additive loft: creates a solid by making a transition between two or more sketches.
    • PartDesign AdditivePipe.svg Additive pipe: creates a solid by sweeping one or more sketches along an open or closed path.

    Subtractive tools

    These are tools for subtracting material from an existing body.

    • PartDesign Pocket.svg Pocket: creates a pocket from a selected sketch.
    • PartDesign Hole.svg Hole: creates a hole feature from a selected sketch. The sketch must contain one or multiple circles.
    • PartDesign Groove.svg Groove: creates a groove by revolving a sketch around an axis.
    • PartDesign SubtractiveLoft.svg Subtractive loft: creates a solid shape by making a transition between two or more sketches and subtracts it from the active body.
    • PartDesign SubtractivePipe.svg Subtractive pipe: creates a solid shape by sweeping one or more sketches along an open or closed path and subtracts it from the active body.
    • PartDesign SubtractiveHelix.svg Subtractive helix: creates a solid shape by sweeping a sketch along a helix and subtracts it from the active body.

    Transformation tools

    These are tools for transforming existing features.

    • PartDesign Mirrored.svg Mirrored: mirrors one or more features.
    • PartDesign MultiTransform.svg Create MultiTransform: creates a pattern by combining any of the transformations mentioned above, as well as the Scaled transformation.
      • PartDesign Scaled.svg Scaled: scales one or more features. This is not available as a separate transformation tool.

    Dress-up tools

    These tools apply a treatment to edges or faces.

    • PartDesign Fillet.svg Fillet: fillets (rounds) edges of the active body.
    • PartDesign Chamfer.svg Chamfer: chamfers edges of the active body.
    • PartDesign Draft.svg Draft: applies an angular draft to selected faces of the active body.
    • PartDesign Thickness.svg Thickness: creates a thick shell from the active body and opens selected face.


    • PartDesign Boolean.svg Boolean operation: imports one or more Bodies or PartDesign Clones into the active body and applies a Boolean operation.


    Some additional functionality found in the Part Design menu:

    • PartDesign Migrate.svg Migrate: migrates files created with older FreeCAD versions. If the file is pure PartDesign feature-based, migration should succeed. If the file contains mixed Part/Part Design/Draft objects, the conversion will most likely fail.
    • PartDesign Sprocket.svg Sprocket: creates a sprocket profile that can be padded.
    • PartDesign InternalExternalGear.svg Involute gear: creates an involute gear profile that can be padded.
    • PartDesign WizardShaft.svg Shaft design wizard: Generates a shaft from a table of values and allows to analyze forces and moments. The shaft is made with a revolved sketch that can be edited.

    Context Menu items

    • PartDesign MoveTip.svg Set tip: redefines the tip, which is the feature exposed outside of the Body.
    • PartDesign MoveFeatureInTree.svg Move object after other object: allows reordering of the Body tree by moving the selected sketch, datum geometry or feature to another position in the list of features.

    Items shared with the Part workbench

    • Std SetAppearance.svg Appearance: determines appearance of the whole part (color transparency etc.).


    • Preferences-part design.svg Preferences: preferences available for PartDesign Tools.
    • Fine tuning: some extra parameters to fine-tune PartDesign behavior.



    For some ideas of what can be achieved with Part Design tools, have a look at: PartDesign examples.

    PartDesign ExampleSphere-02.png PartDesign ExampleTorus-01.png PartDesign ExamplePad-09.png PartDesign ExampleSweep-02.png PartDesign ExampleSweep-05.png PartDesign ExampleSpring-04.png