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.
If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, FreeCAD may not be the right choice for you. You may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting instead, such as LibreCAD or QCad.
These are tools for creating Page objects.
- Redraw Page: forces an update of the selected page.
These are tools for creating View objects.
- Insert View: adds a 2D projection view of an object.
- Insert Active View: inserts a view of the active 3D view.
- Insert Projection Group: invokes a dialog to create multiple views of an object from different directions.
- Insert Simple 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 for changing the stacking order which controls the apparent depth of views on a page.
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 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.
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.
- Insert Length Dimension: adds a length dimension.
- Insert Horizontal Dimension: adds a horizontal length dimension.
- Insert Vertical Dimension: adds a vertical length dimension.
- Insert Radius Dimension: adds a radius dimension to a circle or circular arc.
- Insert Diameter Dimension: adds a diameter dimension to a circle or a circular arc.
- Insert Angle Dimension: adds an angle dimension between two straight edges.
- Insert 3-Point Angle Dimension: adds an angle dimension using three vertices.
- Insert Horizontal Extent Dimension: adds a horizontal extent dimension.
- Insert Vertical Extent Dimension: adds a vertical extent dimension.
- Link Dimension to 3D Geometry: links an existing dimension to the 3D geometry.
- Insert Balloon Annotation: adds a "balloon" annotation to a page.
- Insert Axonometric Length Dimension: adds an axonometric length dimension. introduced in version 0.21
- Insert Landmark Dimension - EXPERIMENTAL: adds a landmark distance dimension.
- Dimension Repair: can adjust the 2D or 3D geometry references of a dimension. introduced in version 0.21
The annotation tools are for "marking up" a drawing with additional information.
- Insert Annotation: adds a plain text block as annotation.
- Add Leaderline to View: adds a leaderline to a view.
- Insert Rich Text Annotation: adds an rich text block as annotation to a leaderline or a view.
- Add Cosmetic Vertex: adds a Vertex which is not part of the source geometry.
- Add Midpoint Vertices: adds Cosmetic Vertices at midpoints of selected edges.
- Add Quadrant Vertices: adds Cosmetic Vertices at quarter points of selected (circular) edges.
- Add Centerline to Faces: adds a centerline to selected face(s).
- Add Centerline between 2 Lines: adds a centerline between 2 lines.
- Add Centerline between 2 Points: adds a centerline between 2 points.
- Add Cosmetic Line Through 2 points: adds a cosmetic line connecting 2 vertices.
- Remove Cosmetic Object: removes cosmetic objects from a page.
- Change Appearance of Lines: changes the appearance of selected line(s).
- Show/Hide Invisible Edges: shows/hides invisible lines/edges in a view.
- Add Welding Information to Leader: adds welding specifications to an existing leaderline.
- Add Hole/Shaft Fit: adds hole or shaft tolerances using ISO 286 to a dimension. introduced in version 0.21
These are tools to improve your TechDraw drawings.
Attributes and modifications
- Select Line Attributes, Cascade Spacing and Delta Distance: selects the attributes (style, width and color) for new cosmetic lines and centerlines, and specifies the cascade spacing and delta distance. introduced in version 0.20
- Change Line Attributes: changes the attributes (style, width and color) of cosmetic lines and centerlines. introduced in version 0.20
- Position Section View: orthogonally aligns a section view with its source view. introduced in version 0.20
- Calculate the area of selected faces: calculates the area of selected faces and inserts an area annotation. introduced in version 0.20
- Calculate the arc length of selected edges: calculates the arc length of selected edges and inserts an arc length annotation. introduced in version 0.22
- Customize format label: customizes the formatting of a balloon text or dimension text. GD&T symbols and other special character can be added. introduced in version 0.20
Centerlines and threading
- Add Cosmetic Intersection Vertex(es): adds cosmetic vertex(es) at the intersection(s) of selected edges. introduced in version 0.20
These are tools for exporting pages to other applications.
- 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.
- Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing: explanation on how to achieve geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.
- Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.
- Do not cut, copy and paste TechDraw objects in the Tree view as this generally does not work out well.
- Do not drag TechDraw objects in the Tree view with the mouse.
- 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.
- TechDraw TemplateGenerator: instructions to create a macro for generating a basic template.
- A "few" added lines of code result in a tool like the Macro TemplateHelper.
- Measurement Of Angles On Holes: instructions for adding centerlines and subsequent angle representations on holes.
- Miscellaneous: instructions for different settings like center marks, etc.
- TechDraw Pitch Circle Tutorial: instructions for adding a 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)
Do you want to know about the future of the TechDraw Workbench? Visit the TechDraw Roadmap Page to learn more.