FreeCAD: Creating 2D drawings from a 3D shape

FreeCAD 0.19


In this article, we will explain how to create 2D drawings from the created 3D shape.

Fig. 3D shape
3D shape
Fig. Example of 2D drawings
Example of 2D drawings


  1. After cretating your 3D shape, switch workbench to TechDraw workbenchTechDraw workbench.

  2. Select inserting new pagetechdraw-new-default to create page for 2D drawing.

  3. Select original 3D shape in model tree and execute inserting viewDrawing_View to insert a 2D drawing to the page.

  4. Select the inserted view in model tree and set position, view direction, zoom ratio etc... at Data tab on Combo View. Then redraw the displayRedraw icon to enable the changes.

    Fig. Data tab
    Data tab
    Fig. 2D drawing
    2D drawing

    Main properties of a view are as follows.

    • X: X coordinate of display position
    • Y: Y coordinate of display position
    • Rotation: Rotation angles (The rotation axis is vertical to the screen)
    • Scale: Zoom ratio
    • Caption: Description text that is displayed on bottom of view
    • Hard Hidden: Whether hidden lines are displayed or not
    • Smooth Visible: Whether boundary lines of curved surfaces are displayed or not
    • Direction: View dirction
    • Perspective: If True, perspective projection is used. Other, orthogonal projection is used
    • Focus: Degree of perspective projection in perspective mode.

    Drawing direction will be adjust by view direction and rotation angle using "Direction" and "Rotation" parameters. Display position can be changed with draging frames of the view.

  5. With same procedure, insert views that you want.

    Fig. Model tree
    Model tree
    Fig. 2D drawings
    2D drawings
  6. Then insert Dimensions into 2D drawings.

    Select an edge (or select 2points with pressing Ctrl key) on the drawing and inserts dimentionTechDraw_Dimension to selected edge. In the same way, you can insert vertical dimensionTechDraw_Dimension_Vertical and horizonal dimensionTechDraw_Dimension_Horizontal.

    Fig. Inserts vertical dimension and horizonal dimension
    Inserts vertical dimension and horizonal dimension

    Also it is possible to insert a diameter or radius by selecting circle or arc on the drawing and execute diameterTechDraw_Dimension_Diameter or radiusTechDraw_Dimension_Radius.

    Fig. Inserts diameter and radius
    Inserts diameter and radius

    If you want inserts angle, select 2 edges and insert angleTechDraw_Dimension_Angle.

    Fig. Inserts angle
    Inserts angle

    If you wnat to add unit to a dimension, select the dimension and edit "Format Spec" property at Data tab on Combo View.

    Fig. Adds 'mm' to dimension
    Adds "mm" to dimension

    To delete dimension, select the dimension on the drawing and push Delete key.

  7. It is possible to set hatching to the face. Select a face on the drawing and execute hatchingtechdraw-annotation.

    Also you can insert texttechdraw-annotation, SVG format vector imagetechdraw-symbol or PNG/JPEG format bitmap imagetechdraw-image etc... to the drawing.

    Fig. Inserts hatching, text, vector image, bitmap image.
    Inserts hatching, text, vector image, bitmap image.
  8. Then edit drawing's title etc... Click leading green rectangles at text on right-bottom of the drawing to show editing dialog. Edit text and click OK to change it.

    Fig. Change editable field dialog
    Change editable field dialog
  9. Finally, hide editing frametechdraw-toggleframe to check the drawing and save the pagetechdraw-saveSVG to a SVG format file.

    If you need more editing, edit the SVG file with other general drawing tool (like Inkscape).

    Fig. Example of drawing
    Example of drawing