FreeCAD Sketcher Workbench Tutorial

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  1. Sketcher intro sentence
  2. Open FreeCAD...
  3. Drawing functions
  4. Contstraint functions
  5. To 3D objects
  6. Full circle to sketcher on any face.


The Sketcher workbench in freecad allows for quick drawing of rough shapes and then constraining them to make perfect geometries.

Start Freecad and create a new document. Select the Sketcher workbench and Create a new sketch. Select the xy plane.

Now you can start drawing points, lines, squares,

Click a tool like a point you can have points easy enough you can add lines if you cannot Erik circles conic sections which are ellipses or multiple closed shapes square is very useful square and circle are most useful hexagons are polygons like a hexagon or slots you can also create Phillips meaning top on a corner of two lines to smooth it out. You can erase segments by clicking on with the erase tool.

After you create the sketch close the tasks you taking back to the model and to get back to this need to double click on the actual sketch there it is get you back to the tasks what you can close if you go to the test if you haven't slept anything it is blank so double click you can edit any of these because they have not been constrained.

For example you can move any point just about any point here. You can move the points either single or online you can move lines front unconstrained Circle that expands the radius and you can drag objects X points if they are constrained depends what the object is so let's start with constraints.

To erase everything drag your mouse button and just hit delete hit delete you want to work around the origin it's like working in a workshop you have a work table he starts somewhere else that might be the equivalent of you working on some part in the corner of the workshop. it's not easy to coordinate a build. So work around the origin as a general rule. Now to review you gotta you gotta shape right there I will show a quick example of a pad.

You can see that when you draw shapes the point snap nicely.

Throw an object closet then create a new sketch do slotted hole closet when you see that you can select any one of these as separate sketches sketch 00 one of the least two things Scripps 202 is just that now let's show how to do 3D Extrusion this is called the pad.

Hiding and unhiding is also important. In the model of you click on one and hit the spacebar and they you can hide or unhide each object which is a powerful thing.

Another point of navigation is the work window. You can work with multiple files and each file appears as a tab if you close it it will ask you to save it you can open what you saved X selecting Open document and you can also in the file menu merge project in other words put different files into the same project by March project this is useful when you are creating assemblies out of many modules.

Two dimensional shapes can be used as a basis for three dimensional objects. You need to leave Sketcher and go into part design when you click on the sketch after you close it you see that you will be left with tasks such as pad click on it and it allows you to select the thickness but now got a solid object click middle Mouse button to move around middle Mouse click middle Mouse button and right Mouse button to rotate it around.

Once you have a three dimensional object you can select points so just corners you can select lines which are edges and you can select faces. Or double click to select the entire object. This is powerful and that each of these features a point line or a face can be used for alignment. When making assemblies.

If you double click to select entire object you can right-click to change things like appearance such as transparency at 50%. The model view allows you to change parameters. Select the object click on review and data you can change data such as lamp lens and waves.

You can select any face such as the short one here. And go back into Sketcher functionality click on the face.

You can use the Skecher to reverse-engineer Parts if you have existing 2D blueprints by drawing manipulating and constraining any shape that you like using a geometry engine.

You can make points coincident, whether those points are in individual points are points of a line. Two points collapse into one point. You can join a point to a line. You can join an alliance of two lines or you can join a line to a point. if you could select the point and endpoint of a line the line should move to the line. There is logic to this - the first point that you choose is the master point so in this example, a line moves to a first selected point. If you click on the line first that and that becomes the most points in the point II then a second Point she moved to the line yes indeed. The results can sometimes be unpredictable when there are constraints already enacted and the motion may not be as you think to join a bunch of points to the line so let them select the line and they all jump onto the line.

Next constraint is making a line vertical making a line horizontal and making two lines parallel. You can erase any constrained by clicking on it and hitting the delete key then you can make these lines perpendicular. A good example of the tangent is a line and a circle you're lying becomes line and a circle. Equality constraint can apply to lines or circles or two unequal diameter circles will equal eyes are two different line lengths will become the same length. The Symmetry constraint applies 2 any two points. 4 line segment with a point on it we can select with two endpoints so those are the two points and then the Symmetry point is here and if we apply the Symmetry that point has just become the midpoint . For a square we can apply symmetry to two opposite Corners around a point. If Wheelock the corner of a square that point becomes fixed you can't move it though the other points of the square still can move. If you like another corner the square becomes fully constrained.

4 measurements we can get a horizontal distance between two points and we can select its value we can select the vertical distance between two points. we can get a diagonal distance and select its length. And we can select the diameter of a circle. We ca impose angles between two lines

You can join lines points or any combination thereof and you can Define parallel perpendicular directions. It also allows you 2 do a tangent line. You can make lines or Circle diameters equal. When you select two objects the one you select first is the base object who are the other object will equalize to that. You can also select angles between lines.

A point on a line using the Symmetry tool gets you the midpoint.

A line perpendicular to a circle get you an interesting result.


Cad1919 Youtube

  1. Sketcher 1 - [1]
  2. Sketcher 2 - [2]
  3. Sketcher 3 - [3]
  4. Sketcher 4 - [4]
  5. Sketcher 5 - [5]
  6. Sketcher 6 - [6] - Pad did not work for me at end
  7. Sketcher constraint test - [7]




People Educating about FreeCAD

Video Production


Download of source file folder for Kdenlive. Instructions: download folde, extract, and open sketcher.kdenlive in the folder. All supporting files are included in folder, except for the GVCS blue logo slide, which I couldn't get to load properly, so I removed it from the project, but it's still in the folder for use. File:OSE Sketcher Tutorial.tar.gz

Credits for OSE Video

  • FreeCAD version 0.16
  • Ubuntu 15.10 operating system
  • Edited in Kdenlive 15.08.1 video editor by Marcin Jakubowski
  • Audacity for noise removal
  • Nexus 6 with Android 6.0.1 for video + sound capture using Easy Voice Recorder Version 2.0.1
  • Vokoscreen 2.4.0 for screen capture of window with magnification
  • SimpleScreenRecorder for pointer-following video
  • Cursor Highlight in Ubuntu - care of DMZyb cursor theme for X11
  • Javier Martinez - exploded part animations - [8]
  • CAD1919 - engine model import from IGES - [9] and reverse engineering - [10]