Spreadsheets in FreeCAD

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Spreadsheets are a functionality in FreeCAD where you can design using a spreadsheet of values that looks like any spreadsheet. Except that these values are attached to parameters of actual 3D CAD objects. This way, 3D design can be created and modified using parameters that are changed in the spreadsheet.

FreeCAD Parametric Part Design and Drawing Workflow

  1. Start with a spreadsheet in Spreadsheet view - define all parameters as numbers (units optional) within individual cells
  2. Right click on each cell contining a variable value. Create an alias - this is FreeCAD's variable name.
  3. Create a part in part design view. Instead of entering values for constraints, click the little icon in the dimension box and associate each dimension with a variable name from the spreadsheet. With some careful forethought and planning, a fully parametric part may be produced in this manner.
  4. Enter Drawing view, create a new drawing, highlight the part and then "Insert an Orthographic Projection" of the part. Each checkbox adds a different perspective of the part.
  5. Enter the Drawing Dimensioning view and click on the "Add Linear Dimension" icon. Click two points on one of the projections in order to draw the related dimensions on the Drawing. The direction in which the dimensions are dragged before setting them with a click dictates whether x or y differences or oblique dimensions are displayed.
  6. Edit the drawing data in the "Editable" property box.
  7. Export the drawing as a pdf.
  8. Export the part as an stl.