Create FreeCAD 3D shape


In this post, we’ll show you the basics of creating simple 3D models. For this we use the program FreeCAD. With this you can create your models for 3D printing. If you want to create the described parts in this post download the software from the official site. Also, take a look at what great parts we’ve already been able to create with FreeCAD.

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Create a new part in FreeCAD

First, let’s show you a way to create any part using the Part Design Workbench.

Create FreeCAD part
Create a new file with a body.
  1. After you open the program, select the icon for a new file. The best way to save the file afterwards is to use the diskette icon on your computer.
  2. Then select the “Part Design” workbench.
  3. Then create a new part.

Create sketch in part

Next, we create a sketch for the first shape.

FreeCAD sketch creation
Now a sketch is made for the body. We are in the Part Design Workbench.
  1. Select the part you created earlier. Tip: You can rename the part with a delayed double-click.
  2. Then click on the “Create new sketch” icon.

Select sketch plane

You also select the sketch plane. As a rule, the XY plane represents the ground. XZ and YZ planes are side views.

Choosing the layer for a sketch in FreeCAD
Now you should select a layer.
  1. Now select the layer on which you want to place the 2D drawing. Here we use the XY plane.
  2. Then confirm with OK.

Draw rectangle in FreeCAD

Finally, we draw the cuboid on the plane. We start with the first corner point. We set this to the origin point. This automatically fixes the point in FreeCAD by setting it equal to the origin. We set the second point at an arbitrary place. It is best to do this so that the approximate shape idea can already be seen.

2D Rectangle in FreeCAD
To create a rectangle in a sketch. This rectangle sits at the origin.
  1. First, select the rectangle tool.
  2. Then set the first point to the origin.
  3. Finally, place the second vertex anywhere you like.

Dimension rectangle

Next, we use the dimensional tools to give the part the correct dimensions.

Enter dimensions in FreeCAD
Finally, you should enter the dimensions for the part. For example, 3D printing also gives you the right size.
  1. Now select the horizontal dimensioning.
  2. This selects the edge and gives the rectangle the desired length.
  3. Then select the vertical dimension.
  4. Now select the edge and give the rectangle the desired width.
  5. Finally, exit sketch mode.

2D becomes 3D in FreeCAD

The previous sketch is a 2D drawing. To get a 3D model we select the sketch and go to the extrusion tool.

Extrude part in FreeCAD
This is how you extrude a 2D drawing into a 3D body.
  1. First, select the sketch.
  2. Second, select the icon for Pad Selected Sketch.
  3. In the dialog that appears, specify the depth for the box.

Interim result

Ultimately, we want to show you what our interim result looks like now.

FreeCAD Extrusion Body
Et voilá. You have created your first FreeCAD model.

FreeCAD cuboid creation video

Possibilities in FreeCAD

There are numerous possibilities in the CAD software to create great 3D objects. Also the export to 3D print formats like .obj or .stl are possible without any problems. Afterwards you can prepare the parts for printing e.g. in Prusa Slicer. Other functions that are available in FreeCAD:

  • fillet edges
  • Create chamfers
  • It is also possible to merge models.
  • Creation of folded sheets by means of an additional workbench.
  • Furthermore the creation of assemblies.
  • Also the rendering of 3D models.

FreeCAD Training

Ask us about training courses for FreeCAD or other CAD systems such as OpenSCAD (OpenSource) or Onshape (proprietary).


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