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FreeCAD – Framing Workbench

The Framing Workbench is an experimental workbench. The aim is to add functionality to FreeCAD that will enable the creation of a fully modeled U.S style framed structure. Although most members of a framed structure are simple, each have various considerations and roles to play. These are captured by having members that are named and given custom properties.

There are some design goals/requirements that steered choices made.

  • Individual Elements – No arrays used to create elements
  • Framing Members have properties to aide in their use and enumeration.
  • Restrictions on properties should aide, not restrict, the user into easier construction modeling

The Toolbars


The Structure toolbar groups items that are assemblies of framing members. Structure tool are uniformly colored to demonstrate the predominate role of the structure. Non-structure items are highlighted.


The Member toolbar groups individual framing members. Framing members are shown individually or with their structure and highlighted to demonstrate their role.

Doors and Windows

The Doors and Windows toolbar will group framing members that are specific to doors and windows. It will contain items like Jack Stud, King Stud etc., Currently the header is lonely.


The panels toolbar will generally contain items that come in 4’x8′ sizes. The have some positioning to aide with initial placement. For example Roof Panels are angled and set to the elevation of the top plates.

The Tools

The set of tools for the Framing Workbench includes common framing member and the correlated structures.

Stud Object

The stud object is a US 2x4x8. The object has custom properties such as length with presets for certain styles of pre-cut lumber. The stud is default placement is 1.5″ from the origin, to allow for a single floor plate.

Plate Object

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FreeCAD – SketcherShapes Workbench

The SketcherShapes Workbench is my attempt to add an “easy” way to insert custom and commonly used shapes. It is an early attempt at a workbench and is not intended for any production or regular use. It is mostly and experiment and a learn to code playground.

Why a Workbench and not just add to a Parts library?

The simple answer is that these are not parts. They are intended to be aides in creating parts. So basically these will always be 2d shapes with loosely defined defaults.

The Shapes

  • Rounded Square
  • Centered Square
  • Trapezoid
  • Parallelogram
  • Keyhole
  • Linking Bar
  • Arrow
  • Saw-tooth
  • Plus Sign
  • Four Holes
  • PCB Edge Mount
  • Mini USB

Adding New Shapes

New shapes are added via a rudimentary code generator tool. It creates code, tool bar and menu entries and eventually an icon. This feature is not yet exposed. In order to add new shapes to code, it is necessary to add the class to the An attempt was made, with some succes, to iterate a folder for classes. There were some issues however.

Editing Shapes

Shapes are edited by adding a shape via Toolbar or menu then re-running the code generator

Removing Shapes

To remove a shape currently the code for that shape needs to be removed. This would include code in th class.

Icon Generation

The icon generator, not even close to working, will attempt to create an SVG from the sketch with a little bit of styling.

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Models, Projects, Notes and other miscellany

Split Bearing Clamp

A split pillow block for the 608zz skate bearing.

Toy Construction Brick – A great starter object for learning about the Draft mode of FreeCAD

Strandbeest – Sort of a requirement for 3d Printer enthusiasts to design their own.

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FreeCAD – Framing

Here you will find all the models pertaining to the Framing Workbench and Videos. AS with everything I do, this is a work in progress.

The Framing Workbench was the groundwork for learning how to make a workbench. It is strongly in the alpha stage and may never go any further. That being said I do get lost in projects and if I get back to this one I man bring it from version 0.1 to 0.2

The Framing Workbench came from the desire to render ( using FOSS ) a complete model of my home. I started with a shed and thought it might be useful to have per-defined shapes and some parametric functionality.

Framing Work Bench

Basic Shed Series

Basic Shed Floor

A demonstration of how to construct a basic framed floor.

Basic Shed Walls

A demonstration of a basic framed wall.

Basic Shed Window

A load bearing window demonstration.

Basic Shed Door

A load bearing door frame demonstration.

Framing Series

Parametric Load Bearing Window

Parametric Load Bearing Door

Gable Roof