FreeCAD for architectural drawing: Create technical drawings with a free and open-source CAD

Do you want to start using a free and open-source software to work in your CAD related projects? Meet FreeCAD and their incredible array of options to create both technical drawings and 3D models for architecture, engineering, and more.

In this book, you will learn how to use FreeCAD to create traditional technical drawings for architecture. As an example of project development, you will learn how to draw a full featured floor plan using FreeCAD. We will add to that floor plan all traditional elements from an architectural drawing like furniture, dimension lines, text annotations, and much more.

In the final chapters, we can take this floor plan design and export it using either the DXF format or as a PDF. You will be able to add the floor plan to page layout for print featuring a title block from a template in FreeCAD.

You don't need any previous experiences with FreeCAD, since we will start from the beginning. From the user interface basics to drawing a floor plan!

Book about FreeCAD for architectural drawing

My goal with the book is to introduce FreeCAD to anyone looking to make architectural drawings. For example, we will create a floor plan design using most of the tools available in FreeCAD for 2D drawings. I hope that by the end of chapter eight, you start to see FreeCAD as a real replacement tool to help you create any design you like for architecture.

From that point, we can move in the future to a full BIM workflow using FreeCAD!

Here is a list of all the chapters:

  • Chapter 1 – FreeCAD basics for technical drawing
Chapter 2 – Drawing with FreeCAD
Chapter 3 – Editing and changing drawings
  • Chapter 4 – Starting a floor plan drawing
Chapter 5 – Adding doors, windows, and surroundings
Chapter 6 – Drawing the floor plan
Chapter 7 – Furniture, symbols, and annotations
Chapter 8 – Dimension lines, exporting, and printing

FreeCAD basics for technical drawing

In this chapter, we start to learn how FreeCAD works and the main parts of its unique user interface. Don’t expect something like an AutoCAD clone, because FreeCAD has its terminology and workflow. We will cover topics like:

  • How to start a new project in FreeCAD
  • Setup units for a project
  • Understand how to use workbenches
  • Handling the work plane for technical drawing
  • Managing the zoom and views for technical drawing
  • Using the snap controls for precision drawing
  • Identify key panels from the Combo view
  • Renaming objects and using groups
  • Saving FreeCAD projects

Drawing with FreeCAD

After a quick overview of the tools and options related to the user interface to FreeCAD, it is time to start working with drawings. The Draft workbench offers us a lot of tools to create all kinds of shapes. The tools are available to make drawings look a lot like any other vector editing software. In this section you find information about:

  • How to use the Tasks tab to draw
  • Add lines and DWires to a project
  • Control the start and end of a line
  • Making drawings with numeric inputs
  • Adjust line width and color
  • Using construction mode
  • Adding text and dimension lines

Drawing in 2D using Blender (Floor plan)

In this chapter, we will start the design process of a floor plan. The objective is to create a prepare a floor plan design for print or display in a monitor. You will learn in this section:

  • Drawing a floor plan
  • Creating the walls
  • Making curved walls
  • Working with doors and windows
  • Drawing the stairs
  • Creating the external area
  • Preparing the floor plan for rendering

Editing and changing drawings

The following chapter shows a lot of those tools and how they can help you become more productive in a FreeCAD workflow. As you will notice, we will skip some of the tools from the toolbar now. But, when we start to work with the floor plan design, we will get back to the editing tools to explain the remaining options:

  • How to select objects using the Document tree and the cursor
  • Using the Combo View to edit drawings
  • Process recomputing for drawings
  • How to move, copy, and rotate drawings
  • Offset lines in a drawing
  • Create mirrored copies
  • Changing drawings by joints
  • Merging and exploding entities
  • How to use the Upgrade and Downgrade options

Starting a floor plan drawing

In this chapter, we start the design by making construction lines and preparing all the necessary steps to get a complete floor plan. You will learn in this section:

  • Prepare the user interface for a technical drawing
  • Adjust the grid to create a floor plan
  • Refresh and update the Draft grid
  • Starting a floor plan with construction lines
  • Make guidelines for walls
  • Stretching and cutting lines
  • Create a curved wall

Adding doors, windows, and surroundings

If you take a look at the current state of our design now, it is starting to look like a floor plan with lots of temporary shapes for walls. The walls are an important part of a floor plan, but we also need additional information to explain a design further.

You also need information about doors, windows, and the overall structure of a building. Here is what you will learn:

  • How to draw placeholders for doors and windows
  • Use expressions to further control copy location
  • Divide lines with FreeCAD
  • Copying and distributing placeholders
  • Make temporary lines for an external structure
  • Add columns to a project

Drawing the floor plan

After two chapters building lots of temporary graphics for the floor plan design, it is finally time to start adding some permanent lines and shapes. As you will notice from this chapter, it will be incredibly easy and fast to add those lines. Since we have multiple lines marking key locations and lengths for our floor plan, it will be a matter of using the snap system to create the new lines.:

  • How to manage and create groups
  • Moving objects between groups
  • Set the visibility of entire groups
  • Control the line width for all elements in a group
  • Drawing walls
  • Creating compound walls
  • Making doors and windows
  • Using different line styles for projections

Furniture, symbols, and annotations

In this chapter, you will learn how to import and manage external libraries as DXF and DWG files in FreeCAD. By the end of chapter 7, you will be able to import furniture models and also symbols from external files. Here is what you will learn:

  • How to import external files to FreeCAD
  • Install additional modules and libraries to FreeCAD
  • Use the ODA File Converter to handle DWG files
  • Integrate ODA File Converter to FreeCAD
  • Add annotations to drawings
  • Getting areas from rooms using the Survey tool
  • Include labels for drawings

Dimension lines, exporting, and printing

As the last step in developing our floor plan, it is time to add another required feature for technical drawings in architecture. We will learn how to add and manage dimension lines in FreeCAD. Not only how to add and manage those lines, but also how you can export the project to formats such as PDF. Here is what you will learn:

  • How to work with dimension lines
  • Adding dimension lines to a project
  • Using the Combo View to edit dimension lines
  • Exporting a project as PDF
  • Using a paper template for PDF
  • Insert a project in a paper template
  • Create more paper templates
  • Change properties from an existing template
  • Edit a title block from a template

Book details

  • Release date: August 2020
  • Edition: 1st
  • Pages: 270 (Paperback)
  • Autor: Allan Brito
  • Blender version used: FreeCAD 0.18
  • ASIN Kindle: B08FBNV6HC
  • ISBN paperback: 9798672777030

Buy now from Amazon:

  • Available in eBook format (Worldwide)
  • Available as a paperback (some regions)

Disclaimer: Some of the links above might be affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. If you decide to purchase using our links, you will be helping us with the maintenance of Blender 3D Architect. Thank you for your support!