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FreeCAD is a general purpose parametric 3D CAD modeler. The development is completely Open Source (LGPL License). FreeCAD is aimed directly at mechanical engineering and product design but also fits in a wider range of uses around engineering, such as architecture or other engineering specialties.

FreeCAD features tools similar to Catia, SolidWorks or Solid Edge, and therefore also falls into the category of MCAD, PLM, CAx and CAE. It is a feature based parametric modeler with a modular software architecture which makes it easy to provide additional functionality without modifying the core system.

As with many modern 3D CAD modelers it has many 2D components in order to sketch 2D shapes or extract design details from the 3D model to create 2D production drawings, but direct 2D drawing (like AutoCAD LT) is not the focus, neither are animation or organic shapes (like Maya, 3ds Max, Blender or Cinema 4D), although, thanks to its wide adaptability, FreeCAD might become useful in a much broader area than its current focus.

FreeCAD makes heavy use of all the great open-source libraries that exist out there in the field of Scientific Computing. Among them are OpenCascade, a powerful CAD kernel, Coin3D, an incarnation of Open Inventor, Qt, the world-famous UI framework, and Python, one of the best scripting languages available. FreeCAD itself can also be used as a library by other programs.

FreeCAD is also fully multi-platform, and currently runs flawlessly on Windows and Linux/Unix and Mac OSX systems, with the exact same look and functionality on all platforms.

For more information about FreeCAD’s capabilities, take a look at the Feature list, the latest release notes or the Getting started articles, or see more screenshots.

About the FreeCAD project

The FreeCAD project was started as far as 2001, as described in its history page.

FreeCAD is maintained and developed by a community of enthusiastic developers and users (see the contributors page). They work on FreeCAD voluntarily, in their free time. They cannot guarantee that FreeCAD contains or will contain everything you might wish, but they will usually do their best! The community gathers on the FreeCAD forum, where most of the ideas and decisions are discussed. Feel free to join us there!

The FEM Workbench provides modern Finite Element Analysis (FEA) workflow for FreeCAD. Mainly this means all tools to make an Finite Element Analysis are combined in one GUI.


Os passos para fazer um FEA na bancada de trabalho « FEM Workbench » são:

  • Pré-processamento
    • A modelagem da geometria, na qual FreeCAD já é um software consolidado.
    • Criar uma Análise:
      • Criar uma malha FEM fora do modelo geométrico.
      • Adicionar restrições tais como cargas e fixar os apoios para o modelo de análise.
      • Adicionar um material para o modelo de análise
  • Solucionar
    • Resolver o sistema de equações de dentro do FreeCAD GUI.
  • Pós-processamento
    • Ver os resultados dentro FreeCAD GUI.

The above mainly describes how a FEA analysis is done inside FreeCAD FEM Workbench. For further documentation refer to the GUI Tools described later here.

As of FreeCAD version 0.15 the FEM-Module can be used on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux platforms. Since FEM Workbench makes use of external software, the amount of manual intervention until the FEM workbench is ready to use will depend on the OS that you are using. Check out FEM Install.


  • FEM FemMesh2Mesh.pngFEM mesh to mesh: Convert the surface of a FEM mesh to a mesh.
  • FEM Analysis.png Analysis container: Creates a new container for a mechanical analysis. If a solid is selected in the tree view before clicking on it, the meshing dialog will be opened next.
  • FEM SolverCalculix.png Solver Calculix: Creates a new solver for this analysis. In most cases the solver is created together with the analysis.
  • FEM SolverZ88.png Solver Z88:


Tutorial 1 FEM CalculiX Cantilever 3D

Tutorial 2 FEM Tutorial

Tutorial 3 FEM Tutorial Python

Coupled thermal mechanical analysis tutorials PDF’s

Video Tutorial 1 Forum post with you tube link

Video Tutorial 2 Forum post with you tube link

Further video Tutorials Forum post with you tube link


FEM Install for a detailed description how to set up a working FEM Module.

FEM Mesh for further Information about the FEM Mesh in FreeCAD

FEM CalculiX for further Information about the interface between FEM Module and the current Solver CalculiX

FEM Project for more detailed informations about the Units, Limitations and the Development of FEM Module.