Part Design – Adding a Sketch to a Face

This Tutorial is Written using FreeCAD 0.19. It will likely not work with other/previous versions.

One of the easiest ways to build up a Part in FreeCADs Part Design workbench is to use the Sketcher workbench and create sketches that are attached to features.

The idea is simple to understand, but in practice has some caveats. First lets look at the procedure. Then we will talk about pitfalls. Keep in mind that we are using the Sketcher Workbench but it is constrained by the Part Design Workbench. This can be a point of frustration as there are invisible limits that are imposed by Part Design.

Adding a sketch to a surface

To begin we will need a surface. Lets create a body and a Box.

1.) Select Part Design Workbench

2.) Create a new Body.

3.) Add an Additive Box

Select a Face for your Sketch

The process of adding a Sketch is very straight-forward. With a face selected click the “Create a New Sketch” tool in the Sketcher Toolbar.

The sketch will be automatically attached to that face and you will be placed in sketch edit mode.

How do you know you are in sketch edit mode?

Check your workbench selector, you will notice that the workbench has changed from Part Design to Sketcher.

You will notice that all the Sketcher toolbars are loaded and are not “Greyed Out”. The toolbars in FreeCAD will grey-out tools that are not currently available.

Lastly, notice that you combo view has switched tabs from the “Model” to the “Tasks” tab.

Add the geometries you wish to use and when you are done make sure to close the edit mode.


You can switch back to the Model view to Hide/Show geometries without closing the Sketch Edit Mode

Most other functions will be locked out while you are in Sketch Edit mode.

To Edit a sketch, “Sketch Edit Mode”

  1. Double click the Sketch in the Model Tab.
  2. Right click a Sketch and select “Edit Sketch” from the context menu.
  3. With the Sketch Highlighted in the Mode Tab Select Toggle Edit from the Edit Menu

To exit sketch edit mode you can do one of four things ( maybe five )

  1. Click the “Close” button in the Tasks tab
  2. Select “Leave Sketch” from the Sketch Menu.
  3. Select Toggle Edit from the Edit Menu
  4. From the “Model” tab, right click on the Sketch and select “Finish Editing”
  5. Start editing another Sketch.

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