Beyond simple scripts, FreeCAD macro development really benefits from using a Python IDE. My Python IDE of choice is PyCharm.

I have been able to setup the same Python environment with FreeCAD and PyCharm using this great project

This allows the same Python syntax and semantics to be applied (especially important when switching from Python 2 to Python 3). Unfortunately however, having code completion for FreeCAD modules still eludes me…


The following steps will get PyCharm and FreeCAD using the same Python installation.

NOTE: This was done on MacOS.

Install Miniconda

Download Miniconda installer from and install it:

echo ". /Users/vectronic/miniconda3/etc/profile.d/" >> ~/.bash_profile

Create Conda Environment for FreeCAD

A Conda environment with FreeCAD can then be built with:

conda create -n freecad-0.18-mac freecad

Use FreeCAD

To use the FreeCAD binary built with Conda it needs to be launched from the terminal:

conda activate freecad-0.18-mac

Inside the FreeCAD Python console you can then check the Python environment using:

import sys
print('Python %s on %s' % (sys.version, sys.platform))

Use Conda Environment in PyCharm

The same Conda environment can then be configured within your PyCharm project via the following GUI path:

PyCharm Preferences -> Project Interpreter -> Gear Icon -> Add -> Conda Environment -> Existing Environment

Choose the location of the Python executable from the Conda environment. In my case this is ~/miniconda3/envs/freecad-0.18-mac/bin/python.

Now from the PyCharm Python console you should get the same results as previously with:

import sys
print('Python %s on %s' % (sys.version, sys.platform))


Despite the above and my endless attempts to configure dynamic library and module paths correctly, code completion just will not work. As far as I can tell it relates to an issue with how PyCharm handles processing of dynamic native libraries.

I don’t hold much hope of it being resolved:

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