Is there a CAD-System, which has an API and allows to use the API without the GUI (just using the Core). The CAD-System API should be able to:

  • load multiple 3d-models
  • change parameters of loaded models
  • set references/mates/constraints between parts/assemblies
  • create dxf from assembly/part
  • add dimensions to dxf

important: would be really nice if it would be useable without the user interface.

  • would be really nice if it would be useable without the user interface. Not exactly sure what you mean by this.
    – rrirower
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 13:00
  • @rrirower use the api for creating a dxf without starting the graphical user interface - e.g. if you use the solidworks api solidworks will automatically start...
    – marty bu
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 5:38
  • I think you'll find that most high end CAD software expose their API through modules loaded via the GUI. This happens typically to manipulate some geometry on the screen.
    – rrirower
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 11:46
  • Well you can launch Creo without the GUI, and Creo is much faster to start than any of the other mainstream tools. Is this good enough for you, if it is i have some more info for you.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 17:36
  • @joojaa yes that is what we are looking for. We also found out that we can start SolidWorks without UI. Funny thing though is, that you cannot run more than one instance of SolidWorks... Is this different with Creo?
    – marty bu
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


I haven't used its python API extensively, but I believe FreeCAD can do most, if not all of the actions you listed from the python API, without running a GUI, based on this snippet from the FreeCADweb.org website:

FreeCAD is built from scratch to be totally controlled by Python scripts. Almost all parts of FreeCAD, such as the interface, the scene contents, and even the representation of this content in the 3D views, are accessible from the built-in Python interpreter or from your own scripts. As a result, FreeCAD is probably one of the most deeply customizable engineering applications available today.

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