Getting Python

If you do not have Python installed on your machine, it can be downloaded from This is the Anaconda distribution, which we highly recommend (no we are not affiliated with nor do we receive financial support from Anaconda).

Getting the Source Code

You can either download the source as a ZIP file and extract the contents, or clone the MachUp repository using Git. If your system does not already have a version of Git installed, you will not be able to use this second option unless you first download and install Git. If you are unsure, you can check by typing git --version into a command prompt.

Downloading source as a ZIP file

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to
  2. Make sure the Branch is set to Master
  3. Click the Clone or download button
  4. Select Download ZIP
  5. Extract the downloaded ZIP file to a local directory on your machine

Cloning the Github repository

  1. From the command prompt navigate to the directory where MachUp will be installed. Note: git will automatically create a folder within this directory called MachUpX. Keep this in mind if you do not want multiple nested folders called MachUpX.

  2. Execute

    $ git clone

We recommend cloning from the repository, as this will allow you to most easily download and install periodic updates (because we will always be updating MachUpX!). This can be done using the following command

$ git pull

Please reinstall after pulling from the repository.


Once you have the source code downloaded, navigate to the root (MachUpX/) directory and execute

$ pip install .

Please note that any time you update the source code (e.g. after executing a git pull), MachUpX will need to be reinstalled by executing the above command.

Testing the Installation

Once the installation is complete, run

$ py.test test/

to verify MachUpX is working properly on your machine. Some warnings and depreciation notices are normal.

FreeCAD for Exporting STEP Files

MachUpX is able to generate CAD models of the airframe data provided using the STEP exchange format (.stp). These can be opened by any CAD package. In order to do this, MachUpX uses the FreeCAD Python API. As such, FreeCAD needs to be installed on your machine for this to work. FreeCAD can be downloaded from or on Linux systems using

$ sudo apt-get install freecad

You will then need to add the FreeCAD modules to the Python path. This can be done using Conda (comes with Anaconda python). On Linux, you will need to add the following directories using the command conda-develop, i.e.

$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/lib
$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/bin
$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/bin/lib
$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/Ext
$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/Mod
$ conda-develop /usr/lib/freecad/Gui

The location of these directories will vary depending on your machine’s configuration. When you call the aircraft_export_step() function, you may see No modules found in /usr/lib/freecad-python3/Mod or a similar error message in yellow or red text. This should not interfere with execution. Any other error message or a STEP file not being generated indicate that you have not properly configured FreeCAD for Python to recognize the FreeCAD modules.