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Creating sketches from known dimensions or coordinates

christopher_lloyd090christopher_lloyd090 Member Posts: 2
Hello all,

15 years ago I trained to use AutoCAD, which I used a fair bit and then promptly forgot about. I'm now in a position where some basic CAD knowledge will be very useful for me. Right now, I am trying to recreate a plan that uses northings and eastings. 

While many drawing tools like creating circles, lines, guidelines and curves are familiar to me, one element I can't find is the ability to tell Onshape exactly where I want to place things.

For example, I want to place a circle on my sketch with (say) centre 450123, 450146, radius exactly 5.56 metres. In AutoCAD back in the day, I would have clicked the circle tool, typed "@450123, 450146", enter, "r5.56", enter. Or I could have clicked the circle tool, clicked the FROM navigation tool, typed "450123, 450146" and then put in the radius.

Similarly, if I want to place a rectangle, I know how to click the rectangle tool and place the centrepoint, but how do I tell Onshape exactly what dimensions to make it? I don't want to fiddle with the mouse until it's right, I just want to type in, "225.6, 456.2" or whatever.

I realise this is a relatively simple task, but I can't for the life of me find the right way to enter this. If there's a tutorial on this, please direct me to it as well. I'm more than willing to learn.



  • Cris_BowersCris_Bowers Member Posts: 281 PRO

    You're going to have to utilize your mouse to place objects.
    When placing most objects you will pick 2 points, the starting point and the end point. Neither point needs to be anywhere near where you want it, but since you are using northings and eastings, it will help to place your object north and east of the origin. After you have clicked to place the end point the dimensions will highlight (shown below), all you have to do is type in what you want, do not try to click in the highlighted box or you will start placing another object, just type the value you need it to be.
    You can then dimension your objects off the origin. Just press "d" to start the dimension tool and select your 2 points. Doesn't matter if you pick the origin or the locating point first.
    If you need to change any values, just double click on the value you need changed and type what you need it to be.
    Hope this helps.

  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,419
    Hi @christopher_lloyd090

    We have typing shortcuts like this for size, but not for position.

    Here is a gif I put together for you that shows how to do the things you are asking:

    First I am clicking two positions to place a rectangle.  After placing the rectangle, I can just start typing to fill in the horizontal and vertical constraints.  You will notice that there is a box around one of the rectangle constraints and not the other before I start typing.  This box denotes which dimension is going to be filled in first, and can be controlled by moving your mouse closer to one of the dimensions or the other.

    I then do the same for a circle, place it with two clicks and then type in the desired radius.

    Next I use the dimension tool in a number of different ways.  First, I use it to create some northings and eastings to constrain the rectangle.  Then I create some construction lines and use the dimension tool to define the distance from the origin to the circle center, and the angle of the line from the origin to the circle center.

    Dimension documentation:

    Hope this helps!
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
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