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Working with larger dimensions (feet, meters etc)

tom_augertom_auger Member Posts: 92 ✭✭
Is there any way to scale up the UI when working with larger units? Things like default planes, font size etc in the main UI seem to be scaled for work at inches/mm scale. When I start zooming out to accommodate larger models, things get really really tiny (which makes stuff like selecting planes a pain).

I must be missing something. Went to the workspace units, but didn't see anything there - changing the default unit to a larger one didn't make a difference to the UI.

Anyone work with architectural-level sketches and models? What are your tricks?


  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭
    tom_auger said:
    ... things get really really tiny (which makes stuff like selecting planes a pain).

    Anyone work with architectural-level sketches and models? What are your tricks?
    Try this

    Instead of zooming in to find what now is a tiny tiny plane, and even instead of resizing the planes, just select the plane from the Features List. If you select from the Features List, you don’t even have to see the plane.

    But take time to name the planes or sketches so you can easily identify what the plane or sketch is representing

    For instance, one plane or sketch could be T.O.S. — top of slab

    Another could be  T.O.2ndSubFlr — top of 2nd Story Subfloor

    Use one or two Mate Connectors on each floor as datum points so you can easily get your bearings no matter how far you zoom out. Remember, mate connectors are going to stay the same size no matter how far you zoom in or out.

    Name those mate connectors so you can tell what you’re looking at. Remember you can select them in the sketch window and then you could look in your features list and see what that mate connector represents. And visa versa — you can select a mate connector in the features list and see where it is in your sketch window.

    For example — you could name one NE Cor2ndFlr — North East Corner of 2nd Floor

    I would probably also order things in my features list so that the things at the lowest elevation are at the top of the features list, such as bottom of the footers. And then I would have the things at the end of the features list that are at the top of the structure such as the ridge beam or rafters

    I would use the composite part tool on things like studs at first floor or common rafters or hip rafters — that type of thing

    I experimented with making an architectural thing which was larger scale. It’s doable. But I would definitely have to take more time to refine things. But frankly I’m just not up to playing with big models anymore. I’m long retired. And that kind of stuff is a lot of work no matter how you go about it

    Have at it and then let us know what works

  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    Use ALL CAPS for particular items in your features list


    This would help you to easily identify everything having to do with the first floor because you’ll easily see where the second floor items start

    In a project like this, if you do it all in one part studio, you’re going have a lot of features

    If you try to do it with a bunch of parts studios in one document and then bring all those parts into one assembly, you’re going to have a heck of a lot of tabs

    People that work on big assemblies could speak better about this than I could

  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 502 ✭✭✭

    Maybe you could break it down into a dozen or so part studios



    1st flr. floor joists

    1st floor walls

    2nd flr. floor joists

    2nd floor walls

    Ceiling joists





    When I was doing architectural stuff, I was working with a 3D program that had layers. There was no assembly. So we just had a bunch of layers that we could turn on and off

    So bringing the different parts studios into an assembly — with a lot of parts in each part studio — I’m curious myself to know how that would work

  • tom_augertom_auger Member Posts: 92 ✭✭
    Thanks Steve - I love your workarounds and will definitely considering them on my next project. I especially liked the mate connector idea.

    I have to say though I was hoping that there was a function of OnShape that I had missed that would just change the scale of the UI to match the overall scale of the part you are making...
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