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how do you specify a specific length in a sketch?

kai_etringerkai_etringer Member Posts: 10
if you have a line in a sketch, how do you specify length?


  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,221 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2017
    click dimension button in sketch mode then click on the geometry you need to dimension, the hotkey for dimension command is "d". it works for the length of splines at least

  • NkaniaNkania Member Posts: 2 EDU
    You can also dimension the line by typing in the desired length when you place the line, this will automatically dimension the line for you without going to the dimension tool.
  • erik_aignererik_aigner Member Posts: 1
    OnShape is by far the most unintuitive CAD software I've ever used... need to lookup how to specify lengths. Lol.
  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,646
    The sketching course in this learning pathway may be useful:

    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
  • michael_mcclainmichael_mcclain Member Posts: 198 PRO
    OnShape is by far the most unintuitive CAD software I've ever used... need to lookup how to specify lengths. Lol.
    I'm curious why you think that. I personally find it to be much more intuitive and easier to learn than most CAD systems. Which programs have you used?
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    Likewise :)
    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,221 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If somebody looking for most unintuitive CAD you can check T-Flex CAD >:) 
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,240
    I think he was joking (I hope!)
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,877 PRO
    OnShape is by far the most unintuitive CAD software I've ever used... need to lookup how to specify lengths. Lol.
    I'm sorry you feel that way.

    If I being honest, sketching is the same here as it is in every other real parametric CAD software I have used.
    What would you like to see that is more intuitive than defining a length with a dimension?

    I have seen some like solidworks that will give you the option to automatically add a dimension while sketching a line. But that does more harm than good IMHO.
  • joshua_lavejoshua_lave Member Posts: 2
    OnShape is by far the most unintuitive CAD software I've ever used... need to lookup how to specify lengths. Lol.
    Old post but lol, agreed. Drawing a line is easy enough. Clicking on the line doesn't let me change the length, though, but I can add a dimension, click the dimension, change the dimension label and all it does is turn the line red to say the dimension doesn't match the line length. No kidding, but why can't I just click the line length and change it? And why can't I type a number while drawing a line and have it snap to line length? I have never used drafting software that has neither of those features.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,877 PRO
    I don't know what to say, I've never seen that error message before.
    adding a dimension and changing the length of the dimension is the correct way.
    Then there are constraints which will automatically change the length, relative to something you're constrained to.

    If it turns red, than means you over defined your sketch. (too many constraints that conflict with the dimension length)
    You should show a screen shot of your problem, or give us a link to your document so we can actually help you.

    Otherwise all we can say is:
    If sketching a line to a specific length is a struggle, than that tells me you haven't used the learning center yet.
    Introduction to Sketching - Onshape Learning Center should tell you everything you need to know about sketching.

    What this post feels like to me is: That's like buying a ratchet wrench set, then complaining to the manufacturer that it only loosens bolts.
    Of course, we all know you have to flip the lever on the back to change direction. But some wrenches need you to turn a dial instead (I know! Shocking isn't it! more than one way to do something!)

    Just because one Cad system uses a stretch command, or a length property embedded into the line (like AutoCAD, DraftSight), and another Cad system uses a dimension to drive the length (like Onshape, SolidWorks, many others). Doesn't make either of them wrong or dumb.
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