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Dimensions while sketching.

steve_maiettasteve_maietta Member Posts: 32 EDU
Dimensioning would be easier and simpler is the user could type in a dimension as they are actively using the tool.  For ex: sketching a rectangle, click to locate a corner and then drag it out.  While it is still "active" (as in not placed) the user types in two dimensions (3,4 for ex) and the rect snaps to these dims.

Forgive me if there is an easy way to dimension sketches as you create them, I have not figured it out yet, and using the dimension tool after the fact is a PITA!

thanks

~Steve

Comments

  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    I would very much support this input protocol as a selectable option (I stipulate "selectable", because it would not be viable without a mouse) but perhaps using "Enter" rather than a comma as the separator in the case of multiple entry, given that the user will use "Enter" after the second or last dimension, that the enter key is much easier to find, and that the key is local to the numerical keypad.
    It would offer a significant productivity benefit for this operation over the likes of Solidworks, whereas at present the reverse is true.
  • paul_breedpaul_breed Member Posts: 16
    I do most of my drawing (Rhino user) with this numeric input scheme....  the concept of both absolute and relative dimensions is key.
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    I agree with @paul_breed absolutely, and thanks Paul for bringing this up.

    I think another key concept is for users to be able to use (should they wish) a defined discipline of coordinate entry, so that the first dimension entered is always considered to relate to the x axis, and the second to the y axis.

    If the "Enter" key is used as the separator as well as the signal for "OK, I'm done here" :
    This discipline would allow OnS to correctly interpret a lightweight slice of data from a single source (the numerical keypad, no mouse actions required) to perform a relatively rich operation (in this instance, dimensioning the width and height of a rectangle)
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    This post really got me thinking. How often would this be useful? How often is the edge length important vs other constraints? What about other sketch tools?

    Are people asking for this because they are not comfortable with constraint based sketching? Should there be multiple sketching 'modes'?

    I know that for myself my typical sketch workflow is to lay down geometry, then apply constraints (dimensional constraints are laid down but not modified) and finally do a first iteration on setting dimensional values. Final dimensions change as design trade-offs are explored and optimization is done.

    So for me there is not often any need to enter the dimensions of a rectangle as I draw the rectangle because the edges are never dimensioned but driven by constraints to other geometry instead. If there were such a feature, I would want the ability to turn it off.

    I'm not saying Onshape should not support directly setting geometry data like edge angles and lengths; I do use this capability in SolidWorks every once in a while... But to have it as the default throws away the power of constraint based sketching in my opinion.





  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    @Traveler_Hauptman

    You seem to be thinking mainly in terms of using Onshape as a design tool. However, many users will (at least some of the time) be creating models from drawings (or from real life) of components which are already designed. This can involve a lot of data entry, which is tedious under the current regime. 

    Like you, I would not use the suggested facility much when designing from scratch, but I don't think it would be necessary to make it a selectable option as you request, provided it was implemented along the lines of the OP's suggestion.

    I say this because Steve's data entry mode could only be invoked (by entering a number) during the period when the mouse button was still being held down. Once the button was released without entering a number, unconstrained geometry would be placed, as it is currently.

    I would like to add a suggestion for the rectangle case: to define a square, the user could enter the dimension once only, followed by Enter, then Enter again.

    And (just for the record) I would like to eventually see this functionality extended to round cornered rectangles. 
    As well as being a case where "edge lengths" is not a useful descriptor, a sub-example is RHS, which is most definitely an example of an entire class of entities not well suited for "constraint-based sketching": 
  • steve_maiettasteve_maietta Member Posts: 32 EDU
    My example stems from the need to create a bracket that fits an existing motor and worm gear set.  I have the dimensions of the parts and need to create the bracket to fit.  In this case, I have the need to create sketches to an exact size right form the onset.  I need a 3,4" rectangle, a set of two more .125,1" then locate the bore of the spur gear .75,1.005 away etc etc.    I could sketch it out roughly and go back and add dimensions to constrain it to the required size, but it makes sense to me that I could sketch them to the proper size as I'm laying them out.  Even if a dialogue box popped up that had fields to enter the X,Y dims.   I came from a Solidworks background, then a year with Pro-E,  then to a MAC environment where I was left with Sketchup for the past 6 years.  So I am very excited to be able to use a parametric modeler again with real tools, but there are things that I do really enjoy about the Sketchup workflow. (for ex, dimensioning features as you create them)

    great discussion!
    ~Steve


  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,440 PRO
    I would like and use this feature a lot! Alibre/Geomagic does this for lines and circles and I remember some solidcad dimension also rectangles/ellipses. It's a great time saver not having to pick up dimension tool every time.

    This is what I would like to see (line, circle, rectangle, ellipse, polygon, arc + all future geometries): 

    Click first point, live dimension shows up giving you understanding of the length/size

    - 1. move with mouse and click, dimensions disappear and sketch is exactly like it is now.
    OR
    - 1. input first dimension or line length/circle diameter and hit enter, circle would be finished but with other geometry mouse would still move line angle or rectangle/ellipse 2nd direction, showing live dimension for angle or rectangle 2nd dir - mouse click finishes with only one dimension

    - 2. input 2nd dimension or angle value and hit enter, line is finished but rectangle/ellipse moves with mouse and angle is showing - mouse click ends without angle

    - 3. input angle for rectangle/ellipse and hit enter - finished

    It difficult to put in words, but main idea is to always show dimensions while sizing any geometry. And give opportunity to quickly input one or more dimension directly into sketch without selecting specific tool. If dimensions are not given, behavior would be same as now but more informative.

    When we have some more settings, there could be place for 'Always add dimension in sketch' which would create driven dimensions if no input is made during geometry creation ie. geometry is defined just using mouse or constrained to other geometry/reference.
    //rami
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    It would be a start if the dragging of an entity were made granular rather than analogue.

    At present, when you drag (say, a rectangle) and release when it "looks about right", you end up with a bunch of useless random digits after the decimal point. That means you really cannot make use of the granular scroll-wheel, without first typing in a rounded-off starting size, defeating the purpose of granulated scroll. 

    (Which still does not work properly, either ... but I mention this in the knowledge that at least one ticket has been raised, to reassure anyone who has just noticed it that the fix will undoubtedly happen soon)
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    I know what 3Dcad is talking about because my main CAD software is also Alibre/Geomagic. 

    I am working on a small project converting full size drawing of a anchor winch into 1/32 scale 3D parts that can be 3D printed. 

    Because OnS does not have a grid system or snap to grid and when drawing a line or any other thing in OnS you have no idea how long a line is or how big a circle is. You have to make your best guess and then change tools to dimension the line you just drew then back to the line tool.

    In Alibre/Geomagic with the grid on at the spacing you set and snap to grid on, you can start a line at a know point. As you make the line longer there is a DRO (digital read out) that gives you the line length and angle the line is being draw at. If you know the length of line you want you can type that in at any time hit enter and the line snaps to that length. If you enter a length and hit tab you can then enter an angle. Hit enter and the line snaps to that length and angle.

    You have the DRO for all drawing tools so you always know lengths, diameters, radius etc.

    Dave
    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • BMcGeeBMcGee Member Posts: 2
    Another feature that would speed up dimensioning is to automatically select the current dimension value so that it is automatically overwritten when you start typing the desired number. If you want to edit the number without overwriting then you click and place your cursor where you would like to modify the number. 
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,440 PRO
    Another feature that would speed up dimensioning is to automatically select the current dimension value so that it is automatically overwritten when you start typing the desired number. If you want to edit the number without overwriting then you click and place your cursor where you would like to modify the number. 
    What do you mean? If I create new dimension or dblclick existing one, value is already selected so that anything I type will overwrite the old value.. 
    //rami
  • BMcGeeBMcGee Member Posts: 2
    3dcad said:
    Another feature that would speed up dimensioning is to automatically select the current dimension value so that it is automatically overwritten when you start typing the desired number. If you want to edit the number without overwriting then you click and place your cursor where you would like to modify the number. 
    What do you mean? If I create new dimension or dblclick existing one, value is already selected so that anything I type will overwrite the old value.. 
    I was going through the tutorials when I saw this issue and didn't realize it had been changed since they made the video! 
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    That's a trap with such a fast-evolving product. It deserves some slack on such issues, considering it's still in beta.
  • tim_fostertim_foster Member Posts: 2
    I have a ton of LiFePO4 cells I am trying to hand port over from Sketchup.  Here is a picture of one.

    The sides are 55.5mm.  The first rib from the sides are 11mm.  The square grooves are 1.15mm deep and 15mm wide.  The ribs between the grooves are 10mm wide.  (11 x 2) + (15 x 14) + (10 x 13) = 362mm over all.  I would normally use x and y constraints and type in the numbers and then array the set, change the last 10mm to 11mm, and mirror the whole thing to the other side.

    It takes me 3 times as long in OnShape to do the same thing, plus it irritates me that my dimensions don't snap to an ordinate line or center automatically.  If they need to move from the center later, doesn't happen very often, I would rather drag them around after that.

    I like the constraints, but I wish I could type in my lengths optionally as well, what I am used to and seems a ton faster.

    I don't like the constraints popping up on me when I have just selected 23 individual lines, because they can't be grabbed with a bounding box, and I accidentally click it and loose my previous selection.  Would also be nice if it would keep my selection after I choose a constraint.

    I like what @3dcad has as the work flow with dimensions able to be optionally entered, but I like being able to use a comma as well as hitting # {enter} # {enter).
  • steve_maiettasteve_maietta Member Posts: 32 EDU
    Thank You Onshape!   Not sure when it was added, but it's saving lots of mouse clicks and motion

    ~Steve
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