Welcome to the Onshape forum! Ask questions and join in the discussions about everything Onshape.

First time visiting? Here are some places to start:
  1. Looking for a certain topic? Check out the categories filter or use Search (upper right).
  2. Need support? Ask a question to our Community Support category.
  3. Please submit support tickets for bugs but you can request improvements in the Product Feedback category.
  4. Be respectful, on topic and if you see a problem, Flag it.

If you would like to contact our Community Manager personally, feel free to send a private message or an email.

How can I display a grid when I am drawing an sketch?

arasaras Member Posts: 13
When I am in sketch mode and drawing a line, how can I know how long my line is? I think for 2D sketches it would be very useful to have a grid that you could use as a guide. Is this currently possible?

Best Answer


  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    I too would like to see a grid system. I submitted a ticket to that effect some time ago. You could submit a ticket also to reinforce the request.

    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    @Aras @David_Sohlstrom How are you guys using the grid?  I always turn the grid off in programs like SolidWorks.  It never added value to me.  I'm curious to see how you use it.  With Onshape, when you sketch and then dimension the first sketch element - every other sketch element is scaled to match what you just dimensioned, which in my mind invalidates my need for a grid line.  Look at the second video down on this page, starting at about 2:26 (video of dimensions and constraints)...


  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    @Pete Yodis  I use the grid system in Geomagic all the time. It tells me where I am on the plane I am sketching on. If I want a box centered on the Z axis and 2" square then I can move to X+1Y0 start my line go to Y-1 to X-1 to Y+1 to X+1 and back to X+1Y0 done. No draw a line, dim line length, dim line to Y axis, dim line to X axis, draw next line etc. 
    I can change the grid size on the fly. With snap to grid  and I move to Y+1 and X+1 and left click to start a sketch operation I know I am where I want to be and not at Y+1.0015 and X+.990


    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,469 PRO
    edited March 2015
    I turn grid and snap off too, I'm too lazy to constantly change the size and hide/show to get better view. Main reason would propably be that I just never actually gave a try to learn how to ease up my work with grid / snap.
    But even if line snaps to grid, I would still add dimensions just to be sure (and in GD to get them into equation editor as parameters)

    Before grid I would like to see actual line lenght, circle diameter and rectangle dimensions next to cursor while creating a sketch..
    and maybe even toggle automatic dimensioning on so that you could just fix the dimensions allready in place and not need to use dimensioning tool afterwards? 
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭✭
    And I have grid and snap to grid on 98% of the time in GD.
    I totally agree with your second point.


    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
    some more comments here: Sizes in sketches
  • a_b523a_b523 Member Posts: 3 PRO
    12/2022: Has this been addressed in the 7 years since posted?  If so, I haven't found it yet.

    Is it possible now to use a snap grid for sketching?  I can't find the video mentioned above (link is just generic videos, 41 pages worth.)

    It definitely would be helpful, especially for newbies and for doing prototype concept work (quick and dirty) to be able to just set a grid (say 1/8") and snap a series of lines around instead of setting all the constraints as you go.

    I'm sure there's some 3D CAD principle I'm missing, but all the prior 2D work I've ever done has benefited from a snap grid at times.  (With ability to turn grid and snap on and off independently.)
  • yodaco_ocadoyyodaco_ocadoy Member Posts: 2
    yeah, still here in 2023, no such luck on this fairly basic request. seems like onshape is all about doing things it own way and not interested in features from other cad software useful or not. Showing/snapping to the grid is a fairly standard cad feature and is very helpful just to see the grid for reference. It seems like such an arbitrary request,
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 1,968 PRO
    I’ve used other parametric CAD systems which have grid options, and never found the need for them. 

    Tools like Rhino or Alias or SketchUp, yes, a grid is essential.
  • eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,192 PRO
    If you really want a grid you could try using the "wire mesh" feature to create some lines (you can apply it directly to a plane) you can snap to...

    That said I'm with @S1mon, I've never actually had the need for a grid for parametric CAD (you are supposed to use dimensions and "hard" constraints rather than snapping to an arbitrary grid).
    However if Onshape is going to be used by other users than just typical 3D CAD types and enough people are requesting it, who am I to say it shouldn't be available as an option!
  • kriskatekriskate Member Posts: 3
    I'd also like to see a grid feature, it's more intuitive when doing quick prototyping work.
  • nicolas_pohl575nicolas_pohl575 Member Posts: 2
    Also still waiting on this feature
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 489 PRO
    edited March 19
    I too have turned off grid on every parametric program I used that offered it:) Still, different strokes for different folks. Maybe I would like it if I gave it a try again.
  • craig_french207craig_french207 Member Posts: 2
    A Grid is helpful -- I open Eagle or KiCAD, there's a grid which is super helpful for placing components.  With Onshape I'm eyeballing it  - not so helpful!  Seems odd that this request was made over 7 years ago and has never been accommodated.
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 4,942
    Unlikely to happen
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEA 
Sign In or Register to comment.