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Sizes in sketches

nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
How can I specify the size of a line, circle, etc., as I'm drawing or resizing it? There doesn't seem to be a grid to snap to, a number box to enter a value, or any feedback of what the actual size is. Only after I finish then I can select it and see the size in the lower right.

I know there's the dimension tool, but if I set a dimension on something I can't resize it by dragging anymore. Also, I drew a bunch of circles and lines, then I put a dimension on one of them. When I try to resize it by editing the dimension, the size of everything else changes too.

I don't get it.
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Answers

  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 276 PRO
    edited April 2015
     As far as I know there is no snap grid, I would think that in the future there will be. 
  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 584
    We do auto-scaling when changing the first dimension if it is the only dimension in the sketch.  The idea is that you drew something relatively close to what you wanted the relative shape to look like and shouldn't immediately explode because you accidentally sketched it to be 10x too big.  If there is one dimension on the sketch and only one, we try to scale the rest of the entities based on the relative size of that dimension.  Once there are multiple dimensions, we no longer auto-scale.
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering              onshape.com
  • nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
    Ok, thanks, that explains the auto-scale.

    But what about the basic thing of being able to specify - or at least see - the size of something you're drawing or changing by dragging? At least having the measure tool in the lower right update as you're dragging would help.

    Basically I was expecting a little number box to pop up, showing the size of the thing I'm dragging, and optionally letting me type in a value. I didn't really want to set a dimension constraint. I just wanted to know what size I was dragging out, or to type in a "round number" without locking it down.

    Actually, it would be nice if you could have the option after typing in a number for the size, to set it as a visible dimension constraint, or not. Could save a lot of trips to the dimension tool.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 1,299 PRO
    That's interesting Nada_Nix, you are the 2nd person I've seen that keys the dimensions into a box to create perfect sketch geometry. My old friend used acad keying in dimensions to construct perfect geometry and brought that technique into SW.

    I typically sketch an exaggerated concept and drive it down with dimensions I've placed on the sketch geometry.

    It's a totally different technique.


  • nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
    I have no idea what I'm doing really. I'm just a beginner. I've been using Rhino a bit, so I'm not used to working with constraints. Fusion 360 has the little number boxes I described, and I've also seen that in SpaceClaim videos. I was trying to model a control knob, and it felt weird to be drawing on this blank white screen and have no idea if I was making it 30 millimeters or 300 meters in diameter... it didn't occur to me that it might not matter.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 1,299 PRO
    Draw a circle, then put a dimension and type in it's valve. Sorry been doing this for 20 years sometimes I forget it's not obvious.

    placing the circle at it's correct location is your next step.

    aren't there some basic tutorials somewhere on this website?
  • james_mcpherson11762james_mcpherson11762 Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    edited March 2015
    I don't think that's the issue Billy. Instead of "click circle"-> "draw circle with no indication of dimension" -> "click to accept" -> "click dimension" -> "click on circle diameter" -> "enter dimension" -> "click to accept", it would be eaiser if it was "click circle"-> "draw circle, dimensions are shown while dragging, numbers typed in become the dimension"-> "click to accept"-> Done, or alternately "draw circle"-> "click to accept"->"dimension box automatically shows up". Less clicks = more better.

    -Jim
  • nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
    edited March 2015
    @billy - And then, delete the dimension, so you can continue to adjust the size of the circle by simply dragging it, instead of double-click on the dimension, type in a number, press enter, see how it looks, double-click, repeat... And even then, when you're adjusting it by direct dragging, you can't see what size you're dragging it to until you stop, click to select, look at the measure readout at the bottom, see that you made it 33.12567436 mm, and you'd rather have it 33 mm, so go to the dimension tool, drag out a dimension, type in a number, then delete the dimension...

    Sorry been doing this for 20 days it seems ridiculous!
  • nada_nixnada_nix Member Posts: 19
    edited March 2015
    @James_McPherson11762, I think the issue for me is that wanting to draw or adjust something to a specific size doesn't necessarily mean I want to set a dimension constraint on it. I haven't decided on the final dimension yet, but I know I want it to be a nice round number. If I put a dimension on it, I can't resize it with the mouse anymore. If I don't put a dimension on it, I can't tell how big it is, and I end up with some stupid value with a lot of decimal places.

    I'd like to have a snap to grid, and a number box that shows me the value as I'm dragging and optionally lets me type in a number, without locking it down as a dimension constraint.
  • james_mcpherson11762james_mcpherson11762 Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    @Nada_Nix I had not considered that use case. In my case I almost always know exactly what dimension the features I'm drawing are supposed to be. When I don't, estimating based on the rest of the geometry isn't very hard, or no estimation is require because the parts size will be driven by a constraint. 

    One a completely seperately note, using the keyboard shortcuts finally hit me and they sped my design process up significantly. 

    -Jim
  • mike_mcgrathmike_mcgrath Member Posts: 2
    We do auto-scaling when changing the first dimension if it is the only dimension in the sketch.  The idea is that you drew something relatively close to what you wanted the relative shape to look like and shouldn't immediately explode because you accidentally sketched it to be 10x too big.  If there is one dimension on the sketch and only one, we try to scale the rest of the entities based on the relative size of that dimension.  Once there are multiple dimensions, we no longer auto-scale.

    Can I turn this auto-scaling feature off?
  • jakeramsleyjakeramsley Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 584
    We do auto-scaling when changing the first dimension if it is the only dimension in the sketch.  The idea is that you drew something relatively close to what you wanted the relative shape to look like and shouldn't immediately explode because you accidentally sketched it to be 10x too big.  If there is one dimension on the sketch and only one, we try to scale the rest of the entities based on the relative size of that dimension.  Once there are multiple dimensions, we no longer auto-scale.

    Can I turn this auto-scaling feature off?
    We have no way of suppressing it right now.
    Jake Ramsley

    Director of Quality Engineering              onshape.com
  • paul_chastellpaul_chastell Onshape Employees Posts: 116
    As a work-around: If you put in more than one distance, radius or diameter dimension in before changing any values then the presence of more than one will prevent the auto-scale. Auto-scale only happens if there is a single length dimension in the sketch.
    Paul Chastell / VP of R&D / Onshape Inc.
  • paul_chastellpaul_chastell Onshape Employees Posts: 116
    @Nada_Nix I suspect we didn't have driven dimensions when you originally posted but you could now add a dimension and then set it driven. It will then not affect the size of the sketch but as you drag the (e.g, line end) around its value will change. If you ever DO want it to drive the length you can make it driving once more and change it.

    Paul Chastell / VP of R&D / Onshape Inc.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    Auto-scaling can be very annoying if you draw rectangle ca. 1000x2000mm (and need to have it about this size) and begin dimension with positioning this big rectangle to be 2mm from some other geometry. What it does is scale your rectangle into tiny little thing outside the screen.

    BUT if you draw rectangle 10x20mm and aim to 1000x2000 then it feels good when it scales with the first dimension and you don't need to zoom in that 10x2000 rectangle to add another dimension.. It's good also if just drafting the first shape without knowing anything about the scale at that  point. 

    I think we need some nice intuitive on-the-fly enable/disable for scaling since we might need it at one point and not at other in the very same sketch.
    //rami
  • kenneth_webbkenneth_webb Member Posts: 1
    I have to say, nada_nix hit the nail on the head calling attention to this lack of functionality.

    I use Rhino daily at work and absolutely FLY through designs because I can type most of my commands into the command prompt line.

    As an example, workflow for drawing a circle in OnShape with existing UI should be:

    'Click' Center/Radius Circle Icon > 'Click' origin point > Type 2"  > Hit Enter and BOOM, 2" circle at specified origin.*
    This is a pretty efficient workflow, and given what information OnShape already knows about active geometry, it shouldn't be hard to implement.

    Using dimensions to set geometry size is certainly workable, but it seriously slows down the process and unnecessarily clutters up my sketch if I'm trying to adjust geometry on the fly.

    I can see how this could be a valid workflow if you're drafting complex finished documents to hand off to fabricators who need all those dimensions... and you don't want to risk losing one... but that is a justification for the current workflow, not an optimization.

    Even an active readout of XYZ position of the mouse and an overall dimension of current geometry would go a LONG way toward fixing this problem, and that wouldn't be a hard addition to add. OnShape obviously knows where the geometry is already, so why not add a little real-time number readout at the bottom of the window?

    *The quickest workflow would actually be a bit different. I can type ["c" > "0,0" > Enter > "2" > Enter] much faster than I can click and drag a circle out. That is 7 keystrokes... even if OnShape changed from a Hotkey system to a Command Prompt system, it would be feasible to create a circle in 13 key strokes. ["circle" > Enter > "0,0" > Enter >"2" > Enter]  With this train of thought, we can assume average typing speed is 200 characters per minute which puts the total time spent to execute a 2" circle at ~4 seconds.

    In my case, with a cpm of ~360, I could execute a circle in ~2 sec using that command prompt. Even if I don't know exactly what size something should be, I can create geometry and perform multiple iterations in the time it would take to manually drag it out once. For perspective, I understand that I'm talking about shaving SECONDS off of a single command... but those seconds really add up.
  • daniel_chowdaniel_chow Member Posts: 108 ✭✭
    edited January 2016
    Well we are all entitled to our opinion I guess Ken, but I'm not sure how many people will appreciate command prompt workflow. Those of us (like me) who are 40+ will remember command prompt in DOS and early Windows systems as well as Linux professionals. But I don't think the younger generation is very well versed in command prompt usage. 

    As for "snapping" to a grid in Onshape, I think a more effective way of doing this is to draw and dimension construction lines and employ the "use" tool so use existing parts in a new sketch. So far, I can snap to any point I want using these two techniques. I think a grid would be ... distracting. Personally, I don't feel the need for a grid. 

     
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    I wouldn't go as far as command line modeling - that's a bit 80's ? And wouldn't serve sharing the workflow with Ipad/Android clients very well..

    But I really do miss on-the-fly input for dimension while creating line, circle or other simple geometry. I'm amazed it's not implemented yet.
    I could also live with decent auto-dimension where I could create geometry as I do now but Onshape would add the dimension automatically and I could just edit the value. Like sketch pattern tool. This would of course need a hotkey to activate or maybe D pressed while dragging to activate auto-dimension. 
    //rami
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,866 PRO
    @kenneth_webb I understand what your saying about speed in the command prompt it could be really handy to be able to type 2 when in the circle command and snap to a 2" circle in my case 50.8mm. However don't think a full command prompt would work for me, most of my MCAD work has to be fully locked down with dimensions so I think I'd kind of need a bit more freedom in the sketcher and can't see this in a command prompt.

    For speed I have taken to using the quick keys, I recorded my self doing 2" (50mm) circle to a cylinder similar to your workflow, for me to took 8 sec's to draw a circle and dimension (fully locked down), I then extruded to default 25mm, hid the planes and zoomed to fit. 
     
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 476 ✭✭✭
    For those that like command line input in their CAD, there is always OpenSCAD :)
  • nicola_dal_pontnicola_dal_pont Member Posts: 1
    +1 this one.
    There doesn't seem to be a way yet to enter dimensions and/or relevant constraints as you add sketch elements.

    I wouldn't say that it's just an opinion that fewer clicks to get to a profile with the right properties makes a big difference in a cad user's everyday life and it's definitely not "going back to the DOS days".

    Honestly, despite the great job you guys are doing here, for me it's one of the missing features that prevents me from endorsing onshape.

    Check for comparison Fusion360 (free for non-pro users).


  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,351
    @nicola_dal_pont after placing a sketch entity, type a value and a dimension will be added. You can also “wake up” constraints by briefly touching another sketch entity as you drag (e.g. to add a parallel constraint to another line)
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 57 ✭✭
    edited July 14
    @nicola_dal_pont

    Directly below is a small excerpt of a video that Onshape made two years ago. The video shows dimensions and constraints on the fly


    Here is the entire video.  https://www.onshape.com/videos/first-look-at-onshape

    They make improvements to Onshape every three weeks. You could see all the changes they’ve made to Onshape here —  https://www.onshape.com/cad-blog/topic/whats-new

    Awhile back I looked at some Fusion videos. Not my cup of tea

    Onshape AS A WHOLE, has an interface that’s well thought out - intuitive in my opinion. I got up and going with this program in short order by just watching a few videos.

    As far as using a file based system like Fusion —— I’ll pass.

  • brian_jordanbrian_jordan Member, Developers Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
    @nicola_dal_pont is showing F360s behaviour when drawing a polygon; in this case the linear dimension is immediately editable, much as happens with most tools in Onshape. I can't see this behaviour using the Onshape polygon tool where the number of sides needs to be fixed ahead of all else and a dimension needs to be added with the dimension tool. What am I missing?
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,351
    @brian_jordan - in Fusion 360 you can see there are multiple ways to create a polygon, which in turn lets the system know ahead of time what the critical dimension is. We always try to simplify the Onshape UI where possible, so having multiple icons that create the exact same polygon but add a dimension on automatically does not make sense (especially since the polygon tool is one of the least used).
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
  • brian_jordanbrian_jordan Member, Developers Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
    @NeilCooke Thanks for taking the time to clarify this. I am indebted.
  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 57 ✭✭
    edited July 16

    @brian_jordan

    Here’s a summary of Nicola’s post 

    1. Nicola can’t enter dimensions and constraints on the fly when sketching elements
    2. Fewer clicks is better
    3. Can’t endorse because of #1 & #2
    4. You should look at Fusion
    5. A Fusion polygon GIF loops

    Next I read your post where basically you said - Yeah Onshape does dimensions on the fly like Fusion, but Nicola’s post was about the polygon tool in particular

    So if I juxtapose Nicola’s and your posts, am I to assume that there is no Nicola endorsement because of this one particular tool - the polygon ?

    @nicola_dal_pont should chime in here and explain what was meant in that first paragraph  — where Nicola talks of dimensions and constraints while sketching elements

    Was this about polygons only? Or was this about sketch elements in general? Or how is it that Nicola can’t enter dimensions on the fly when sketching different types of elements?

    By the way, I agree completely with @NeilCooke . I can’t even remember the last time I used the polygon tool. But who knows, maybe there are some that work in an industry where that’s 50% of what they do — sketch polygons all day.

    One other thing. Onshape started doing dimensions on the fly in sketches back at the start of 2016 —— 3-1/2 years ago, and has improved or added to this ability since then

  • brian_jordanbrian_jordan Member, Developers Posts: 127 ✭✭✭
    @steve_shubin I didn't word my original post as well as I might. I thought it was 'interesting' that Nicola selected the specific example of  the polygon tool to make a general observation about Onshape. In the light of @NeilCooke's reply ("after placing a sketch entity, type a value and a dimension will be added") I revisited the polygon tool as I wondered whether I had missed something in that tool, hence my somewhat clumsy post.
    Funnily enough I very rarely use the polygon tool but I have recently been modelling something that requires drilling and tapping a hole in the end of a hex ALU bar. I probably won't see the tool again for some time.
  • brian_bradybrian_brady Member, Developers Posts: 411 EDU
    NeilCooke said:
    @brian_jordan - in Fusion 360 you can see there are multiple ways to create a polygon, which in turn lets the system know ahead of time what the critical dimension is. We always try to simplify the Onshape UI where possible, so having multiple icons that create the exact same polygon but add a dimension on automatically does not make sense (especially since the polygon tool is one of the least used).
    @NeilCooke since the two choices in Onshape are circumscribed or inscribed, could the auto dimension pop up for the diameter of the circle used? In the instance of a circumscribed hexagon (I assume this is the most popular choice) the distance across the flats matches the diameter. This still keeps the tool selection simple and give users who type dimensions while creating objects the ability to size the most common polygons. Just a thought.
  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 2,351
    @brian_brady - it just goes to show how infrequently I use the polygon tool - I didn't even realise we had the 2 options! :s  There goes my theory about keeping the UI simple :D  So in this case it probably should add the diameter dimension automatically. Improvement Request anybody?
    Neil Cooke, Director of Technical Marketing, Onshape Inc.
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