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Snaps to surfaces and to face of solids

Is there any prospect of more snaps to surfaces and to faces of a solid? Maybe it's already there but I'm missing it?
Line of intersection between surfaces and/or faces to be snapable.
Point of intersection between a linear entity and a surface or face to be snapable.
Bentley has a way to generate an entity on such lines or points, which can then be snapped to - that is long-winded and unsatisfactory, but Brics can't even do that?
When doing a PushPull, Extrude etc, to be able to extend (on locked vector) until a chosen vertex snaps to a surface or the face of a solid.


  • Snap to Extension to snap not only to a linear entity, but (on its locked vector) to any surface or to any face of a solid that it encounters.
  • Bump

    Are there existing ways to do these, that I'm missing?
  •  I don't think there are options to do this currently. However you can use some indirect methods, which provide you additional points that you can snap to:

    • If you have created some SECTIONPLANE(s) or BIMSECTION(s), then you can use CLIPDISPLAY to view the model at the section plane. You will find that you can snap to points on the sectioned object. If you have 2d entities that are planer to the object, then you will find you can snap to the intersection of that entity where it cuts the edge of the section plane.
    • OFFSET now respects DUCS, so you can use it to quickly offset edges to create construction points that you can snap to.
    Jason Bourhill
  • Thanks v much Jason esp for the clip gif. Will do the job if at least one of the intersecting surfaces/face of solids is flat - which 99% is in BIM - but long winded.

    So, Brics, any plans to introduce snap to intersection of faces - and to faces in general? It should be poss to run the mouse all over a face/surface and see the moving snap.

    Often, when creating non-cuboid buildings, I only discover where certain edges of solid entities will lie, by setting up their planes in space - for example planes that must pass through 3 established points - and then seeing where they intersect.

    It may not be that a Connect operation is appropriate, to create that intersection - it may be that I need to create a third entity, a solid, whose edge lies on that imaginary intersection line. Actually, doing a temporary Connect might be useful - but there's no Unconnect tool to undo that temporary convenience.

    I've been using 3D parametrics to achieve similar - this edge must be horizontal and coincident with an established face; another edge must lie somewhere above a certain line on plan and through a certain point, then allow the entity to re-shape itself and find its only possible inclination. But unlike 2D, 3D constraints are undeveloped - no markers to show what's constrained to what, and no way of removing constraints, except by deleting.
  • @ Tom:
    No doubt you know that some 3D osnaps are already available. If not, look at the '3dOsnap' section in the (off-line) Help.

    Your remarks about 3D constraints suggest that you are either not using the Mechanical Browser or that one of its panels has become invisible. If a 3D constraint is selected in the MB the (sub)entities involved will be highlighted.
    To remove a 3D constraint the constraint indeed has to be deleted, but the same applies to 2D constraints.
  • Thanks Roy but i'm not clear how Mechanical Browser helps.

    Are you saying that if an entites is created, classed or tagged (? - not sure how, yet) in MB, then its constraints are at least shown in MB (but unlike 2D Constraints, still not shown by labels in the model)?

    The point about deleting, is that 2D constraints can be individually deleted, but 3D ones can't, and the only way to get rid of a 3D constraint is to delete the entity.
  • 3D constraints are not tagged the way 2D constraints are. But they are clearly listed in the MB. And they can be deleted there. Look up the BmBrowser command in the Help. In certain situations the top panel on the 'Model' tab of the MB can be reduced to zero. I believe that is the case on your machine.

    BTW: This is the second forum post where an experienced CAD operator appears to be confused by this. So maybe the resizing behavior of the MB should be fixed so that zero height panels are avoided...
  • This is what I'm seeing - what do we mean by 'top panel'?
  • The top panel, which reads '296F' in the image, is very small in your case. It can be enlarged by dragging its bottom edge.
    Basically the top panel lists the component structure, the parameters and the constraints.
  •  Unfortunately the default view of the Mechanical Browser has the relationship window minimised. You can miss that it is there if you don't know to look for it. Once you have dragged it down it retains its setting. Render materials is another palette that can suffer from this issue.
    The term 'Mechanical Browser' is also unfortunate. It no longer reflects the multiple purposes that this palette is used for. The attached example is from a BIM model.
    Jason Bourhill
  • Oh wow, whole new world.
    Delete with RMB, disable by pull-down - all v cumbersome compared to 2D constraints, where all is shown and controlled directly on the page?
    That is, it's fine to have this browser arrangement, but in parallel with direct control, not as sole substitute.
    So it seems to me, at first sight.
  • @ Jason: What program have you used to create that animated Gif?
  • @ Jason: What program have you used to create that animated Gif?

    I'm using Camtasia, but there are other options out there to do this. Lee Mac makes very good use of these on his site. Animated Gifs are best suited to simple graphics, per Lee's examples. The ones I've published here are a little large, which can lead to delays loading. There are video options for doing the same, but the forums doesn't allow for it

    Jason Bourhill

  • Thank you Jason.

    As Jason has shown, the top panel on the Model tab of the Mechanical Browser never has a zero height, as I wrongly suggested, but can be minimized to a single line of text. In that case some users apparently are not immediately aware that the panel can be resized, even though there is a scroll bar. Maybe showing a minimum of 1.5 lines would help? Mind you there is also an RTM (Read The Manual) aspect to this.
  • Anything from Brics?
    2 questions running - about
    snaps to faces of solids and surfaces, and to intersections between same, and
    in-the-model visibility of markers and tools for 3D constraints, similar to 2D constraints.
This discussion has been closed.
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