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Dimensions are placed on the plane and not connected to the solid

I placed a box somewhere in 3D space and then dimensioned it. Rotating the box reveals the dimensions were placed on the respective planes of the sides and not on the box itself.

First, I'd like to know when this would ever be a reasonable idea - why the developers made this the default behavior and second, how to get dimension lines actually extending from the 3D being dimensioned.

BTW - I downloaded the offline Help and find it near useless.


  • Dimensions are created in the active construction plane, the XY-plane of the current UCS. This is actually the default behavior for all commands that create 2D geometry. However some of these tools will also respect the DUCS (Dynamic UCS), but not the dimensioning commands. To place dimensions in the correct plane you will first have to align the UCS with the correct face.
    But the more common approach would be to create _ViewBase views from your model and the add dimensions and all other annotations in paper space. That is what paper space is for.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I have UCSORTHO set so when I'm in the Front view, for example, the XY is set as though that was 2D space. I get that.
    I dimensioned the box from Front, Top and Left but when I went to Left-Front I saw that it put the dimensions on the various planes with the dimension lines not connected to the box. I was expecting the dimensions to emanate from the box so that as I rotated the box in 3D space I could see the dimension connected to the corners of the box.

    Are you saying this isn't possible? I never print anything. I just look at what I'm building in 3D space.

    BTW - What I do is weld things out of standard steel shapes to produce everything from a rack to hold stuff to my wife's store front and a huge portion of the interior which is inside the departures lounge of the island's international airport. I weld only for myself, not commercially.

    3264 x 2448 - 2M
    1920 x 1080 - 104K
  • You use your CAD as a geometry-resolving machine - draw it, then see what the resultant/detail dimensions/angles etc are, all in modelspace?

  • edited December 2018

    If the UCSORTHO setting is ON the UCS will be aligned with orthographic views and when that happens the origin of the UCS will be the WCS (Word Coordinate System = default) origin. Thereby defining the active construction plane. If you want to create dimensions in a different plane you have to use the _Ucs command to correctly align the UCS first.

  • @Tom Foster
    Yes, you've explained it exactly.

    Consider - having a 3D somewhere in space and the dimensions on the various X, Y and Z planes far away from the object makes sense if you only look at the result in those planes. Viewed in any other angle and it's WRONG, looks stupid.

    Now consider having the dimension ON the actual object - in Front, Left, etc view it's exactly like what you would have on paper. Viewed in any other way and it's CORRECT.

    So I ask you, which way makes more sense?

    On any given layer, I'll draw a gizmo and on a different layer I'll draw the dimensions for the gizmo. Then I'll display various gizmo layers together to display the project as a whole. When I want to build any particular gizmo, I'll look at the gizmo layer and its dimension layer. If I spin the gizmo around I'd like to see the dimension where they belong not 3 miles away.

  • @Roy Klein Gebbinck

    Thank you for the explanation.

    I turned UCSORTHO off and oriented the UCS XY manually on the face of the object.

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