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dimensions in the Z

I've watched vids on youtube, but the platinum I have doesn't look quite the same. It anotates fine on X and Y, but not on Z?

Answers

  • Your question is not quite clear, but I suppose you want to add a dimension entity in a 3D model to dimension in the Z-direction of the WCS. Dimension entities are always created in the XY-plane of the current coordinate system. Therefore you must first define a UCS of which the XY-plane is vertical.

  • I don't know what that means, but I'll give it another go. I feel so bad for saying to my boss bricscad would be okay for us. 2001 pro-engineer worked better than this :(
    I need a program that anyone at work can run with. Bricscad isn't ringing that bell.

  • BricsCAD is probably the most AutoCAD-Like program out there. So, you will have a much easier time getting employees who already are trained and experienced on AutoCAD, and so can be immediately productive with BricsCAD. But, I am only talking about the basic functions. The upscale stuff from BricsCAD is different.

    All modern CAD programs that do the complex things like parametrics are, by their nature, complex. Some help you get started easier than others. But, they all have a fairly steep learning curve. A company has to spend time for training, if they want to use a complex program.

    In my experience locally, SolidWorks and Inventor are more common (at much higher price, as well), but most of the companies use them in a fairly simplistic way. They don't spend the time necessary to learn the more complex features. And they don't necessarily even want to spend the time to do the complex stuff, because they find it more efficient to omit that stuff. A good example is the feature in SolidWorks that can automatically populate holes with bolts. But, it is often easier to just omit the fasteners, and consider it to be good enough.

    -Joe Dunfee

  • wow, I have to type in UCS and change the axis around every time I want to put a dimension on :open_mouth:
    In 2019?
    I'll accept that a mid 1980's bridgeport Interact two can only form in on two axis, but a modern cad program?

    Well, i'm going to look like a right idiot for recommending this to my boss. We already had autocad light licences.

  • edited January 25

    Most people use Dimensions mainly in 2D only.
    (Drawing 2D only or generated plans from 3D)
    There it helps that Dimensions will sit on a 2D Plane and not
    anywhere in Space.
    Elevations and Sections Plan Dimensions will mostly be done
    in an Annotation Space of a generated 2D Plan.
    There are some CAD's that extended Dimension Features to
    also work in 3D. But I think it is a rare case to present construction
    plans in a 3D View like an Isometric or Perspective.

    But at least, in BrRicscad you also can do with the workaround
    of using a custom UCS.

    If setting a UCS is too tedious in general,
    (I think it should also work by automatic DUCS, and maybe it already does)
    or you think the Dimension Tool should include the Z oriented Feature,
    the best way would be to file a Service Request for such Feature.

  • Dimension entities are always created in the XY-plane of the current coordinate system. Therefore it is necessary to create an appropriate UCS first If you want to create vertical dimensions in a 3D model. The easiest way is to use the Face option of the UCS command: type UCS in the command line, then tap the F-key and Enter, move the cursor over the face you want to dimension and press Enter to confirm. Notice that the X-axis of the UCS aligns with the edge you enter the face by.

  • I tested it.
    Indeed, it is a bit cumbersome.

    In case Dimensions in 3D would be a must have Feature,
    making DUCS available for the Dimension Tool would
    be a more elegant way ....

    The Dimensions will not really work in Renderings though.
    But in GPU View Modes like OpenGL or Lines, that could
    be a nice Feature for 3D Illustrations.

  • edited January 25

    Michael Mayer said:
    "it is a rare case to present construction plans in a 3D View like an Isometric or Perspective."

    True, and it's a pity, because the key thing that 2D views can't do is unambiguously illustrate what happens at the junction where two 2D sections meet e.g. where the window head section meets the jamb section. Or where three 2D sections meet e.g. where the hoizontal wall corner section meets the vertical eave section and the vertical verge (gable end) section i.e. the top corner of a building.

    These critical junctions are never (cannot be) illustrated in 2D documentation, but have to be inferred by holding all two (or three) 2D sections in mind simultaneously. This can only be succesful when the 3D detail is fairly conventional, and the person viewing is fairly experienced. When it's unconventional or unfamiliar construction, it's anybody's guess what will be inferred.

    Even then the designer often hasn't fully thought through how the various layers meet or lap together - which is critical for e.g, waterproofing membranes, which one laps over which. Often even the major members, having been conceived one 2D section at a time, are incapable of meeting up simply and soundly at the un-drawn corner.

    It helps to have fully modelled the corner in 3D - but how often is 3D modelling treated as broad-brush, and all the detail still left to be drawn in 2D, or elaborated by drawing on top of 2D extracts taken from the 3D?

    This is a major trick that's being missed - a valuable potential for documentation, once you've gone to the trouble of modelling in 3D, that's being thrown away by building industry and CAD world.

    3D views of corners can display all two (or three) 2D sections conventionally (though 'isometric' style) at its cut 'ends' while also, in the middle, illustrating the junction where they meet up, with layers 'peeled-away' to reveal what's inside. This is obviously an unaccustomed skill to building industry draftsmen, but is common in the technical ilustrating world (workshop manuals, assembly instructions etc).

    The CAD world hasn't begun to take this on board, although Bricscad's new auto-exloded-view trick (mechanical asemblies exploded axially) is an analagous concept but not useful with buildings.

    Tools to quickly create 'peel-back' illustrations, using faceted or curved cut lines, AI created by default, then tweakable for best legibility, would be an interesting but do-able challenge to a forward-looking co like Bricsys, with their talented developers.

    To return to topic, dimensioning (and annotation) freely on the 3D middle of the illustration, as well as on its 2D isometric-style'ends', would be essential.

    For excellent discussion of this: https://tangerinefocus.com/2018/11/24/better-media-better-thinking-both-human-and-machine-thinking.
    Or direct to the e-book: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D3buChytYZ0jMjfEUxWzTBWUpNg5Tc6h/view
    Chepter 3 is the meat of it.

  • Thanks for the link.

    I have no opinion if 3D Dimensions are a missing feature or not.
    It is just not on top of my List.

  • edited January 25

    I imagine a very simple macro may be useful to help automate this process. Perhaps create an icon that to set the UCS. Perhaps the macro would be,

    c^c^UCS;Face;; (note that this only works for 3D solids. Actual 3Dface entities are ignored for some reason.

    Concerning the amount of detail in a 3D model. In general I think this is avoided because it takes time that does not really generate enough benefit. There are cases where the detail may be useful, and the time needed to create it could be reduced by having the program programmed to be able to implement that detail. But, often the detail we want to show should not be shown as it would appear in reality.

    We want those layers of material shown pealed-back, cut-away, some details omitted and other details shown at an exaggerated size. In other words, we often don't want reality. We want an abstraction or simplification.

    And while it may be possible to automate some of this, those automation routines have to be very specific to the type of illustration we want. Also, it introduces another level of complexity to an already complex program. The "smarter" a program is, the more the user has to study to figure out what the expected behavior is, and all the stuff that needs to be done first before the detail routine can work. More likely, it would just be easier & faster to have a generic detail drawing that we insert and perhaps manually make a few minor changes.

    I am sure there will be cases where such an automated detail generating routine will be useful. Perhaps the specific case Tom Foster is one of them. More likely, a compromise would be best, with the detail view not extracting its information from the drawing, but act as a parametric block, that gets its information by prompting the user.

    More features and technology are not always better. For an example, I just shopped for a new computer monitor, and really was expecting that the ones capable of stereoscopic 3D would be very cheap. I expected that demand for that technology would have caused this to happen.

    But instead, I found that there are very few 3D monitors out there, and they are very expensive. I had long anticipated that the technology would be wide spread in the industry. But, even though the basic technology and hardware is cheap, the software industry has not figured out how to make it really useful. Also, it has not proven itself to be much more valuable than just using a flat screen without stereoscopic 3D. Maybe someday it will be useful... but for the time being it is not.

    -joe

  • Yeh, Its a bit of a downer that BricsCAD can't do something so simple.

    Looks like TurboCAD might be an option. Their prices range from cheap to not-so-cheap depending on the package. Check this to see the dimensions you want: https://youtube.com/watch?v=hr7_E5Nv6iU

    Good luck with the learning curve though. I just couldn't get the hang of turbocad even after multiple attempts. Also, when I tried it last, it used to mess up my dwg imports. But it does what you particularly want and probably a lot cheaper than other packages that do it.

    By the way sketchup also does it, but you need the pro licence to import/export dwg files. I also found sketchup a bit clumsy and lacking for creating the actual engineering drawingsheets. (But sketchup is still my go-to tool for illustrations - but I've still got Sketchup 6 which imports my 3D dwg files.)

    [Oh, and if your staff cant learn sketchup they shouldn't be in a drafting office ]

    Sorry to harp on about dwg files, but for me if dwg compatibility is very important.

    And don't worry BricsCAD, I'm not leaving you any time soon, you are very good at what I need you to do.

  • I don't recall if this was mentioned on any of the past discussion, but one approach to dimensioning, is to place all the dimensions in paper space. It has been so long since I've dimensioned that way, that I am not 100% certain that dimensioning an isometric view would give the true distance. But I think it will.

    Note that for this to work, the dimensions must be associative. And keep in mind that certain operations will break the associativity., such as coping or replacing an object. Also, the dimensions won't look the same as when they are created in model space.

    -joe
  • 3d-dimensions are IMO quite different from dimensions in dwg - they link arbitrary points in space, and display measurements always readable in the view coordinate system, no matter at what angle you view the model (e.g. like in blender, see first screenshot). Such dimensions might be implemented as custom objects, or just as volatile visualizations in OpenGL - maybe a nice feature, but probably no major concern to most users.

    2d-dimensions placed arbitrarily in the model make limited sense to me; I sometimes use dimensions in 3d to clarify things, but usually on clipped parts of the model (e.g. see second screenshot). It would be great if section planes would define a UCS (strangely, they do not) for placing associative dimensions: Currently, you cannot associate dimensions with intersections of geometry and the section plane, and on top of that, you have to place dimensions slightly off the section plane to make sure that they are visible. Since such dimensions only make sense while the section plane is in clip state, they would best be encapsulated within the section plane object (treated as some kind of additional lid geometry). So section planes would effectively need an edit mode, similar to refediting blocks.

    If such dimensions were exported as dimension objects by the sectionplanetoblock / bimsectionupdate commands, you would get fully associative dimensions in derived drawings - which looks quite hard to achieve otherwise...

    blender-3d-dimensions.jpg
    1200 x 720 - 86K
    sectionplane_dimensions.png
    837 x 727 - 35K
  • As I say, have a read of https://tangerinefocus.com/2018/11/24/better-media-better-thinking-both-human-and-machine-thinking.
    Or direct to the e-book: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D3buChytYZ0jMjfEUxWzTBWUpNg5Tc6h/view
    Chepter 3 is the meat of it.

    I agree though, disappointing the things that the intersections of geometry and the section plane won't do still.

  • @Knut Hohenberg said:
    3d-dimensions are IMO quite different from dimensions in dwg - they link arbitrary points in space, and
    display measurements always readable in the view coordinate system, no matter at what angle you view the model.

    Do you want these 3D dimensions to stay in one spot, and show through any geometry that may opaque it, or somehow shift their location?

    I also think that using the "3D" vs "2D" to distinguish the two kinds, is not a good choice. Personally, would interpret a "3D Dimension" to refer to a normal dimension that is placed anywhere but flat to the WCS. Perhaps "Dynamic Position" dimensions would be a better choice.

    -Joe

  • Unfortunately the thread starter didn't describe the situation he is
    needing Dimensions in Space.
    I think they could be quite standard in Mechanical Projects.

    @Knut Hohenberg said:
    It would be great if section planes would define a UCS (strangely, they do not) for placing associative dimensions: Currently, you cannot associate dimensions with intersections of geometry and the section plane, and on top of that, you have to place dimensions slightly off the section plane to make sure that they are visible. Since such dimensions only make sense while the section plane is in clip state, they would best be encapsulated within the section plane object (treated as some kind of additional lid geometry). So section planes would effectively need an edit mode, similar to refediting blocks.

    If such dimensions were exported as dimension objects by the sectionplanetoblock / bimsectionupdate commands, you would get fully associative dimensions in derived drawings - which looks quite hard to achieve otherwise...

    ^ There are some really nice ideas.

    In Vectorworks there is also a difference between Floor Plans and real Sections.

    So, although it has 3D Dimensions, Associative Dimensions happen in
    Model View's XY plane, while Elevations and Sections usually get their
    Dimensions in Layout's Viewport's Annotation Space - but non-associative,
    which is error prone for updates.
    Not sure if VW's vertical Dimension are associative (?),
    but if they would,
    you would need to do some heavy organization work with Layers to separate
    your vertical Dimensions for separation to each Section Drawing.
    There is where I like Knut's idea of embedding these into the Section plane
    in Model View.

    But isn't Dimensioning a bit boring ?
    And should be generated automatically by Bricsys's AI according to local
    building standards ?

  • @Michael Mayer said:
    So, although it has 3D Dimensions, Associative Dimensions happen in
    Model View's XY plane, while Elevations and Sections usually get their
    Dimensions in Layout's Viewport's Annotation Space - but non-associative,
    which is error prone for updates.

    I have used paper space dimensions that were associative. So, that if the length of a line in model-space changed, its associated dimension would change. But, as I alluded to earlier, associative dimensions have ways of breaking. I will add that if you can't see the dimension while you are working in model-space, then you aren't going to see a dimension that is not updating.

    But isn't Dimensioning a bit boring ?
    And should be generated automatically by Bricsys's AI according to local
    building standards ?

    The last time I really looked at automatic dimensioning is with SolidWorks v2012. And while I have been surprised at how good some automatic dimensioning is, I have rarely considered it worth the effort. It is limited in terms of the kinds of things it will work well with. A lot of dimensioning is not done according to a specific rule that an AI routine can be programmed to do. Dimensions exist for the purpose of communicating things to another human being. Communication is more art than science.

    -Joe

  • Yes, seems a bit like BIMIFY.
    Works perfect for Models modeled in Bricscad,
    works in a quite funny way for my clients Revit DWG Exports
    and requires a lot of manual repairing.
    But it still helps overall.

  • A couple years ago, I read an article by some fresh out of college engineer who pronounced 2D CAD dead. There was no reason to do anything but hand a 3D STEP file to the machine shop, and the machine would cut the part. I asked, "where do you put the material, tolerance, and finish requirements? Where do you put the welding and plating requirements? Where does the team sign off on the design? How do you communicate where to hold the stock to machine it? How do you inspect the finished parts? I don't understand who is going to build a house or toaster oven from a 3D model, so i don't "get" 3D dimensions.

  • You might like https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D3buChytYZ0jMjfEUxWzTBWUpNg5Tc6h/view on the continuing rightful importance of 2D Drawings alongside the 3D model, esp Chapter 3 for a best-of-both-worlds integration of both.

  • A couple years ago, I read an article by some fresh out of college engineer who pronounced 2D CAD dead. According to him, there was no reason to do anything but hand a 3D STEP file to the machine shop, and the machine would cut the part. I asked, "where do you put the material, tolerance, and finish requirements? Where do you put the welding and plating requirements? Where does the team sign off on the design? If the stock is fragile, how do you communicate how to fixture it for machining? How do you communicate special requirements for inspection of the finished parts? How do you communicate handling and packaging requirements?

    I don't understand who is going to build a house or toaster oven from a 3D model, so I don't "get" 3D dimensions.

  • @Jim Canale said:
    I don't understand who is going to build a house or toaster oven from a 3D model, so I don't "get" 3D dimensions.

    Often a isometric drawing with 3D dimensions is easier to understand than 2D orthogonal views and dimensions. I recently studied for a few minutes, a nicely done 2D orthogonal drawing of something I needed to build... but I still could not see how it should be done. It was someone else's job to do it, so I just went on to other things. But, if there were a number of 3D views and dimensions, that would have made it a lot clearer to understand. In 2D drawings, you must often compare a top and side view to see which line in one view matches on on the other view.

    I think that house plan views are a good exception, where the orthogonal views are much preferred. Though a dimensionless 3D view of the exterior really helps you get the overall view of what it will look like when it is built. So, it depends upon the subject matter.

    -Joe

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