10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2008 5:17 PM by Sean Phillips

    Measure Help

    Paul McGarr
      Is there a simple way to simply click on a face and find out information about it? Sometimes I want to see where a face is in relation to the part origin and having to use the measure function is time consuming. I would like to be able simply tag a face or a point, line, arc, etc. and see all the information about that entity. x, y, z, coordiantes, radius, draft andle, etc.

      Is this possible?

      If your farmilliar with Mastercam, it would be "analyze - dynamic"


        • Measure Help
          Wayne Tiffany
          Sort of. If you pick an edge, you can look in the status bar at the bottom and it will tell you how long it is. If you pick two edges, it will give you a bit of info relating to both of them. If you pick a vertex it gives you the coordinates relative to the origin. A pair of faces will tell you the relationship between them.

          Watch as you pick certain things and you will learn what it can and can not tell you. I find that I look there first once I learned what kind of info it will tell me.

            • Measure Help
              Paul McGarr
              Ok. I hadn't noticed that. Helps a little.

              Up until now, SolidWorks has impressed me in every aspect. If I had a hard time with something, I'd be shown an easy way by you guys, or someone here at work.

              The general opinion around here is that the measure function is junk. I agree. Is the measure function the only way to get dimensional information about a part and it's faces?

              When I have a complex model in front of me and I am going through a review of the part, I get asked questions such as what's the draft on that face, what height is that rib? What's the location of the center of that arc? What's the radius of that fillet? It's very frustrating to have to constantly select measure, pick two entities, clear the entities, and do it all again for the next question.

              I was really hoping I was missing something. Anybody else feel the same?
                • Measure Help
                  Mark Matthews
                  Just try to measure something in Pro-E and you'll appreciate how much easier it is to get quick measrues in SW. The things that are missing in SW is the ability to use the measruement as a driving feature; this is called a "Analytical Feature" in Pro.

                  Having the ability to show more than one unit at time would be useful too.
                  • Measure Help
                    Brandon Werdel


                    Originally posted by: Paul McGarrI was really hoping I was missing something. Anybody else feel the same?

                    Assigning a keyboard shortcut (i.e. Shift+M) to the measure tool speeds the process up, but I agree, having to select entities/vertices for each measure is very cumbersome.
                      • Measure Help
                        Paul McGarr
                        Talked to my VAR, and he's going to sit with me and show me the best way to do things. I have no experience, so maybe his expertise will help. From the sounds of things though, I can't expect much more than I am aware of already.

                        Thanks guys.

                        Any SolidWorks employees see improvement coming in the future?

                        • Measure Help
                          Jim Wilkinson
                          Hi All,

                          A couple of facts about the Measure command that may help:
                          1) The easiest way to clear the current selections in measure is to just click in the background of the graphics area. Other alternatives are to use RMB Clear Selections in the graphics area or over the selection list. If you only want to remove one or more items without clearing the whole list, you can either de-select the item(s) or pick the item(s) in the list and RMB delete or hit the delete key.
                          2) You can leave the measure command up on the screen and make it go inactive by choosing "Select" from the RMB. Then to activate the tool again, you can click anywhere on the measure window.

                          The reason we don't put more measurements in the status bar is because there is not a lot of space there and also some of the more complex measurements take time to calculate and we did not want to slow down general selection in the system due to constantly calculating measurements.

                          If there are additional values that you wish we did give as results of the measurement in the measurement dialog or on screen when selecting specific geometry, I would be curious to hear what values you would like to see.

                            • Measure Help
                              Paul McGarr

                              I agree with you about not having all the calculations at every click of the mouse. That would be excessive calculations that might not be needed, and would affect performance.

                              What about another measure mode seperate from the current measure tool. For example, let call it "quick measure". I'd click on quickk measure, and the system would allow me to click on a feature and get information about that feature in the status area, or any other place available. If you click another feature, you get information on that feature. No dismissing dialog boxes, deselecting faces, clicking origins, etc. No feature to feature measurement either...that's what the current measure tool is for.

                              Here's what information I'd like to see based on feature type.

                              Conical face- min and max radius and draft/taper angle
                              Drafted/tapered face - draft angle
                              Planer face - distance from origin
                              Arc - XYZ center, radius
                              Circle - XYZ coordinates, radius, area, circumference
                              Line - XYZ coordinates of both endpoints, length
                              Fillet - radius

                              Do you see what I'm after? You must have a mastercam seat over there with the new mastercam for solidworks project launching. Take a look at dynamic analyze. It's VERY useful when checking over a model...just for basic stuff, not distance measurements.

                              One more thing would be the ability to have the cursor latch on to a feature so you can drag the cursor along the feature and see the XYZ coordiantes as you move from edge to edge.

                              I am not trying to push SolidWorks to incorporate Mastercam functions. Just the opposite in most cases. I believe this one thing would make a lot of people happy though. I hope all this makes sense.

                              • Measure Help
                                Dwight Livingston

                                Jim Wilkinson wrote:


                                If there are additional values that you wish we did give as results of the measurement in the measurement dialog or on screen when selecting specific geometry, I would be curious to hear what values you would like to see.

                                I'd like see the distance to edge given for circles and arcs, in addition to the center distance.


                                • Measure Help
                                  Bill Rose

                                  I'll second the request for dual units. I change back and forth often and I've always wondered why it didn't just display both (as you have selected in the units settings).

                                  Another thing that requires a lot of user input is the default action of measuring to the center of a radius. I almost never care to measure to the center point of a fillet but I often want to know how close another feature is to it's surface. I seems there's room for MIN, MAX and CENTER in the measure dialog. It would sure save me a lot of mouse clicks. Showing those three sets of data at same time over the model is not necessary. Even one set of data is difficult to see sometimes.

                                  The measurement tool seems to default to .xxx precision. I'm always changing it to the max (we work with small parts). I'd like to set that default myself as a system setting.

                                  Also, when measuring a sectioned view, you'll always get a warning and often (but not always) any pre-selected entities are cleared. I'd love to be able to permanently dismiss the warning -- I know I'm measuring a sectioned view. If I pre-select entities, they should stay selected.

                                  I know this is a bit beyond the scope of what you asked for. Sorry (or not)

                                    • Measure Help
                                      Sean Phillips
                                      I hate the measure tool

                                      Previously I could pick multiple entities and then select measure, and get results of the measurement. With the new 2008 it sems that most times when i select measure it clears what I have selected. Then I have to select all over again, which is time consuming and annoying if its 2 places I have to zoom out/in to get to. I have yet to determine why it works sometimes and not others.

                                      In Autocad I appreciated the ability to measure to a pick point and not just an entity. I could pick two spots in space if I wanted an approximate dimension to something. In Solidworks, if there isnt a line or vertex there, you cant measure there. An example would be wanting to know the approximate distance from the end of a shaft to the middle of a bearing journal....cant do it.

                                      I was not aware of being able to maintain a measure window open at all times and right clicking to swap in/out of measure mode. That will help. but its still not an optimal solution, and less so for single monitor users. Unfortunatly hitting escape cancels this so its back to being a pain. Anyway to pin it open ?