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Dimension Question

Question asked by Paul McGarr on Nov 9, 2008
Latest reply on Nov 10, 2008 by Paul McGarr
This might sound like an odd question, but I was burned by something a few monts ago, changed my dimension method, and now can't reproduce original problem. Let me explain...

I've been using SolidWorks regularly for under one year now, so maybe I am asking something obvious, but I've witnessed weird behavior with dimensioning that I want to clear up. Maybe someone can clear this up for me. There are two ways to dimension a a line and place a dimension (length of side) or pick two lines and place a dimension (distance between paralell sides). Recently I dimensioned a rectangle using the first method and got burned by later adding a fillet and the fillet actually increased the length of the original feature. It appeared that SolidWorks maintained the length of the line (as I defined) and added material to the length of the rectangle to allow for the fillet.

I'm bringing this up because I instantly changed my dimensioning to reflect the dimension between parallel sides to avoid this, but in the SolidProfessor courses I am taking, they use the single line dimension and it makes me wonder what I did wrong because I can't imagine someone teaching something that would be bad practice. Well, I can imagine, but you know what I mean.

To straighten this out, I dimensioned a rectangle the simple way and added a fillet with no unusual result. I expected to have a problem like I described earlier, but everything worked as expected...the rectangle didn't grow due to the fillet.

So, now I am trying to figure out what I could have done wrong, and to see if anyone has been burned by dimensioning line length as opposed to distance between sides.

Any ideas what I might have done? What do you guys do? Maybe because I was new I didn't have the proper rectange with all the relations to avoid this behavior? Does this even make sense?