23 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2018 11:17 AM by David Mandl

    Reattaching broken dimensions

    Jim Steinmeyer

      When a design changes and dimensions loose their connections we get dangling dimensions on the drawing. Happens all the time. I have no problem (ok, few problems) going back and reattaching the dimensions if only one end point is broken, but, I have never been able to reattach a dimension if both of the end points are broken. I have always had to recreate the dimension. Is that the case for everyone? Or is there something I don't know about?

       

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        • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
          Christian Chu

          First: for the angular dimension - I think you'd better delete it and add a new one since it seems impossible for me to reattach the angular dim back to the view

          for normal dim: sometimes I can reattach back to the view easily, the other time it's hard

           

          I never understand all of these behaviors and have a good solution for it

          • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
            Dan Pihlaja

            Only occasionally can I re-attach a dimension that is dangling on both ends.....

            1) I try first to re attach.  If unsuccessful, then I move to 2

            2) I create a new dimension, and copy/paste any notes from the first dimension into the 2nd one.

            3) Delete the old dimension.

            • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
              Glenn Schroeder

              I have the same problem.  I can usually get one end to re-attach, but when I try it with the other end the dimension will often change to some weird orientation, like horizontal trying to go vertical, so I have to delete it and insert a new one.

              • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                John Stoltzfus

                You can if.....

                 

                Grab the red blip and drag it to the line or vertex you want to attach to and don't release right away, it's like Slow Mo, do that one both ends it should click right in.  - One side I'll reconnect, both sides it's delete and start over, I have the dimension icon in my mouse gestures so I can very easily and quickly change out dimensions..

                • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                  Timothy Taby

                  Related question..... How do you put in a dimension when you click on the first point and you can't click the second point/line because the dimension shows up over the point/line your trying to attach it to?

                  • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                    John Stoltzfus

                    Really Jim Steinmeyer - All the other guys are blowing smoke - the movements need to be deliberate and when you select the line, just hold her tight and linger a bit and then WHAM...  A rabbit on steroids just don't get things connected here, nice and slow - be precise not jerky, ahh linger a little...............

                     

                    - Conway Twitty - Slow Dance.....

                    • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                      David Mandl

                      My preferred solution to all of this:

                       

                      Get the drawing dimensions to function more like mate references in Assemblies.

                       

                      In assemblies, you can use Named Surfaces or Named Edges to prevent dangling mate references, and I've been wishing for years that this same technique could be used to prevent dangling annotations in drawings.

                       

                      The good news is that after submitting the magical number of Enhancement Requests (and some desperate pleading at SWW), there's an SPR to fix this in the Knowledge Base:

                       

                      SPR:  1027130

                      Summary:  Maintain Dimension and Annotation References for Named Entities (Named Surfaces, Named Edges)

                       

                      I don't know about you folks, but MY life would be quite a bit easier if this were implemented, so I'd like to get as many people to vote on this as possible.

                        • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                          Dan Pihlaja

                          Hrmm, never knew that named edges would prevent dangling mate references.....

                          Think you can elaborate on this at all?  Maybe a link that explains how and why?

                            • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                              David Mandl

                              It's been a pet topic of mine for a while, had a session on it at SWW in February and wrote a series of (slightly less accurate when it comes to my talking points on datum geometry) blog posts about it in a previous life in the VAR channel.

                               

                              "Short" bullet point version:

                              • Any reference used in SW (whether for mates, selected faces/edges/etc. for features, annotations, etc.) uses IDs that are generated by the software as you create the geometry.
                              • When you create a mate (or a feature/sketch reference, or drawing annotation, etc.) that mate uses those ID tags as a reference.
                              • When you rebuild a model (or assembly, or drawing) and the software cannot find an ID tag, that's when you get a dangling reference and/or a mate error.
                              • These IDs are functionally impossible to re-create, so the only way to GUARANTEE having reliable IDs with no errors on replacement is to do a Save As to create a copy that will maintain the same IDs.
                                • The next best solution is to RMB click on a surface or edge and go to the "Properties" where you can give a name to the entity.
                                • A mate or sketch reference made to a named entity will use the name instead of the ID when rebuilding, thus if you have two components with the same named surfaces/edges, you can get your mates to reconnect in situations where you'd normally get rebuild errors.
                                • It's worth noting, that naming a surface does not retroactively modify the references in your mates (you may have to recreate the mate for this to take effect).
                              • The biggest (and most relevant to this thread) downside here is that for reasons unknown to me... this only works for Mate/Feature/Sketch references, and does not work on annotations or drawing dimensions.  Hence my SPR that I'd love if people could vote on.
                                • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                                  Dan Pihlaja

                                  David Mandl wrote:

                                   

                                  It's been a pet topic of mine for a while, had a session on it at SWW in February and wrote a series of (slightly less accurate when it comes to my talking points on datum geometry) blog posts about it in a previous life in the VAR channel.

                                   

                                  "Short" bullet point version:

                                  • Any reference used in SW (whether for mates, selected faces/edges/etc. for features, annotations, etc.) uses IDs that are generated by the software as you create the geometry.
                                  • When you create a mate (or a feature/sketch reference, or drawing annotation, etc.) that mate uses those ID tags as a reference.
                                  • When you rebuild a model (or assembly, or drawing) and the software cannot find an ID tag, that's when you get a dangling reference and/or a mate error.
                                  • These IDs are functionally impossible to re-create, so the only way to GUARANTEE having reliable IDs with no errors on replacement is to do a Save As to create a copy that will maintain the same IDs.
                                    • The next best solution is to RMB click on a surface or edge and go to the "Properties" where you can give a name to the entity.
                                    • A mate or sketch reference made to a named entity will use the name instead of the ID when rebuilding, thus if you have two components with the same named surfaces/edges, you can get your mates to reconnect in situations where you'd normally get rebuild errors.
                                    • It's worth noting, that naming a surface does not retroactively modify the references in your mates (you may have to recreate the mate for this to take effect).
                                  • The biggest (and most relevant to this thread) downside here is that for reasons unknown to me... this only works for Mate/Feature/Sketch references, and does not work on annotations or drawing dimensions. Hence my SPR that I'd love if people could vote on.

                                   

                                  Awesome!

                                   

                                  Good to know.....Would you mind posting this here?

                                  What are your most impressive tricks of solidworks, Please spread.

                                  • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                                    David Mandl

                                    If you're on board with this, you could not just vote for the SPR, but give the idea some love on the SWW18 Top Ten forums:

                                     

                                    Maintain Dimension and Annotation References for Named Entities (Named Surfaces, Named Edges)

                                     

                                    And, for that matter, vote on other good ideas that you see there.  The Top Ten list (and even the ideas that get votes and don't make the top ten) do get attention and traction at SW.  Not sure how that compares to SPR votes, but still... they notice, and presumably they have that thread in the forum every year for a reason.

                                • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                                  Jim Steinmeyer

                                  David,

                                  To understand better, Does this mean that if I create a feature/surface and name it it would retain the dimension? Would we need to do something other than select the surfaces/edges when dimensioning a drawing? Would this be useful only with imported dimensions?

                                    • Re: Reattaching broken dimensions
                                      David Mandl

                                      Well, until the SPR is implemented in a future release of SW, it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot.

                                       

                                      The short-ish answer to your questions (all assuming that the SPR, if implemented, would make dimensions/annotations work the same way that mate/sketch/feature references work currently... see my response to Dan Pihlaja for more) :

                                      • "Does this mean that if I create a feature/surface and name it it would retain the dimension?" This is specific to naming surfaces and edges in your model, not to features... but otherwise... yes.
                                      • "Would we need to do something other than select the surfaces/edges when dimensioning a drawing?" No, your workflow would be pretty much what it is now.  Naming an edge or surface just changes what SW looks for when you do a rebuild.
                                      • "Would this be useful only with imported dimensions?" Nope.