13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2011 5:03 PM by Bonnie Caruthers

    Dimension to a plane?

    Bonnie Caruthers

      are there certain circumstances when you can/cannot dimension to a plane in a drawing? This is an ass'y dwg and I want to dim. to a plane and an edge and then hide the plane.  I did this in another dwg of this same ass'y with a slight variation so not sure why I can't now.  Get this message

        • Re: Dimension to a plane?
          Denny Metcalf

          Unless it has to do with the plane not being orthogonal to the drawing sheet (not in the x or y axis), then I would think that the cryptic message is most likely because of the other entity that you're trying to make the dimension with. I dimension to planes in my drawings all the time, and just as you have mentioned, I then hide the planes.


          You could try seeing if you can even project that plane onto a sketch while within the scope of that drawing view.


          Isometric Plane Dimension.png


          OT: If you hold alt when you press print screen, it will only send the active window to the clipboard. Then you won't have to crop.

            • Re: Dimension to a plane?
              Bonnie Caruthers

              Hi Denny,

              it's othogonal so that is not it and it is not the other edge because I have other dims from that edge.   What is interesting, is that I just tried to make this same dimension in a projected views using same plane and same edge and was able to create it...?  This is odd :-/


              My reason for using the plane at all is b/c I cannot grab a tangent edge of a curved surface - often a pain in SW dwg that I wish they'd resolve once and for all


              Here you can see the plane highlighted in orange and the message attached, I have not even chose the other edge yet.




              As for the printscreen/crop, I use Win7's handy little snipping tool - quick and painless!



              I keep it in my taskbar and it is always at the ready!

                • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                  Denny Metcalf

                  Hi Bonnie,


                  Thank you for posting screenshots, I was going to ask you to do that.

                  Could you take another screenshot though that shows the view without that MsgBox in the way?


                  I'm a little bit confused with this part... If you made a projected view of an orthographic view... how can you pick the same plane because now you'd be normal to that plane.


                  If you need a tangent edge of a curved surface, then you can select the view and make a sketch on it and then convert the the edge and draw a line tangent to it.

                    • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                      Bonnie Caruthers

                      Hey everyone - bear with me...I am connected via a VPN to work/run SW on the computer I was chatting with you guys .  Every now and again it stops letting me access email and Internet - VERY annoying - so I am on my other computer, but can't really do anything (re: SW) from here.  If I disconnect VPN, then I have to get out of SW. 


                      While I was away...I did go into an old dwg to see how I did it and I had to create an additional plane (collinear to original "top" plane that I was trying to dim to, so it is in the exact same location) and dimmed to that.  Going to do that now on this dwg.


                      As for all the other ways to dim (sketch lines, etc.) I know I can them, but a plane should be the simplest if it is already there - one would think   Once I have access again, I'll get back to that...




                        • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                          Denny Metcalf

                          Yup, I know how that goes...


                          Well, usually dimensioning to planes works fine. I do it all the time because I am known as the nutcase that makes thousands of planes, I guess. Kind of an inside joke, but there was another thread where I posted a screenshot of an assembly with hundreds of hand named planes... You can see an example in my profile, but I caution you that it is rather disturbing.


                          I make forms that based on user input can change the model, and often times I use planes as the dimension points because they tend to be pretty stable when geometry is changed, where the geometry is dependant on the planes.


                          Check out my post near the bottom of this thread though Bonnie, I'm thinking that you won't even need to use a plane at all.

                      • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                        Scott McFadden


                        What I have done in the past when I have needed to do this is sketch a line, constrin it to the plane

                        in the drawing and then dimension to the line.  Then blend the line into the dimension extension

                        and you will never notice it.

                          • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                            Denny Metcalf

                            A little bit off topic, but to further expand on this you could even make an additional layer in your drawing template like this:


                            Drawing Layers.png


                            My "Guide" layer is by default:

                            • Visiblility: Off
                            • Colour: White
                            • Style: Phantom
                            • Thickness: Thin


                            Then for that line that you put on your sketch on the drawing view you can do this:


                            Drawing Layers Guide.png


                            This is but one usage for that layer. In my drawing templates I have lines all over the place that give me snapping points for different things like placing drawing views or lining up tables, etc. I can toggle the visibility on to see them if I wish, and if I forget to turn them off when I print, it's not a problem. They will just print white i.e. not at all.


                            I have my dimensions on their own layer and the rest of the annotations on their own layer. Since I use PDFs a lot, I can set these layers to be toggleable within the PDFs.


                            It all sounds a little silly, and it probably is, but you only have to set it up once and then it's there for you whenever you want it.


                            More off topic nonsense: Howdy Scott, how's Inventor treating ya? These are some of those drawing nuances that I was talking about in that previous thread. I love modeling and I absolutely hate detailing. I used to have people that detailed for me, but I don't have that luxury anymore.

                          • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                            Denny Metcalf

                            Bonnie Caruthers wrote:


                            My reason for using the plane at all is b/c I cannot grab a tangent edge of a curved surface - often a pain in SW dwg that I wish they'd resolve once and for all



                            Hey Bonnie,


                            Maybe you won't have to use that plane at all. Try this:

                            When you place your dimension, hold the shift button when you select the tangent edge:


                            Dimension Shift.PNG


                            1. Select your dimension tool.
                            2. Pick the easy to pick edge (the flat one on the right in my case)
                            3. Hold the shift button down
                            4. Pick the round edge that you want (the dome on the left in my case)


                            Out of curiousity... did you make that plane before or after the geometry in your model. In other words, is that plane dependant on that curved surface, and created with a tangent constraint?

                        • Re: Dimension to a plane?
                          Jeremy Feist

                          that is most likely the other entity, but it could be the plane if it is not perpendicular to that particular drawing view.