Dimensioning in 3D can be a tricky process in CAD. The UCS (the coordinates system used in 3D model space) has to be manipulated so that dimensions are true to their angle an display properly when viewed in 3D.

Thankfully there’s a real easy solution to this painstaking task in our new Mech-Q release. In both AutoCAD and AViCAD (our AutoCAD alternative) you’ll find a new tool called 3D Dimension. It can be located within a Toolbar we call Piping Extra.

Watch our video below to see how to dimension in 3D using either Mech-Q or AViCAD – our drafting alternative to AutoCAD® or LT®.

3 Steps to creating a 3D Dimension

Now Piping Spools or any 3D object can be dimensioned at any angle using just a few basic steps.

Step 1

Goto a 3D isometric view. Turn on Center and Node snaps, also turn on Polar Tracking as shown in video above.

The first 2 points need to be aligned and on the same axis. We’ll refer to this as co-linear.

If snapping points to be dimensioned are co-linear – pick just 2 points. Enter the points then press enter (or right click your mouse).

Step 2

If the points are not co-linear then a total of 4 points are entered. The first 2 define the axis (in step 1 above), then the remaining 2 define the actual points to be dimensioned.

Again, simply enter the points then press enter (or right click your mouse) to exit.

Step 3

Edit the 3D dimension if needed. You’ll have the option to Mirror or Flip the dimensions text, relocate the dimension and more.

A special thanks to Darrell Cook (an avid AViCAD user, teacher and programmer) for this much needed dimension tool.

Want to see more tools like this? Take AViCAD for a test drive today.

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