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Dimensioning 3D objects

David Holcomb


I would like to be able to dimension 3D objects more easily. Ideally, when I have subtracted a screw hole from a plate (subtractsolids), I would like to still be able to locate the center handle of the screw hole to be able to reference it to the edges. VectorWorks should also recognize that the hole is still a circle and allow using the diameter dimensioning tool.

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The problem with this is that the centermark is a 2D object not a part of the plate, so I cannot reorient the plate and keep the centermark.

This is just an example of a more general problem with 2D dimensioning and labeling of 3D objects. I would like to be able to dimension 3D parts once and have the dimensions display preserved if I rotate the part or decompose into lines for displaying different projections on a single layer.

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When you subtract something from another object that leaves a hole, that's just what it is, a hole. It's not an object so it cannot be associated with any type of cursor cue or screen hint.

You could try to use the 3d locus point also. THat will take moving around in a few views to get it in the right place.

You could also draw a circle where the hole would be. The problem is, when an object is converted to 3d, it becomes a polygon. Those types of objects are difficult to find a center point of.

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What I would suggest is having some settings in the subtract solids command for situations like this to leave things like a 3D locus at the surface center of the hole being subtracted. Essentially what I am looking for is an easy way to tell a machinist exactly where I want a hole put in a part and how big the hole should be. I need to be able to reference the center (and/or centerline) of the hole from front, right, and top projections as well as being able to put in a diameter reference.

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