An interesting thread appeared on the SolidWorks Forum this earlier this month. A SolidWorks user posted a question asking how to flip dimension text from one side of a dimension line to the other, for an ISO Standard drawing. The perceived problem was that a non-orthogonal linear dimension appears backwards to nearby orthogonal linear dimensions.
Why would SolidWorks put dimension text on the wrong side of the dimension line? The user noted that if the dimension is placed on an opposite part (or other side view), the dimension text placement appears to be correct.
Actually, according to ISO standard, the 0.82 dimension is correct in both views! This is because the standard requires the dimension text to be in the most upright position. So, although vertically aligned text is required for vertical dimensions, dimension text should never actually be upside-down. This is a case where SolidWorks is following the rules of the standard, but the standard’s rules produce an affect that seems out of place to some users.
But are the alternatives actually better?
What would a flipped dimension look like in this case? What is really the expectation? As it turns out, this answer isn’t so simple, nor is it pretty. There is an ambiguity between two possible methods to flip this dimension.
This method is easier to read. But it still looks incorrect because it is actually oppose to other nearby dimensions. It also appears to be incorrect because now the dimension line is on top of the dimension text, which is more confusing (especially if you have a crowded drawing).
In general, this is a case where something may not appear correct at first, but once you see the alternatives, it really does make sense. These are the reasons why SolidWorks doesn’t support “flipped dimension text”. However, if you would like to use either of these alternatives, there is a workaround. Perhaps I will cover it in a future article.
What if you still want another solution?
There is one aesthetically pleasing alternative that SolidWorks and certain standards do support.
- Highlight (select) the dimension.
- In the PropertyManager, select the Offset Text button. The dimension text will now be attached to a leader that points to the center of the dimension line. If this is fine, then you are done.
- For ISO Standard drawings, this may not be acceptable yet. If this is the case, drag the leader so that it lines up with the dimension line, and the text is outside of the extension lines. This requires a little bit of eyeballing, but nothing that is going to give you a headache.
- The last pyrimads in Egypt where finished before the last of the Wooly Mammoths died out.1 2
- The World as we know it was designated to end by a Viking myth on 2/22/20143 and by a modern economist on 3/4/2014.4 The quote from War Games rings through my head right now about “We’re still here! We’re STILL HERE!”.
- Our Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 514,000 mph relative to the Milky Way galactic center.5
There are generally a lot interesting posts following SolidWorks World. Here is a short sample this year:
DimXpert presentations seemed to get a lot of interest at SolidWorks World 2014. Both sessions I attended had full rooms.
All The Uses of DimXpert, a Monday morning session by Josh Spencer of 3DVision Technologies was over flowing with interested attendees. Josh went into detail about what to use DimXpert for and how to use it. He described how to leverage DimXpert in TolAnalyst and SolidWorks Drawings.
Introduction to DimXpert and Tolanalyst, a Monday afternoon session by Brian McElyea of Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation was also a full session, not just with hands-on attendees, but also observers from the session’s wait list. Brian walked attendees through hands-on usage of DimXpert and TolAnalyst with a castor assembly.
DimXpert was also featured in several Model Based Definition break-out sessions, including my own presentation on Wednesday called Model Based Definition in the Context of SolidWorks, where I went into detail about the various methods used to employ Model Based Definition and how to set up and use SolidWorks for best results.
I am interested to see how others are interested in DimXpert. Was the interest shown at SolidWorks World 2014 a fluke or indicative of general interest within Industry?
The General Session for Wednesday was as entertaining as ever. Most the details from Wednesday General Session have already been well covered by other blogs and online outlets. I’m going to focus on Bruce Holway’s presentation instead. It is important to me because he’s describing the his group (Product Definition of which I am apart) and past years SolidWorks World Top Ten enhancements list. He states that the vast majority of past year’s Top Ten have been implemented. He covers many of recent examples.
- Default to Concentric Mate when two selected faces are cylindrical
- Default to Parallel Mate when two selected faces have other geometry that prevent coincident mating
- Lock Option for Concentric Mates so that additional mates are not required to stop rotation of a cylindrical part
- Slot Mate
- Center of Mass reference geometry
- Fix Edge Bleed Thru display, where thin walled features sometimes displayed fragments of obscured features
- Don’t Delete Child Features, Dangle them Instead when deleting a parent feature
- eDrawings for Android
Also mentioned is the fact that we visit hundreds of customers each year at their sites to understand how they are using SolidWorks. This is extremely valuable in determining how we plan to improve our product offerings by giving us first hand experiences from our customers.
This year’s SolidWorks World Top Ten list:
- Auto-hide components
- Draw a line segment starting from the mid-point
- Equal spacing option for linear patterns
- Ability to rename a part or sub-assembly in the feature tree
- Unlimited undo/redo
- Pressing the ESC key should immediately stop the current calculation and return control to the user
- Fillets and chamfers should be managed by the same feature
- Ability to flip angle dimensions after they have been placed
- Hole callout should include all instances on the same face
- New Purge command