Year of the Angle Dimension – Part 5 – Take a 180

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series SOLIDWORKS 2015 - Year of the Angle Dimension

What do you do when you need to create an angle dimension at 180 degrees? Maybe you need a 180 degree angle driving dimension between two sketch lines for sketch mechanisms. Maybe you just want to show the relationship between two parts of an assembly at a particularly point in their motion relative to each other, expressed as configurations. Or, maybe you just want to create a 180 degree angle, just because. Previously, you were blocked from creating such a dimension directly. In order to create a 180 degree dimension, you had to move some geometry (sketch line, components, features) slightly off 180 degrees, create your dimension, then edit whatever was necessary in order to restore the 180 degree angle.

SOLIDWORKS 2015 Smart Dimension tool now supports the creation 180 degree dimensions directly. No longer is it necessary to use the workaround. For sketches, the two lines that form the rays of the 180 degree angle must either share a vertex, or be separated where a vertex is inferred from their intersection.  Just start the Smart Dimesnion tool and select two colinear non-overlapping entities, and a 180 degree angle will be generated for you.



Year of the Angle Dimension (Part 4): Symmetricality

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series SOLIDWORKS 2015 - Year of the Angle Dimension

Previous releases of SOLIDWORKS introduced linear dimensions in sketches that can be applied symmetrically when created across a centerline.   Further enhancements saw smarter behavior, where the selected centerline is remembered for multiple dimensions created in sequence.  For SOLIDWORKS 2015, you can create multiple half and full symmetric angular dimensions without selecting the centerline each time.

Angle with centerlineTo create a symmetrical angle dimension

  1. In a sketch with a centerline and lines or points, click Smart Dimension at Tools>Dimensions>Smart.
  2. Select the centerline and another line which is at an angle to that centerline.
  3. To create a half angle dimension, move the mouse cursor to the desired location and click to place, as previously.  However, to create a full angle dimension (across the centerline), hold down the SHIFT key.
  4. Drag the mouse cursor (along with the previewed dimension) to the opposite side of the centerline.  As you do so, a preview of the angle dimension will appear symmetrically about the centerline.
  5. Click to place dimension as desired.
  6. Keep holding down the SHIFT key and select other lines at angles to the centerline.  Angle dimensions to the centerline will automatically generate and will allow you make more symmetric angle dimensions successively.

Year of the Angle Dimension – Part 3 – Goodbye Zero

This entry is part of 5 in the series SOLIDWORKS 2015 - Year of the Angle Dimension

When you use angles that are set to deg/min and deg/min/sec, there are often times when you’ll have zero (0) for one of the levels of units.  For example, an angle may be 43 degrees, 0 minutes and 20 seconds.  This is displayed as 43° 0′ 20″.  For many people, the 0 minutes is redundent and unnecessary.  SOLIDWORKS 2015 now has an option that allows you to show only the unit levels that have a non-zero value.  For this example, the display is 43° 20″.  This new setting can found at Tools>Options>Document Properties>Dimensions/Angle, and named “Remove units with 0 value for deg/min and deg/min/sec”.

Year of the Angle Dimension – Part 1 – Imaginary Rays

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series SOLIDWORKS 2015 - Year of the Angle Dimension

There was a heavy focus on expanding functionality of angle dimensions using the Smart Dimension tool in SOLIDWORKS 2015.  These enhancements streamline drawing detailing and sketch creation tasks.  Here’s the first of such enhancements.

There is a long standing request for the ability to apply angle dimensions where one ray is aligned to geometry (model edge or sketch line) and the other ray is along an imaginary vertical or horizontal direction.  In SOLIDWORKS 2015, there is a new capability with Smart Dimension tool that enables you to create this type of angle dimension.

  1. Start the Smart Dimension tool.
  2. In a drawing view, select a model edge.
    Select edge
  3. Select a collinear and adjacent point (vertex or sketch point).Select vertex
  4. A crosshair appears over the selected point.  Select one of the crosshair’s segments.
    Select crosshair segment
  5. A preview of the angle dimension appears.
    Preview of angle dim
  6. Click to place the dimension.
    New Angle Dimension type


New in SolidWorks 2014: Dimension display controls

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

Extension and dimension linesFor drafters that need more control over how dimensions are displayed on their drawings, SolidWorks 2014 has introduced a couple of new controls.  First, styles for extension lines and dimension lines can now be assigned independently from each other on dimensions.   The default line styles can be set in Document Properties for each dimension type, and within the Dimension PropertyManager.

In the PropertyManager, a new group box has been added, called “Extension Line Style”.  Within this group box, there is an option to keep the line style that same as the leader/dimension style with the option “Same as leader style”.  If you wish to use the document defaults, selected “Use document display”.

If both of these settings are unchecked, you can set the extension line for the selected dimensions separately from the dimension line style.  The example here shows the line thickness as different.


Second, you can now set individual extension lines to display as centerlines.  This allow you to identify extension lines that emanate from holes, per ASME practices.  To make this change, right-click on the extension line and select “Set Extension Line as Centerline”.

Set extension line as centerline


To change it back to normal style, right-click on the extension line again and select “Reset Extension Line Style”.

New in SolidWorks 2014: Angular Running Dimensions

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

A new type of dimension is now available in SolidWorks called Angular Running which allows you create a set of angle dimensions that originate from a common origin in a style similar to Oridinate Dimensions.  Options are available to meet ISO standards, such as adding a chain (dimension lines with direction arrow), and aligned text.  Options are also available to apply ASME style rules as well, such as horizontal text.  Angular Running Dimensions are added and modified similar to Ordinate and Baseline Dimensions, including the ability to add dimensions to an existing set of Angular Running Dimensions.

Angular Running Dimensions

Horizontal text


Angular Running Dimensions

Aligned text w/ chain


Angular Running Dimensions

Inline text w/ chain


Angular Running Dimension

Horizontal text w/ chain and bidirectionality