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Dimensions not the same

Hello all,

So just something I've wrestled with but haven't been able to figure out is why dimensions form one way for some dimensions then others ways for the same dimension. Attached is an image that highlights what I am talking about with 3 marked dimensions. So sometimes the dimension arrows are placed on the OD of the dimension and other times it is placed on the ID of the dimension. I have tried to replicate or change why some appear one way and others appear the other way. Haven't found any rhyme or reason, so if someone knows more please enlighten me!

Dimensions 1 and 2 not behaving how I want and then dimension 3 behaving correctly. All three are point to point dimension, selecting nodes versus the lines, but this didn't change anything when I trialed any type of selection (line or node). If you want the file let me know.

Best,
Jake
 

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simonb65

Alibre Super User
I would say that it seems it's trying to place the dimension text inline between the arrow heads, when that's not big enough, it puts them as leaders. If it can't fit the arrow head inside, then it places them outside! It's all based on the drawing dimension style and it's settings. You may be able to override by editing each dimension separately, or by just forcing the style to use just one method or setting other leader spacing parameters so that it will always use method 3 (because nothing else will fit!).

Just to fire the question back ... what were you expecting to happen and does your expectations fit into the constrains of auto 'finding' space to place the numbers? AD is tying to be smart in order to help you. You won't get what you ideally want if 'smart' logic is being applied using a set of simple placement rules!
 
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Hey Simon thanks for the response, I'll dig into the dimension styles to see what I can find and change. I expect the dimensions to place the same, since they are both small, so this is most likely a size limit not being changed in a template. I'll report back with what I find and if it behaves closer to what I would prefer/expect.

I did have the dimensions set with smart position, is there anyway to change the smart position parameters or is it a set "smart"?

Best,
Jake
 

DavidJ

Alibre Super User
Staff member
You might try to see if setting arrow position manually to 'outside' would help for the small dimensions - I'm not sure if the presence of the aligned dimension will cause a problem.
 
Hey David,

Yes doing that does fix the dimensions, but I wanted to see if I could continue using smart dimension and just change the parameters smart uses to decide inside or out for the arrowheads. Am I asking for customization that just isn't there yet?

Best,
Jake
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
So just something I've wrestled with but haven't been able to figure out is why dimensions form one way for some dimensions then others ways for the same dimension. Attached is an image that highlights what I am talking about with 3 marked dimensions. So sometimes the dimension arrows are placed on the OD of the dimension and other times it is placed on the ID of the dimension. I have tried to replicate or change why some appear one way and others appear the other way. Haven't found any rhyme or reason, so if someone knows more please enlighten me!

:eek: What? Another issue with Alibre's dimensions? Why am I not surprised? I have had a complaint/suggestion in to Support for several versions now to fix the dimensions and get them to follow a standard and have pointed them to the ASME Y14.5 standard to at least look at.

The SMART dimensions are not very smart. As I understand it, the arrows are supposed to flip from inside to outside based on some "unknown" size parameter of the text height. If they use the text "point size" then that is not wrong from the start because the actual text height is something less than point size. I have already put in a ticket to, hopefully, fix that error.

Ideally, the Smart setting should allow for the arrow and a short line (tail) to be displayed before breaking the dimension line for the text. IF there is no room for the arrow, tail and text then the arrows should flip to the outside and the text remain on the inside. IF the text is placed outside then the arrows and dimension line should be inside unless there is not enough room for the arrows then in that case all should be outside. The "tail" length should be the same as the length of the leader break on callouts and maybe controlled by the same setting parameter.

dimtaillength.png

In the past when I had an issue with the Smart setting not working as expected I was told that I could manually select outside completely missing the point that Alibre's dimensions are fubar in some applications.

And don't get me started on the way Alibre dimensions align. That has been a major, long term, disappointment. Max has promised they will be looked into, and hopefully fixed, for v24 and it would be real nice if they actually followed a dimensioning standard.

On another point -- I see you have center lines on the slots. I would be interested to know the effort it took the get them to display as you did.
 

bigseb

Alibre Super User
Correct me if I'm wrong:

1) isn't there a hotkey that let's you flip dimensions to the inside or outside?

2) I think you need to use the obround shape to get centrelines like that on a slot. Been a long time since I have used them so...
 
Harold and Sebastian thanks for your insight, grateful to the giants(super users) that came before me! I remember how strict my university was with learning proper dimension standards, I remember my consternation when first trying to understand the dimension standards Alibre used. Even when sharing drawings with other companies I feel inadequate at what I present.

I completely agree with what you said here
Ideally, the Smart setting should allow for the arrow and a short line (tail) to be displayed before breaking the dimension line for the text. IF there is no room for the arrow, tail and text then the arrows should flip to the outside and the text remain on the inside. IF the text is placed outside then the arrows and dimension line should be inside unless there is not enough room for the arrows then in that case all should be outside. The "tail" length should be the same as the length of the leader break on callouts and maybe controlled by the same setting parameter.

I love being told I can manually do something when I already know I can, I don't go through my day desiring more clicks to get something done.

Harold and Sebastian!! The oblongs have never ever worked with center lines inserts and I have the joy of clicking them into nearly every design drawing I make. Oblongs are super useful in my industry, I just wish the insert centerlines, or centermarks advanced option in drawings worked for oblongs. BUT, since an oblong mirror or pattern doesn't and hasn't ever worked I doubt a change will be made to include their centerlines in drawings.

I don't know of a hotkey that flips a dimension inside or out Sebastian, if anyone knows of it I'd be grateful.

Best,
Jake
 

JST

Alibre Super User
The most irritating to me is the diameter dimension, which flips from an arrow to a pair of lines with outside arrows, based on some formula that makes no sense to me.

I have a lot of holes in structural steel, typically, and the dimensions are almost random in type. Ther seems to be a distance away from the hole where the arrow swaps to the lines, but it is goofy the way it behaves. It seems to be an absolute distance in drawing dimension units, not a relative distance based on the size of the part on the page.

Maybe it is trying to adhere to a standard, but Alibre does that weirdly.
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
The most irritating to me is the diameter dimension, which flips from an arrow to a pair of lines with outside arrows, based on some formula that makes no sense to me.
There is a setting for that. I leave mine set to Smart, luckily that smart works.

diadimsetting.png
 

HaroldL

Alibre Super User
Harold and Sebastian!! The oblongs have never ever worked with center lines inserts and I have the joy of clicking them into nearly every design drawing I make. Oblongs are super useful in my industry, I just wish the insert centerlines, or centermarks advanced option in drawings worked for oblongs. BUT, since an oblong mirror or pattern doesn't and hasn't ever worked I doubt a change will be made to include their centerlines in drawings.

I don't know of a hotkey that flips a dimension inside or out Sebastian, if anyone knows of it I'd be grateful.

I think there has been several requests for centers to be inserted into obround shapes and patterned or mirrored shapes. They don't even show the option when RMB clicking on their edges, only on the ends will it be offered and then the center is only on the curve not the full obround. And that centers aren't applied to patterned or mirrored shapes is just not right.

So I take than that you had to manually apply the center for the obrounds. That must have been fun. :rolleyes:

And I can confirm there is no hotkey for flipping the dimension arrows.
 

NateLiqGrav

Alibre Super User
I'm away from computer right now and can't find it in the online help but I thought you can hold down one of the modifier keys (crtl or shift or alt but I don't remember which) while placing the diameter dimension to get it to switch.
 

NateLiqGrav

Alibre Super User
If you hold down the Shift key while selecting the arc it will change from Radius to Diameter or Diameter to Radius but will not change the arrows.
That's the one. I don't know where that info would be in the help or if it even is.
 

JST

Alibre Super User
There is a setting for that. I leave mine set to Smart, luckily that smart works.

......

That seems to be for a different issue.....

I have round holes, that get dimensioned with diameter* but depending on where the dimension is pulled to, there is either an arrow or a pair of lines. I prefer the arrow.

What you showed is a choice of radius or diameter, not the same thing.

*Diameter dimensions are the usual..... if something is pulled in from Solidworks, then the default is radius, because in SWX, a circle is done in two halves.
 
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HaroldL

Alibre Super User
What you showed is a choice of radius or diameter, not the same thing.
What is shown is a selection which you can also select for individual dimensions thru the Change Dimension on the pop up menu when you select a dimension.

The choices are between Circular (Diameter):
Circular - Diameter.png


Linear ( your two line dimension) :

Linear.png

and Radial:
Radial.png

Smart will create the dimension based on what you select and it has been my experience that full circles will always dimension as diameters and partial circles (arcs) will dimension as a radius. I never use Linear for circular features, that makes no sense to me.

*Diameter dimensions are the usual..... if something is pulled in from Solidworks, then the default is radius, because in SWX, a circle is done in two halves.
SolidWorks does not create circles, or circular features, in two halves. What you are seeing is the result of the conversion from SolidWorks part to Alibre STEP that for some reason always seems to split circular features in two. You can use the Delete Face tool to remove the split faces but the edges remain split for some unknown reason. I see this on any STEP file I import into Alibre, maybe someone from Alibre can explain that.

If you select the split edge for diameter dimension then hold down the Shift key and it will change from Radius to Diameter.
 
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As a continuation of this thread, what causes some dimensions needing to be verified before placed. Most I can click and instantly place, some need me to hit enter or the green check to verify the dimension is the dimension to be placed. Screen shot to show what I mean. Dimension from a radius outer node to a flat/node of a sheet metal part.
 

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simonb65

Alibre Super User
Dimension that have been defined in the model through sketches and features are automatically picked up. The ones you need to 'confirm' are ones which are new dimension definitions that haven't already been determined by the model itself.

In the case of the radius outer to flat node, the definition held in the model was probably from the flat note to the centre of the radius. So, your introducing a new metric between 2 edges. Plus, your new definition is explicitly defining to the top edge of the radius, which by definition from the flat node to the 'circle' is ambiguous as the distance varies depending on where you reference the circle!
 
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