The Dimension Tool in SMC is an easy to use utility that offers a wide range of options. Included in the Dimensioning tool are options beyond a normal “Snap” tool. For example, a user can choose to start a dimension at any of several locations: a surface, an endpoint, an edge, etc. Also, the user can then adjust the settings in real time and move the location of the measurement and view additional information.

A comprehensive example is shown below.

To begin, choose the Dimension tool from the 3D window “Tools” list.   Once selected, start moving the mouse around the model.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.57.57 PM

You will see that as you mouse over surfaces, various yellow indicators will show where the “Snap” point will end up if you press the left mouse button.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 5.37.39 PM

In this example, we will start by measuring the distance between two column edges, starting with the left column.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.27.55 PM

Once an edge has been selected, it will change to red.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.28.41 PM

Move to the right column and select the corresponding edge.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.28.53 PM

Once both edges are selected, the dimension is displayed and an “Add Dimensions” window appears. In the image below, there are options to move the start and end points from the Edge of the Column to either the Column component itself or to the “Free Point,” where the dimension was actually placed by the mouse.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.29.10 PM

For example, if we change the start and end points to use the Free Point (i.e. the location where the mouse button was clicked) instead of the Edge, the displayed dimension lines will change to reflect exact points on the columns.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.30.41 PM

Other display options exist under the Dimensions header. If the measurement has both vertical and horizontal distances (i.e. it is not a straight line on a single plane), those options can be selected to view the additional dimensions.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.29.52 PM

To better illustrate these display options, we will take a measurement from two Corner Points of a window.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.32.02 PM

The generated dimension is a diagonal line, and therefore will have both a vertical and horizontal component.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.32.36 PM

Choose which of these dimensions you would like to display. In the example below, the total distance and vertical distance are displayed in the model.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.33.02 PM

Before closing the model be sure to save views of the dimensions as Communication Slides to be certain that the displayed measurements remain intact. This is also a good way to convey this information in coordination sessions: as a slide show to be reviewed in a team setting.  These dimensions can also be combined with descriptive information using the Markup Tool. If you select the Show All button in the 3D window, all added Dimensions will disappear. So be sure to add dimensions to the model as needed, and then save the view.