Automatic dimensioning

It would be really cool if I could press one button in Layout and have every line in the viewport dimensioned, instead of having to click every single corner on every single line. Even if I could just click on a line and have it dimension the whole line instead of having to click all the intersections would save me a lot of clicks. Does anyone know if this is possible? Are there extensions or shortcuts in Layout, or is that limited to Sketchup?

Holey buckets! What a cluster that would turn into.

There isn’t anything currently to do that.

Haha yeah, I know that it would definitely cause a crash if you had a ton of lines, but if I’m just laying out a bunch of parts to dimension that are mostly rectangles (I draw a lot of cabinets) this would save me a lot of time. It would probably be helpful to set parameters as well, like “only dimension lines longer that 1 inch” so that you don’t get a million little dimensions and set your computer on fire.

I wasn’t thinking of crashing but it might happen. I would expect to see a lot of redundant as well as conflicting dimensions if an extension could do that.

Maybe some sort of draftsman AI could do that? As a guy that regularly models parts I am going to machine, that sort of capability would be really great. As a guy that regularly machines parts from customer supplied drawings…

Even if we had an AI, I wouldn’t trust it. Even simple parts have multiple ways of dimensioning, and as DaveR said, most would be redundant or useless.

If there is a standard for dimensioning machine parts that applies beyond the draftsman or company level, I haven’t seen it. I mean, beside the dozens of standards out there now and in the past that are used in a variety of ways. For example, is it best to dimension a hole as a radius or a diameter? If radius, do you use rho, r, R, or for chrissakes delta? How do you indicate precision? How about metric versus imperial? What if you use both imperial and metric on a single plan? How many times do I have to call you to find out what you mean?

Oops, mini-rant.



It would be a great tool, that’s one of the few things I miss from Archicad.

Certainly automatic dimensions isn’t outside the realm of possible…revit and achicad have proven that it works. So have others.

But Layout isn’t leaning that way any time soon. Maybe there is an API in the works for Layout that will allow plugins to get this done. Maybe.

Until then, we squeeze out performance in other places.

so, if you can’t get auto dimensioning, would you go for instant production of plans and elevations for every room of cabinets that you produce? What if all you had to do was model a room, run dims and notes and you were done? Would you buy into a template like that for Sketchup and Layout?

No scene producing, no section cuts; a robust cabinet modeling library and a scrapbook library for details; traditional architectural line weights and texturing. Would that save enough time to make the less attractive process of dimensioning worth the aggravation?

Yes, I’ve developed my own templates for that in Sketchup and Layout , and am always building libraries of our standard products and details. I’m just always trying to increase efficiency, especially now that I have a team that I’m leading, and dimensioning in layout is a place where a lot of time gets burned. There are extensions for quick dimensioning in Sketchup, but it seems like nothing like that exists for Layout.

There’s an art to placing dimensions for maximum clarity (we used to call it “secondary notation”). There’s a time tradeoff between putting in only dimensions you want only in locations you want vs erasing or moving ones that were automatically done not to your liking. Possibly an AI could be trained to your system, but it wouldn’t please everyone and would likely still misfire in complex situations. Maybe the limitation to simple rectangular parts would overcome this.