Improve Dimension Snap

Sorry for the sort-of cross-post. I didn’t see the Feature Request subcategory until after posting to the general Layout category.

I think it would be much more useful if dimensions would not snap to the softened edges of facets of curved surfaces. Because the program will snap to softened edges as readily as hard, it’s extremely difficult to accurately dimension extruded curves like architectural moldings. In full scale sections, it’s fine, but if I have a countertop with a 1-1/2" thick bullnose edge and need to show in a half-inch scale elevation that it is 36" off the finished floor, trying to pick the actual edge of the bullnose counter can be extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, because Layout instead snaps to invisible facet edges of the curved surface, which are extremely close together as the curve recedes. It’ll snap to 35 15/16", or 35 7/8", etc. And there is no way to see which edge is selected (zooming in doesn’t help past a point because the lines get wider than they are apart), and no way to know if the dimension is correct unless you already know what the dimension is supposed to be. Which sort of defeats the purpose of scale modeling, doesn’t it?

There may be another way to accomplish the same thing, but I really don’t know what use it is for dimensions to snap to soft edges. Curved surfaces don’t actually have facets in the real world, so there would be no reason to dimension them in a drawing.

I find this an interesting question not just about Layout, but about SketchUp too, and not just about the dimension tool, but in general. If an edge has been softened/smoothed, the modeling intent was to portray a surface without internal edges. That is, the existence of edges is an artifact of the way SketchUp represents all geometry. So, why would anyone expect anything to snap to an edge that is only an artifact and is not visible (unless view hidden geometry is on)?

Because it’s implied.

What’s implied by what?

I don’t know if this is an option for you, but I solve this issue by changing this:
I try to hit the same mark all the time, but I have to balance that with my sanity, so sometimes my dimensions don’t line up exactly:

So far, I’ve lived to tell about it…hope that helps!

That does help, Jesse, but sometimes the counter height is 36-1/4", or 35-3/4". With cabinets and woodwork I’m generally working to the 16th inch, so I really can’t set the precision any lower than that. What I often end up having to do is:

Switch to the model
Tape measure the geometry in question
Switch back to Layout
Turn off Snap to Object (and Grid)
“Freehand” the dimension, stretching it back and forth until I get the number I measured with the tape

Even that is no easy feat, because without zooming in, it’s hard to make 1/16" adjustments, but if I zoom in close enough, it usually bumps the dimension text right off the screen, so I can’t see the effect of my adjustments.

Any chance you can post an example layout file? I’d like to see if any inferencing tricks might work, and if I find a solution I can show you what I came up with.

I actually don’t know how to do that. I guess I need to upload a Layout file and the Sketchup model it references?

You should be able to just upload the Layout file, it should have imbedded the SU file in itself in the event the SU file gets moved.

Of course. The links will be missing, but the geometry will be there. So here goes. This is a simple base cabinet. The baseboard is 4" tall, the cabinet 30 1/2", and the countertop 1 1/4" thick.

Base Cabinet.layout (33.9 KB)

And just for the heck of it, here’s the model.

Base Cabinet.skp (53.5 KB)

Tell me if I got these right, I’m not sure about the width of the top, I didn’t measure the SKP file.

If that’s what you’re looking for, I can shoot you a video. One thing I did immediately, that may help you, was switch the SU viewport in Layout to Hybrid, from Raster. That may take care of it for you.

Good suggestion Jesse. And the top dimension is correct. Or pretty close to it, anyway.

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Yes, that’s what I’m wanting to do, but what I’m looking for is a reliable way to do it. Dimensioning does get better if I set edit quality to high and the viewport to vector or hybrid, so I typically do both. But it still isn’t anything like reliable. If you have a method to make it so, you will change my life!

Sent from someplace other than my desk.

I think so, in layout it’s kinda laggy ,especillay in the large project. what i do i make dimensions in sketchup it self and and export it to JPG. my issue is i have to draw a construction line just to make a snap for the dimension… also i hope we can make adjustment on the text dimensions.

To reiterate my original point, excluding hidden and softened lines from the dimension anchors snap selection (or at least having the option to do so) would greatly improve the speed and accuracy of applying dimensions in Layout.

That seems like a lot more work than you should need to go to.

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