Running Dimensions in Layout

A feature that would be very useful to producing any kind of shop drawings, is Running Dimensions.

Currently the way layout does dimensions is by chaining them as the image shows below. the dimensions are 16" apart so when constructing the product the fabricator would have to add the dimensions on his measuring tape. obviously 16" increments are not hard but often times there are, many, much smaller, less uniform dimensions

So my proposed feature is a running dimension option that adds up the dimensions from one side as the image below illustrates.

This would be great! as our modeling company produces hundreds of these documents monthly using Layout.
Thanks Dudes


That’s a great idea. What you’re proposing is a form of baseline dimensioning, where each measurement is made from the same origin or baseline. It has the advantage of avoiding tolerance accumulation (or call it measurement error accumulation if you wish), a problem with chain dimensioning that can make the holes progressively off target on a fabricated part.


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Exactly that! they probably would need to look a little different, to avoid confusion between the two. for example the origin would need to be clearly identified.

Although I think it’s a worthwhile suggestion, to reuse a phrase that may be starting to get a bit tired, you probably have a better chance of being hit by a comet. And surviving.


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Actually, fyi, there are already a couple of standard methods for baseline dimensioning given in ASME Y14.5.



Awesome, Thank you. i’ll have to look into that

I can’t promise anything about upcoming features, but this is a common feature request for LayOut and the team is definitely paying attention. How do you currently distinguish between running and non-running dimensions in your documents?


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We rarely do running dimensions on our documents currently, because of all the manual work to input them. but IF we do use them, then we just make sure to notate them as running dimensions. but the time that goes into adding up the dimensions or measuring actual model dimensions is not worth it. but having them does greatly increase the value of our documents for fabricators so i thought it would be a good feature request :slight_smile:

so thank you for looking at it at least. even if you cant promise anything


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Sigh, really wish you guys would add this feature. It would be a significant feature for my company. Allow us to set color, line weight and/or dashes to distinguish it from regular dimensions. A unique origin point would also be helpful.

Please add this feature. It would greatly benefit our process. Also, baseline dimensions would be HUGE!


Any updates on running dimensions in Layout? or do i need to just dive into the layout api and try to build it myself :wink:

Just want to get an update on whither or not it is still being looked at, i know my team is dying to have something like this feature available. what strings do i need to pull?

Like this?

same steps but cumulative dimensions

Dimensions like that are deceptive with the double arrow heads. I’d rather see this:


Years ago, when I detailed glulam beams and steel using pencil and vellum, we used a circle for the origin terminator and, as @DaveR shows above, arrow terminators in the direction of increasing distance. This CAN be done in LO, but it’s a super tedious PIA.

The correct term, I think, is ordinate dimensions.

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That’s what I call string line dimension, then do and overall at the end.
Can you do this kind of dimension in layout.
Thanks Zadach

My screen shots are from LayOut. The dimensions in my second screen shot were done with some manipulation. The Dimension tool doesn’t do it on its own.

I am talking about a string line dimension. Start at one point click the next and so on. Not going back and forth every time.

Do you mean as in the animated GIF I posted earlier?