Skip to main content

EXPLORER Constraint sketcher users - How to mix Models with Annotation planes and Reference curves without loss of data.


Using the constraint sketcher is more complicated than using the standard traditional sketcher. There are benefits of model to curve persistent constraints and some negative aspects that demand a greater understanding of DSM fundamental principles. Some users have struggled within the Constraint sketcher environment in attempting to have both reference geometry AND dimensions in the same plane and have experienced collapsing / disappearing dimensions. Ultimately, the easiest action is to use the standard sketcher as there are no software contradictions in doing that, but the procedure provided below allows this within the Constraint sketcher environment.

All the information below is particularly for users that are working in the Constraint sketcher and want to add dimensions and reference curves AND ALSO wish for the reference curves to follow the model change using all of DSM change management standard options.or methods.

Now on with the explanation.

To make a body with features that have both annotation dimensions and reference construction geometry lines, the reference construction lines have to be added onto a plane by using sketch on that plane only.

  1. Select the face, then select Insert Plane  > then activate the plane... mceclip0_ac334167209e824a5d5ec4687088fca47f62d554

2. Select the activated plane and press K for Sketch > select the sketch option Layout Sketch mceclip0_68b046c4c3f9c1c783c973f903e8422693bfa784.png and add the ddreference curves = mceclip3_3c2e5fd2b6ead842d3cc85b9f58f5c07c228a40c

Note that Sketcher Planes that contain Sketch1, 2 ( layout sketches) etc. also have exactly the same behavour and that if required, by a Sketch right click selection, the command 'Use 3D' will create a curve in a curves folder ( not shown).

Note that unless specifically all future model changes are known, it will be wise to not allow the Automatic constraint generation when placing the reference curves mceclip0_a3f8770e0ff972f3fab2757dd90abfe227b074a8.png as the cuvre ends must follow the hole wherever the hole is moved to. Automatic constraints will attempt to add parallelism, squareness etc. which may conflict when the model holes are potentially moved.



mceclip1_fa2eed99936721306da87c275ecb7108fca80797.png The constraint has not been applied to other sketch entities but to the actual model hole center point by cycling through the geometry on-screen option using the UP <>DOWN keyboard keys or by hoding down Ctrl key and mouse wheel revolving.

It may be helpful when visually identifying the attachment connections to 'Fade Scene', the highlights are then more noticeable - see image below.



3. Add dimensions mceclip5_4e5c13bcf10f60ec0a14a524387e9bc68eb3dc13

Select the model face ( not the Plane with the reference lines)


Add dimensions to the model geometry and not the sketch geometry by display removal of layout Sketch first

mceclip7_7d81c2f6677751e5743eb4a4f6c06ae7e26d7c30  > add the dimensions...




Remember , two different planes must be used. The first to add the reference geometry attached to the model which stays attached via the constraints ( delete any possible constricting constraints such as vertical / horizontal because all that is required is point position to the hole center) and a second, an annotation plane with dimensions to the model features only.

Ensure to activate the component as shown:


Note that Planes and Annotation Planes can also belong to the component and this is the preferable structure location for discrete component manipulation and further drawing sheet association of an annotation plane without unnecessary dimension duplication.

With the annotations made, when moving faces ( if necessary) as shown in the gif below, all reference curve geometry follows the model face moved.

Explorer users that want to model as above, they should note that this is print outcome is considerably more simple and substantually faster if using the Drawing Sheet functionality provided in the Creator and Engineer versions. But if actually wanting all the flexible associations shown, considerations / actions must still be taken as described.

The above procedure has taken a long time to establish... and it's regretable that some users have struggled with the technology.

Th standard sketcher is less capable but also less demanding of applied principle.