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CAD dimensions from drawing?

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  • CAD dimensions from drawing?

    I have a client that wants to be able to modify the 3D object from the drawing page (ie the 2D drawings we do to document the object), anyone know of a CAD program that works like this? I'm using FreeCAD, but there's no constraints/reverse update from the drawing. Also needs to be able to output STEP and STL formats. Thanks.

  • #2
    I could easily be wrong, but I think this is a feature that would be tricky in even expensive CAD packages. Just to be clear, you want to be able to have the dimensions in the 2D drawing drive the model geometry and update live as your client changes the values? You might be able to use variables, parameters, equations, or whatever it's called in the particular program to provide tabulated dimensions so that changing the variable updates the model. This would still seem iffy and limited, especially if the dimensions you use to make the part aren't the same as the ones you use to dimension the drawing. You could also potentially input dimensions that break the model by causing zero thickness geometry, or render your constraints unsolvable. I bounce around between Solidworks, Onshape and Fusion 360, but none of them offer the functionality you're looking for to my knowledge.

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    • #3
      I believe SolidWorks can do this however it is not considered best practice or even a reliable way of modelling. However you need to create model dimensions in the model and it should allow the drawing to update them. Note that when creating the drawing you'll need to 'import dimensions from model' or something that reads like that (haven't done this in a few years).
      As JM said, you may also consider design tables in SolidWorks where a linked spreadsheet is used to control model geometry / features.

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      • #4
        Are we talking STL model file or a computer 2D drawing?

        fusion360 is pretty good at its magic with STL files so recon it could do what you need.

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        • #5
          The client will have to spend a chunk of money on CAD and/or training, or if they expect you to magic this up for them and teach/document for them how to use it then you need to get a specification and budget from them, if they aren't willing to sink a few K into it they have unreasonable expectations,
          Regards,
          Nick

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