August 27, 2015

AutoCAD 2016 Dimension Tool Enhancements

At Ideate, we’ve been going through the updates to the AutoCAD 2016 release.  In this post, I will describe the enhancements made to dimensioning.

Predictive Dimension Command

The dimension tool is now easier to use with its new predictive capabilities.  As opposed to choosing the type of dimension you need, the dimension command now predicts what type of dimension to place by hovering over the object that you want to dimension. This new dimension command can be found in the same place as the old one on the Annotate tab of the ribbon.  The new dimension command replaces the dimension drop down list that exists in previous versions of AutoCAD. 

Image: The annotate tab with the new predictive dimension tool
To use the new dimension command, select it from the annotate tab or type DIM in the command line and hover over the object you want to dimension.  Options for dimensions show up in the command line.  For example, if you start the dimension command and hover over a circle, the command line shows you options for dimensioning a circle.  If you want to draw an angular dimension, select one of the objects going to be used for the dimension.  Then select the next object that is an edge of the angle.

Dimension Editing Additions

Another improvement to dimensioning functionality is the ability for AutoCAD to recognize when you are placing a dimension on top of an already existing dimension.  The software allows for 4 options when this occurs: move away, break up, replace and none.  
Let’s explore these options. The first picture shows the original dimension.  In the subsequent images, I am placing the same dimension on top of the existing dimension.  However, for each image I use one of the different options: move away, break up, replace or none.  


Image: Original dimension before a second dimension is placed on top

Image: Option 1 Move away

Image: Option 2 Break up

Image: Option 3 Replace

Image: Option 4 none
In short, the new updated dimension tool
• Predicts the type of object that is being dimensioned
• Changes the options for dimensioning depending on the object type
• Allows for options when placing a dimension on top of an already existing dimension


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Kate Ming

Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Kate is a California licensed civil engineer with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Prior to Ideate, she worked at a multinational company for four years doing general civil design on large infrastructure projects. She is versed in roadway, rail, utility design and site development. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. As a Civil 3D Autodesk Certified Professional Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and InfraWorks.