SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Auto Dimension in SOLIDWORKS Using the Fully Define Sketch Tool

By Stephen Petrock on February 20, 2020

When creating a sketch, the geometry is just the first step. You will still need to add definitions like size and position to complete the sketch. This could be done manually by adding dimensions and relations to each individual sketch entity or it can be done automatically using the Fully Define Sketch function. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we are going to share with you how to use this function. It is a great time-saver when you want to quickly add definition to sketch geometry. Although with SOLIDWORKS your sketches don’t need to be fully defined, it is a best practice to add dimensions and relations to your sketch geometry. Fully Define Sketch offers a one- click way to do this. It’s also known as the auto dimension button.

Sketch entities in SOLIDWORKS


When you begin sketching, you’ll notice that the entities are blue, meaning they are under defined. As you begin to add more definition, dimensions or relations, the geometry turns black indicating it is fully defined. The Fully Defined Sketch function found on the sketch command manager is the quickest way to do it. This function can be used in two ways; the first is to define particular entities, just pick the ones you want to define and they will be completed. The second is all entities in the sketch. This is the one-click way to fully define your sketch. Click calculate, and just like that you’ll have every entity completely defined in your sketch. 

To really get the one-click functionality to work, be sure to set the options for the relations and dimensions. These options are at the bottom of the Fully Define Sketch property manager. Here, you can set which relations to use and how to place dimensions.
This function is extremely useful to add definition to your model to maintain best modeling practices. So now, when you want to quickly add dimensions or relationships to some or all of your sketches consider using the Fully Define Sketch function to do this as quickly as possible. 

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