Wish: Show "Autodim" ESC-ish?

it would be really helpful to have an option to click an object and call a command ShowDim for instance, which reads out simple xyz (bounding box) dimensions according to cplane.

the reasons is, since dimensions and objects often change completely i dont actually create them and rather use length or distance to read out dimensions on the run which saves me a bit work having to delete them all the time.

since the dimensions are probably there already, or are at least readable pretty fast like in the command Boxedit, i would imagine that this could be a very useful command, also for properly dimensioning stuff for drafting and illustrating. the margin/distance to the object could be an extra adjustment in the dimensions.


Hi -

I’d say that’s an extremely specific case for something that could be called “autodim”.

Yes, they are.

That said, I can see the usefulness of having history support for the bounding box - RH-67711.
If that gets implemented, you’d put dimensions on that bounding box and everything would update as you modify the input.

you could use gh player for this, see attached example. Uses elefront:
quickdim.gh (11.5 KB)

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Yeah I have to, through gritted teeth, crank out drawings for no actual purpose but to satisfy a paperwork requirement that no one will ever read and are basically just overall bounding box dims, but it still would requite a bit more control than just the bounding box.

Dunno if this helps any, but here is a scripted ‘Autodim’. I creates a ghosted bonding box with dimensions. It also prints the dimensions to the command line. Everything is grouped for easy delete. Also possible to undo of course.

BoundingBoxWithSize.py (3.5 KB)

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i should have explained it a bit more, thinking that it might be a natural request. maybe i am also misunderstanding the response

the purpose of having such an uncomplicated quick tool would be in planning, i am not talking about detailed dimensions and precise production finished draftings, but to help in planing. space is far too often very limited, having dims show up in an automagic manner would help a lot.

making dims in a fast repetitive but also destructive/deconstructive manner is something where i am lost with the current methods.

right having a history bound bounding box with history bound dimensions could work, but… that again would be just even one more step in a row of many to dimension which could/should be avoided. then i have to draw up dimensions, create a bounding box then i have to the hide the bounding box (which i freaking never need in that context) and have dimension flash into my face when i dont need them all the time, they are basically in the way while planning then and putting them on an extra layer to hide or just hiding them in the same layer makes just everything weirdly complicated, if not far more complicated then just drawing new dimension each time.

just so separate that, maybe i should have not put that into drafting illustration category, my mistake, the actual intend is a fast tool to help out while planing.

I think the script above fulfills that purpose…

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hi Mitch sorry i did not manage to check out your script yet, currently my wifes country is being invaded and were are trying to get the rest of the family over the boarder. i will check your script asaigti, but i suspect that it is not what i have envisioned

not having to clean up is the main issue. … i think something like a curvature graph, which you ESC and gone the dims are. it is about the quantity and the repetition which happen in great amounts which make this a Sisyphos kind of work which i would like to avoid which take up a lot of time in sum.

@wim i am not sure how to explain that anyhow more succinct. i hope that makes a bit sense now. if not so be it.

i updated the topic title.

Hi -

I think you explained it well in the first post. And it does make some sense, but:

  • this would only work in a very specific workflow where the object is aligned with the CPlane
  • is easily scripted as shown by Gijs and Mitch
  • you can simply have the BoxEdit dialog open and get the information that you are asking for without having to create anything or delete anything

If a few hundred users request this feature, I’m sure it will be considered.

i have not seen a single request which got this amount of draft in all the years since i have been at discourse. also to qualify a request how it quantifies might not be always the best choice, whether this is a good request or not should be decided independently. having many requests like people claiming that this and that tool from sketchup is great and needs to be implemented asap does not make it a great tool in general even many might have requested it.

this very special case basically happens with me all the time. also can an object not be measured according to its extremes independent from the cplane? maybe along uv directions? i dont want to nail it into the cplane if there would be any other, more liberating option.

that takes away a lot of place unfortunately, i have a 32 inch screen but if you are dealing with big projects where you have to have laser eyes to be able to plan and have everything in view fast, even this screen gets too small. boxedit is by all means not a small window.

also, what would be needed additionally but i was even to shy to ask for it at first is to show in the same manner distances between objects, maybe with a selection/crossing window and the distances get dimmed.

You could assign

-boxedit visible=toggle

to a shortcut or key.
And you can resize the panel to only show the top-left part that is of interest:


right, then i have to decode where x y z is which takes time away… no sorry Wim not a very good tool for it…

and i still would have to communicate these numbers frequently which i do by making quick screenshots with planning partners also for interieur etc.

Oh… crap. :worried: My best wishes that your family stays safe during this terrible situation.


The gh player I posted can do that too, you first get the preview, then you can still esc out of it

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@encephalon Here is another thing to try:

It’s basically a version of the above, but instead of creating geometry, it does an on-screen virtual display.

Doing display conduits is not my forte, so this is a first attempt. Draws a World XY-oriented wireframe bounding box on selected objects plus 2 or 3 text dots with dimensions. If the selected object collection is planar, a rectangle will be drawn. To make the display go away, press Enter or Esc.

The on-screen display can be captured with ViewCaptureToFile (or Clipboard) while active.

Due to my limited knowledge of these things, I have not been able to solve one main thing - how to put a time limit on the display and have it automatically disappear in n seconds. I can make it sleep, but then the user cannot move the display while it is sleeping. My workaround was simply put in a GetString() and wait for a response, which allows the user to rotate the display as they want while the bounding box is on-screen - but to make it go away, ESC or enter must be pressed.

BoundingBoxWithSizeOnScreen.py (4.4 KB)

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@Gijs it potentially looks pretty good. it just might be a little unpractical since it has to load up grasshopper which takes a few bites of my time, at least on my computer that is rather unnerving when working under pressure. if i have a long session running then it could be justifiable. Mitch’s python script is in that manner a little less complicated though it does not look so fancy and lacks some function.

also it has some weird issue where the dimensions get stuck, are not selectable and carry over to each new file till i end the session completely. that seems to happen when i open the gh definition to change the dimension offset value.

would it be possible to suppress the z value when it is zero? would the same work with DimAligned for diagonal curves/geometry?

@Helvetosaur your last script looks to be potentially pretty usable either, though it lacks two major functions, lines and subselections and the style of communication is a bit limited, though during a worksession if i dont have to communicate anything that could work, but then line and subselections would be crucial.

to both, please dont waist your precious time with this, i practically use the length and distance command for most of my cases and even if i appreciate your contributions, i merely wanted to make a suggestion for a practical uncomplicated tool in vanilla rhino, though if you see value in this tool and will use it yourself then i would welcome some updates either.

thanks again guys.

By lines you mean that it does not show anything when a line parallel to an axis is selected? That was intentional, as it was meant to be a bounding box function and lines don’t actually have a valid bounding box when parallel to a principal axis. You want that for simple lines just a linear dimension to be shown? I can probably add that without too much work.

I use dots and not dimensions because they are scale-independent and this function is designed as an information tool, not a fancy display tool. Plus they’re much easier to deal with because they don’t require a plane. The colors of all the elements can be customized to suit.

Adding support for subobject selection is more difficult, but not impossible.

_boundingbox also has the option of “output=none” (could be assigned to a button or an alias)