Solidworks 2020 Measure Tool Problems

Hello CD!

I understand this question is kind of an ugly duckling , but I don’t have a current Solidworks forum or Dassault Systemes account.

My team recently got Solidworks 2020, replacing our old 2018 SW software. But that may just serve as background info as I am having problems measuring certain parts in the new version. In new parts/assemblies I create, I can measure things perfectly fine, but measuring old, converted files doesn’t allow me to measure from center to center distances.

Yes, the point-to-point measurement is deselected and the xyz is enabled and I have it set to center to center. I don’t know if this is a hidden setting somewhere else or if this is a bug - either way it is certainly not making my life easier. I’m open to any ideas you might have, as I am hoping this isn’t a bug. Is there some sort of conversion I am missing based off of import diagnostics? I’ve attached a picture of my setup:


My best guess is that SW2020 isn’t seeing the old circles as circles, and instead the conversion has made them into imperfect splines or something. Try selecting a circular edge and see if measure shows a radius as the defining feature or instead shows arclength or something else.

Importing usually means you lose a lot of useful information. You might have luck with selecting the part’s origin instead, or you might have to add useful reference geometry manually.


So I’m going through some circular edges, and what I find strange is that there is no correlation between parts that work and ones that don’t. Some just list a arc length while others also include a radius. I think you are right - and I think I do need to get to work if I’m going to salvage some stuff. I don’t think solidworks is recognizing certain features anymore that failed while importing. Ah, Solidworks.


Are all of the parts you’re measuring imported from STEP files?

For what it’s worth, the preferred import format for SOLIDWORKS is Parasolid, as parasolid supports circles (STEP only supports arc segments).

Another thing you can (and should in my opinion) do is create reference geometry (namely, on rotating parts, an axis of rotation) in the files. Then you can measure (and mate!) to the axis. Doing this makes your CAD a little more modular.

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The parts I were trying to measure were most STEP files if I recall correctly. That probably does tie in somewhere. And thanks for the tip on the reference geometry! I really should get into a habit of creating more axes. - I add a lot planes to act as entities such as the ground and mid planes

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It may not fix this specific issue, but sometimes measuring faces to edges can be problematic. I’d recommend measuring face to face or edge to edge when possible.

The solidworks measuring tool is somewhat infuriating. Usually C-C works pretty well. Min/max measurements are frequently a disaster and will leave you wondering how Solidworks possibly thinks the dimension it is displaying is the mix/max


Also, that face you selected isn’t a cylinder, it’s a cone because of the draft angle. This will get exported as a step as 2 half faces, so will therefore import as 2 half faces. If you notice, only 1 half of your part is actually highlighted.

Edge to Edge will likely give you the dimension you’re looking for.


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