Altium Designer Documentation

Measure3DObjects

Modified by Jason Howie on Jun 14, 2017

Parent page: PCB Commands

The following pre-packaged resource, derived from this base command, is available:


Applied Parameters: None

Summary

This command is used to measure distances between objects when viewing the PCB in 3D. Object-to-object and object-to-board distances are calculated. Using this tool, you can quickly verify that clearances between objects are indeed correct, in conjunction with 3D clearance checking.

Access

This command is accessed from the PCB Editor - in 3D Layout Mode - by choosing the Reports » Measure 3D Objects command, from the main menus.

The current viewing mode for the PCB document can be changed using the corresponding commands from the main View menu. To switch to 3D Layout Mode, use the command of the same name, or use the 3 keyboard shortcut.

Use

After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair, and you will enter measurement mode. Measurement is performed as follows:

  1. Choose the first 3D object, or specific face of that object. As you move the cursor over a potential 3D object, the color of that object will change to green. If you want to select a specific face of the object, hold the Ctrl key as you move the cursor - the face currently under the cursor will be highlighted. With the cursor in place click, or press Enter, to confirm object/face selection.
If the 3D object under the cursor is a STEP model, then the entire model will be displayed as transparent, except for the face under the cursor. This face will also be outlined in blue. If the 3D object under the cursor is an Altium Designer generic 3D Body object, then the face under the cursor will be outlined in blue.
  1. The tool will present visual measurements in the workspace for the shortest distance from the underside of this first object (face) to the board surface, and the shortest distance from this first object (face) to the board edge.
  2. Choose the second 3D object, or specific face of that object.
  3. The tool will present visual measurements in the workspace for the shortest distance from the underside of this second object (face) to the board surface, and the shortest distance from this second object (face) to the board edge. In addition, the tool also visually presents the shortest distance between the two chosen objects (faces).
  4. The 3D Distance dialog will open, displaying the measurement results. When you have finished examining the results in the dialog, click the OK button to close it.
  5. Continue measuring the distance between other objects/faces, or right-click, or press Esc, to exit measurement mode.
During the measurement process, you can press Shift+C to clear the display of measurements.

Tips

  1. All measurement results are logged in the Messages panel, you can double-click on a previous entry to cross probe to that measurement.
  2. The information about the chosen 3D object includes the Identifier of the chosen 3D Body objects (in parentheses). Having a value for the Identifier will help you know that you have clicked on the right object.
  3. The tool calculates the distance between the two closest points on the chosen objects (or faces) - this distance is displayed in yellow. All other measurements are shown in light blue.
  4. To calculate the object-to-object distance, the tool must first calculate the location of each of the selected objects. The results of these object-location measurements are also displayed. For the object-to-board measurements, the software calculates the distance from:
    1. the reference point on the object, to the board surface (Z measurement), and
    2. the reference point on the object, to the board edge (X or Y measurement).
    As with the object-to-object measurement, it also triangulates from the reference point on the object, to the reference point on the board, and displays this direct distance in yellow.

 

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