Measure 3D Models with ABViewer
Measure 3D Models with ABViewer

In this article we'll take up a pretty interesting, in our opinion, function – measuring 3D models.

Let's imagine that we have an IGS (or STP, SAT, BREP) file in which we need to measure an object. Where to start?

We'll start with getting the general information about our detail. To do this it is necessary to activate the Structure panel (Viewer > CAD Image > Structure). Please take note that this panel is floating, i.e. it is possible to move it, attach to the borders of the program window or change its size.

Main window of ABViewer

Structure panel

As we see the panel is divided into two parts: the upper section shows our file content as a tree structure, the lower section shows its properties, to be more exact its overall dimensions, volume, area and center of mass. To learn properties of the required object, we should select it in the tree structure or just click on it in the drawing with the left mouse button. Another important function of this panel is the visibility control : if we remove the check-mark near the name of the required object, this object will be hidden (but not deleted!).

Now let's move on to more detailed information. The Distance, Edge and Area measuring tools will help us get it. These instruments can be found on the Viewer tab -> Measure group.

Measuring tools of ABViewer

The Distance tool measures the height between two parallel surfaces and distance between two points, Edge is used to measure the length of an edge and radius of a circle or a circular arc, and with the help of Area, as you can guess, we measure the area of the selected detail.

The results of measurements are displayed in the Measure panel (by the way, it is also floating) and for greater visibility are also added above our drawing. The dimension text can be moved – click on it and then click on the place where you want it to be. It can also be deleted with the help of Delete key.

Now we can print the drawing with all measurements or save it as BMP format.

Let's examine the application of some specific tool, for example Edge.

1. Click on Edge in the Measure group. All edges of our detail will become black.

Edge tool usage

2. Point the edge that we want to measure with the cursor, it will be highlighted with the orange color, and click on it with the left mouse button.  

Edge tool usage

 As our edge is curvilinear, we will get its radius.  

If there is no need to measure anything else, press Esc thus quit the Measure mode.

It should be also noted that by clicking by the right mouse button in the Structure or Measure panel, we get access to the additional commands.  

As you can see measuring 3D models with ABViewer isn't difficult. Good luck!