- Hold down the middle mouse button to pan
- Hold down shift and the middle mouse button to rotate
- Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in or out
- Click any of the locations on the ‘LookFrom’ widget to view your model from a certain angle
Highlight vs Select
Hover over an object, to highlight, left-click to select this entity. It is not always necessary to select an entity to perform an operation, for example, you can highlight a surface. This will trigger the Quad to open. You can find the command you want to perform on that surface, without having to select the surface first. You can only highlight one entity at a time. However, you can select as many entities as you want. For this reason, the highlight function is particularly useful when performing an operation on one single entity.
A solid has different subentities: faces and edges. It is possible to select these faces or edges individually to perform operations on them, for example, offset an edge or extrude a face. Select any of these subentities using the Ctrl and Tab keys.
To highlight a solid face, hover over it with your cursor. The face will display in orange. To select it, left-click it while highlighted. To select multiple solid faces, left-click them one by one.
To highlight a solid, hover over one of its faces and hold down the Ctrl key. The solid will display in blue. To select it, left-click it while it is highlighted. To select multiple solid faces, left-click them one by one.
To highlight an edge, hover over the edge and hold down the Ctrl key. The edge will display in orange. To select it, left-click it while it is highlighted. To select multiple solid faces, left-click them one by one.
To cycle through all entities or subentities that are ‘underneath’ the cursor, hit the Tab key and do not move the cursor. This can be used to select an entity that is not visible because it is behind another element. For instance, to select the back face of the front cube in the image below or one of the faces of the second cube, you can keep the cursor at the same location and hit the Tab key to cycle through the different entities.
With a combination of the Ctrl and Tab keys you can highlight and select any entity type or subentity type.
Use a selection window to select one or multiple elements at once. To use a selection window, left-click on any empty space in your model area, and move the cursor until the window covers everything that you want to select. There are two types of selection windows:
- Blue selection window appears when you create the window from left to right. This selection window will only select elements that are entirely covered by this selection window.
- Green selection window appears when you create the window from right to left. This selection window will select all elements that intersect entirely or partially with the window.
In this example, the blue selection window will only select the left cube, whereas the green selection window will select both cubes.
A selection window will, by default, only select entire elements (i.e. solids, lines, polylines, blocks, …) but not subentities (such as solid faces or solid edges).
Hit Ctrl once during the selection window creation, to select only solid faces. The selection mode of the window will be indicated by a small icon in the bottom right corner:
Hit Ctrl twice during the selection window creation, to select only solid edges. The selection mode of the window will be indicated by a small icon in the bottom right corner:
Boundaries vs Faces
Boundaries on top of planar faces will be detected automatically. A boundary can be created by a set of 2D entities (lines, arcs, circles, etc) or on top of a surface (e.g. a solid face):
The area marked in green is an automatically detected boundary. This boundary can be used to create a new solid, extrude a hole in the existing solid, create an offset and more.
Another boundary that is recognized is where multiple solids have touching faces:
The area marked in green is an automatically detected boundary. To select the entire face of the box instead of this boundary, press the Tab key to cycle through subentities, as explained earlier.
The Quad & Rollover Tips
When an entity is highlighted, a ‘toolbar’ appears at your cursor. This is called the Rollover Tip, and consists of:
- An overview of what you have highlighted or selected (in the example below: a ‘solid face’)
- The icon of the last used command on this entity type (in the example below: ‘copy’)
- Some relevant properties (in the example below: color, layer and area)
Move the cursor over the icon (without clicking it), to expand the toolbar. This expanded toolbar is called the Quad.
The top row of icons displays the most recently used commands on this entity type. Note that the Quad will adapt to the entity type you have highlighted or selected. It will only show tools that are relevant for the selected entity type. It will display different tools for a solid than for an edge, a line or a block reference.
Beneath the row of icons are different tabs. Hover the cursor over one of these tabs to expand the Quad further. This will display even more tools relevant to the selected entity type.
The Quad can also be called on a selection set. To use the Copy command on 3 solids, you can either:
- Select the first two solids and highlight the third solid to open the Quad
- Select all three solids and hover over one of the solids to open the Quad
- Select all three solids and right-click to open the Quad
Finally, to call the Quad when nothing is highlighted or selected, just right-click on an empty space on the modeling canvas to open the No-selection Quad.
Alternatively, use the Command Line or the Toolbar at the top of your screen to call the Quad. Icons with a little triangle in the bottom right corner are expandable toolbars that contain similar tools. Hold the left mouse button down slightly longer to expand these toolbars.
Exercise on basic concepts
Procedure: Draw a box
- Right-click on the empty space to open the No-Selection Quad and move the cursor over the icon.
- Under the Model tab, click the BOX icon
- You are prompted: Set corner of box or [Center]:
Type in 0,0,0 and press Enter
- Two dynamic dimensions are displayed that control the length and width of the box (see image). The dynamic dimension highlighted in blue is the active one.
- Type in a value of 1000 and press the Tab key to switch to the other dynamic dimension
Note the first dimension is now highlighted in pink. This is to indicate that a value was entered, and this value is now locked on this dynamic dimension.
- Type in a value of 1000 and press Enter. Or press Tab again to switch back to the first dynamic dimension
- A dynamic dimension appears that controls the height of the box. Type in a value of 1000 and press Enter.
Procedure: Manipulate a face
- Move your cursor over a side face of the box until it is highlighted
- Move your cursor over the icon to open the Quad.
- Under the Model tab of the Quad, click the PUSHPULL icon .
- Type in a value in the dynamic dimension box and press Enter or left-click on the new location for this face.
Procedure: Manipulate multiple faces
- Left-click to select a side face of the box.
- Select the top face of the box.
- When you have both faces selected, right-click anywhere on an empty space in the canvas to open the Quad.
- Under the Model tab, click the PUSHPULL icon .
- Both faces will now be pushed in or pulled the same distances.
- Type in a value and hit Enter or left-click.
Procedure: Copy a solid
- Hold the Ctrl key and hover over one of the faces of the box to highlight the box.
- To open the Quad move your cursor over the icon. Under the Modify tab, click the COPY icon
- You are prompted for a Base Point. Left-click one of the corners of the box.
- You are prompted for the Second point. Left-click where you want the copy of the box to be.
- You can continue to place copies or press Enter or Esc to exit the command.
Procedure: Manipulate an edge
- Hold the Ctrl key and hover over one of the edges of the box to highlight an edge.
- In the Quad under the Model tab, click the FILLET icon
- Type in a fillet radius and press Enter.
Procedure: Manipulate multiple edges
- Press Ctrl + Z to undo your fillet action.
- Create a selection window around the entire box and press the Ctrl key twice until a small icon indicating ‘edge selection’ appears.
- You should now have selected all 12 edges of the box. In the Quad under the Model tab, click the FILLET icon.
- Type in a fillet radius and press Enter.