Exterior Dimensions

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So I'm trying to dimensions to two layers on the wall for the exterior dimension string. I want to dimension to both the stud and the 1" rigid insulation that is on the exterior of the stud. The only way that I am able to figure out how to do that is to manually put a line or something on the stud so that the dimension string will snap to that specific line (picture 2) but I don't like the thought of "what if" that whole wall ever got moved and then the line that I had drew didn't get moved with it.


It will let me do the very exterior line which is the siding, then the rigid (which is what I set it to on the wall type), then the interior stud (which I set it in the wall type as well) and also the drywall..


Can anyone help?

Exterior Wall Dimension 1.PNG

Exterior Wall Dimension 2.PNG

Exterior Wall Dimension 3.PNG

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You can try and change some of your "locate object" dimension defaults (DEFAULTS, LOCATE OBJECT) and when that doesn't work, drawing the line is the last thing to try.  I know it doesn't make sense, because IMO, anything that has an edge should be able to be dimensioned.  Chief does not dimension like AutoCAD or Mechanical.   You can also try rearranging your layers in the build wall specification too, for instance move your line 3 to main layer....  see if that helps.

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Automatic exterior dimensions can be set to locate wall surfaces or the wall main layer but they can't be setup to locate both automatically.


You should not have to draw any extra cad lines to dimension to them though.  You should be able to add a new a new dimension mark to the wall surfaces by just dragging the proper edit handle to the wall corners.


In the picture below, I just selected the dimension line and then dragged the diamond handle that appears near where you clicked out to the wall corner.  Repeat as needed.

exterior dimensions.png

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Just curious why you would need to show the 1" ? a specific requirement?  It is a pity Auto Exterior Dims , can't be set to use any Layer in the Wall Def. independent of the Wall Def. setting. Maybe add it as a Suggestion , in that Forum.....


the 1"would be a typical and a known thickness by all ( and shown in the Details) , as a Contractor I know I'd never look at it, as it's a known...., but the City may want Overall sizes? which is where I'd set the Auto Exterior Dims to measure Surfaces as Dermot said for overall building size , and then set your other Dimensions to the Stud (via wall def) and use a Running Manual Dimension , to show Framing / Foundation size line for the Framing and Foundations Crews so there are no Errors in Layout.





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1 hour ago, Dermot said:


You should not have to draw any extra cad lines to dimension to them though.


Yes I absolutely agree Dermot yet your answer does not provide a solution for dimensioning to both sides of the Insulation sub layer that Emma wants to be dimensioned.  You usually jump in at just the right time with the best inside information but this time I am not sure you understand the question.  I was hoping to also provide a solution but after reading the question carefully I realized that I also experience this more often than I should.  Short of getting some snap points from a cad detail and importing some overlaid cad work to snap to or just free handing some cad lines onto the points needing to be dimensioned, I am not sure there is a simple solution to this problem with the current software and it is not just walls that don't work.  So if there really is a solution please let us know.

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Okay thanks for the input guys, I ended up just having to put a dimension detail on the drawings.. I just made my own dimensions out of CAD lines so that it would work. The reason why I was having to do this in the first place is because our framers were getting confused when they had to take away 1" from our dimensions for the framing length.. We dimension to the 1" rigid on the main floor plan and then to the concrete on the foundation plan so that when you go from floor to floor those dimensions are the same. 

Dimension Detail.PNG

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Currently, dimensions can only locate a limited number of things within in wall.  To the best of my knowledge, they are the following:

 - Either the inside or outside surface.

 - The wall center.

 - The exterior side of the main wall layer.  This is usually the outside of the framing but this can be customized within the Wall Type Definition to be another layer if you want.


These cases should handle the most common situations easily.  In theory, it might be nice if you could always locate any wall layer but in practice I don't think this really comes up that much.  If you run into situations where you need additional control over your wall dimensions, please submit a feature request to us.  Please be sure to include very clear descriptions and pictures letting us know exactly what you want.


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