Measuring in Element Pro

As we've been working on nTopology Element Pro's advanced features (mainly our FEA and DFM tools), a lot of users (including our friend Kenneth Nai) asked for a very simple enhancement: The ability to measure things in the scene.

Spencer Wright
October 10, 2016

As we’ve been working on nTopology Element Pro‘s advanced features (mainly our FEA and DFM tools), a lot of users (including our friend Kenneth Nai) asked for a very simple enhancement: The ability to measure things in the scene.

So when Chris was looking for a two-sprint project to work on in early September, Mike mocked up a quick design for a Measuring utility. We kept it simple to start: We wanted to give users the ability to see locations and diameters of lattice nodes as well as the minimum distance between any two nodes.

Because of our lightweight, beam-and-node lattice graph representation (which is the basis for our open source LTCX file format), it’s easy for us to calculate the precise distance between any two nodes in a complex lattice. For ease of use, we show the minimum distance between nodes – the space between them when they’re thickened. As a plus, we also allow you to measure distance between unthickened nodes and even the vertices on a mesh (STL/OBJ).

We also used the same dimension design in the updated version of our Generate tool. Previously, it was difficult to tell how the “Scale” settings would affect lattice unit size. With this update, we show the size of the lattice right in the Generate tool’s mini 3D view.

We’ll be expanding the Measure utility over the next few months, allowing you to know more and more about your designs. Stay tuned!

Written by
Integrations & Partnerships, nTopology
Spencer works primarily in metal 3D printing. He's also done stints in consumer tech, residential robotics, management consulting, and construction project management - and he's probably the most award-winning whistler (no joke) you'll ever meet.

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