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Measuring the distance between two points on a physical part

If you need to make a drawing based on some physical object you might need to know various sizes, positions, etc. Many tools are available for this purpose:

  • A simple household ruler may suffice in many instances (~$1 to $5)
  • A precision scientific steel ruler will allow for more accurate measurements (~$2 – $10)
  • A 6" digital caliper (~$20 to $100)
  • A height gauge (~$50 to $300)
  • A micrometer (~$10 to $50)


An inexpensive digital caliper is a good general tool for making physical measurements if a plain ruler is not accurate enough. 

Measuring the distance between two points on a drawing

You can determine the distance between two points in your drawing. For example you might need to check if the center of hole is located at the proper distance from the part edge.

To measure the distance between two points:
  1. On the left toolbar push in Snap-to-Lines.
  2. Push in the Ruler button. 
  3. Draw a line between the two points.

To measure the horizontal distance between two points at different vertical positions:

  1. Draw a rectangle between the points.
  2. View the horizontal size of the rectangle on the numeric bar.
  3. Delete the rectangle.

To create an accurate guideline to position a hole or other feature:

  1. Push in the ruler button.
  2. Draw a straight line from a snap point.
  3. Set the length of the line on the numeric bar.
  4. Snap the item to be positioned to the end of the ruler line. 

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