Introduction to 2D sketch tools and settings

Tutorial series: Introducing Shapr3D basics


← Back: Control your modeling environment viewNext: Creating complex shapes →

What you'll learn

Get familiar with basic sketching in Shapr3D crafting a cover for a motorcycle design. You learn how to adjust basic settings for your sketch, create a sketch, set it into place, and switch between tools.



In this video we're going to see how to make simple sketches in Shapr3D and create simple features. Sketching is the basis of just about everything in Shapr3D, so it is essential that you learn to master the tools. Let's start Shapr3D, and you should arrive at a page that looks like this. To start a new project, use the plus sign in the upper right


You can name the project in the upper left corner where it should say untitled project. So I'm going to call this cover one.


Shapr3D works by using 2D sketches to make 3D features. We're going to create the cover from this motorcycle design. To get started, we have to decide first on how to make the cover. The easiest way would be to sketch the main shape in 2D and then extrude that into 3D. And we can add sketches and features


to make the smaller details as we go along. We need first to make two circles connected by two lines. And to do that, we need to create a new sketch. So I'm going to go down here to the sketch icon and then select a plane to sketch on. Later on, it will make a bigger difference on which plane you select, but for this exercise, it really doesn't.


Notice that Shapr3D is giving us a tip at the top of the screen. When we open the sketch, it automatically turns on the line. But in this case, we're going to make a couple of circles. So from the toolbar on the left-hand side, you can click on circle or use C on the keyboard as a keyboard shortcut. Click and release the center and then drag out the radius and click and release the radius. Before we get carried away with dimensions.


Let's take a look at some settings. First, we have the snap settings. So our cursor can snap to grid or using the guidelines, and we can snap to guide points on the model or use snapping hints produced by the geometry. We can also set the units to millimeter, centimeter, meter, inch, foot, and even some fractional settings, as well as degree format settings for fractional.


degrees and decimal degrees. There are also some settings for your views in the appearance where the grid position shows up by default when you're not sketching. Settings for your space mouse. And under the appearance tab, you can find settings for circular annotations such that it will always make them radius values or by default, radius and diameter.


The distinction here is that radius is for an arc or a partial circle, and the diameter is reserved for full circles only. The orthographic and perspective slider will be more important when you're working in 3D. Most CAD is done completely orthographic, but most visual representations are done with at least some perspective. This is something you'll have to play with on your own and figure out what works for you.


Next, we'll go ahead and add our second circle. So click the center, drag the radius. Now you've probably still got your circle tool enabled. And if I click, it's still on. So there are a couple of ways to get out of the circle tool. One, you can press escape on the keyboard. That will get you out. I'm pressing C to get back into the circle command quickly. You can also right click and


Either exit the sketch or just drop the circle tool. That's from a right mouse button menu. So let me delete this extra circle and let's continue with our work. Now we need to position these circles. So I'll grab the center of this circle and drag it onto the origin. The origin is where all of these lines come together. When I drop that there, I get a padlock and clicking on this.


will mean that my circle is going to stay at the origin. And if I try to drag it off, I get this tool tip up at the top that says locked point can't be moved. So anytime you need to lock something down, using the lock icon is a good way to do that.


You can also select this from the constraint settings on the right hand side. You can resize the circle by grabbing the circumference and dragging it up and down. And while we're here, let's put a dimension on this circle. There is no explicit dimension tool. Simply selecting a sketch element will cause a dimension to be displayed. Please join us for part two of sketching the cover.


Try it yourself

Motorcycle cover
Piston rod
Rod clamp
4 motorcycle wheel
Block casting


About the instructor


Matt Lombard is an independent product development professional, working in the field for 30 years. He has done a variety of work from plastics design and surfacing work to writing instructional and reference materials and writing about the engineering technology industry. Matt has also served as CAD Admin, PDM implementor, and engineering process consultant.

Return to top
Was this article helpful?
14 out of 19 found this helpful


See more