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Can we have Ortho Snaps on Depth planes? AKA Drawing an ortho vertical opening rectangle in 3D. It seems like a simple task, but what's the simplest solution?

Question asked by ben radford on Oct 14, 2019

A Macro Idea, for TML?


Consider if you have a window to draw, like so ( I have a depth plane, the building face, and assume surveyed points at corners )



If you try to use Ortho snaps, then you get some very strange results because despite being in station view it will draw the line ortho snapped to northing/easting axis in plan view


So this, where the blue cross looks odd:

becomes this when the corner is clicked

and becomes this in plan view which isn't helping:


Obviously Ortho snap is designed for use with 2D viewports only.


So, my question is:   how to achieve a rectangle for the window, with vertical sides and a horizontal top? 


Obviously I can export to an external CAD program or Sketchup for example, and draw a vertical rectangle between points in seconds, or trace over an Ortho image externally etc. Or auto generate it from field coding in any number of ways. But I'd like to use TBC.


Rectangles cannot be drawn directly on Depth planes either. If you try, between the two corners, you get this:

(To be fair it says in the help that Rectangle command is only useful for the 2D views.)

...Not horizontal with respect to the depth plane but instead with respect to the viewport window which isn't the point:


in plan view:


But it would be nice if there was a rectangle command that could  accomplish this. OR that the Ortho snaps worked on Depth planes and so Create Linestring command can be used here to make vertical and horizontal lines. 


I know that one can copy and paste H&V coordinates from one vertex to another when using Create Linestring but that's obviously not really a productive solution. 


Instead, creating a cutting plane for each elevation face, producing an ortho image, then using Rectangle command to select the surveyed corner points, would do it. But when using Station view or images to finish off linework this is too tedious to be productive because it would require production of duplicated Plane Definitions (and if you want, ortho images) for each face or feature set back.

Furthermore there are issues with existing data showing in a cutting plane or projecting to 2D, which complicate this workflow ( see my other post Filter manager settings and CAD linework in Cutting plane view  )



Maybe you could use the surveyed point at each corner, and draw it in the 3D view? you can't because Create Rectangle has a fixed elevation with respect to the current coordinate system of the plan view or cutting view windows.


Drawing an ortho vertical opening rectangle in 3D. It seems like a simple task, but what's the simplest solution?


I'll look stupid if I've missed something ! - it certainly feels like I have I can't believe it's never been asked before, this is such a basic thing. - but I would be grateful to be shown the best way. Please advise one way or another


Thanks in advance


Tagging Alan Sharp   , thanks!