SUMO Reference Axis – Incredibly Useful

The Reference Axis tool might initially appear somewhat arbitrary among the list of modeling tools in SUMO. However, it swiftly distinguishes itself as a unique tool with highly specific applications that can substantially streamline your modeling workflows.

Within the SUMO graphical interface, three axes and three workplanes (views in SUMO) are present: X, Y, and Z axes, along with X-Y (Front View), X-Z (Top View), and Y-Z (Left View) workplanes. Commencing your model at 0; 0; 0 and structuring it to accommodate primary structural “profiles” on one of the default workplanes is an immensely beneficial practice. This approach averts any instances where elements snap to a member and subsequently stretch to the local workplane, rather than being on the identical plane as the member you snapped to (a desired outcome).

Essentially, elements invariably reference the nearest default axis. To address this, Prokon has introduced the Reference Axis function, granting users the ability to generate additional workplanes that can subsequently be established as the Reference Axis. The provided model is configured to showcase the Left View, yet the model doesn’t extend into the screen; rather, it extends outward toward the observer. Let’s attempt to draw a Portal Frame. Upon snapping the start of my Construction Line to the top of the column and selecting a location for the Apex tip, everything appears satisfactory until I rotate my view.

While still in the Left View, all appears well at first glance, but a revelation awaits. That’s a Construction Line, aren’t they meant to be infinite? Clarity emerges upon model rotation: The Construction Line snapped to the “closest” column, yet its endpoint adhered to the Y-Z workplane located at the “rear” of the model.

To mitigate this problem, I can establish a Reference Axis at the “front” of the model. Reverting to the Left View, I can then modify the Reference Axis to Reference Axis 1.

Employing the exact workflow as before with the Construction Line yields a significantly more satisfactory outcome.

Finally set your Reference Axis back to None and complete your model as per normal.

The careful use of the Reference Axis function has the potential to alleviate typically exasperating (or even seemingly “impossible”) workflows. Its utility isn’t confined to the aforementioned procedure alone; in the latest SUMO version, you can also project elements onto a defined plane. For a demonstration, refer to our YouTube page.

The Reference Axis is your tool for tackling complexity in structural modeling. It helps you align elements precisely and handle tricky angles. Whether you’re working on big structures or fine details, the Reference Axis is here to simplify things. Thanks for reading about using the Reference Axis in SUMO. Keep exploring and creating!

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