Getting Started with 3D Models

Opening Files

  • To open a CAD file
  • Click the Open File button (or use the File > Open menu item)
  • Browse to find your CAD file, SpinFire Professional 10.x.3D file, or SpinFire Ultimate .ACT3D file (For a list of the file format versions supported navigate to Options > Importers)
  • Click Open.

TIP: ACT3D files have a preview thumbnail to help you quickly find a file based on an image simply by selecting it in the Open file dialog.

Importing Models

Import 3D models into the existing work space in SpinFire Ultimate to build new exciting assemblies or perform model compares

To import a 3D model

  • Select Import… from the open button
  • Browse and find the file to add to the current work space
  • Select the file
  • Click Open.

Assembly Tree

  • Expand nodes in the assembly tree by clicking the ‘+’ boxes
  • Collapse by clicking the respective ‘–’ boxes
  • Selecting nodes in the assembly tree highlights respective parts in the graphics window
  • Right-mouse-click on a node to view available commands which include:
    • Hiding part
    • Show only
    • Focus
    • Changing color
    • Changing transparency
    • Changing the render mode
    • Transforming
    • Calculating volume, surface area, center of mass, weight, bounding box
    • Deleting
    • Renaming
    • Retrieving and adding meta data properties

VIDEO: Load Only Assembly + File Import + Transform by Handle

3D Tool Bar

Use buttons on the 3D tool bar to change views of the model or analyze the model

Title Description
Hide/Show Browser Pane Controls the visibility of the browser pane on the left side of the SpinFire  window.
Selection (or Picking) Mode The selection/picking mode determines whether a part (left icon) or a surface (right icon) is selected when you right-click on a model.
Background Color Menu Enables you to override the default Workspace background color and gradient options.
Display Menu Controls whether or not notes, dimensions, coordinate systems, or PMI annotations are displayed in the scene. You can also use this menu to turn on/off the grid, axis triad, or navigation cube.
Viewports Menu Contains options for splitting the viewport into two or more viewports.
Projection Mode Determines whether perspective (left icon) or parallel (right icon) projection is used in the scene.
Rendering Menu Controls how the 3D objects are drawn.
Effects Menu Controls resolution, blurring, and intensity of blooms (bright spots), reflections, and shadows.
Zoom Menu Contains mouse mode (pointer behavior) and viewing options.
Section Menu Contains section plane and profile display commands; controls profile colors and plane alignment and placement.
3D Notes Menu Contains commands for inserting a note markup label.
Linear Menu Contains commands for measuring lengths, coordinates, and edges.
Advanced Measurement Menu Contains commands for measuring lengths, minimum thickness and distances, and areas.
Radial Menu Contains commands for measuring arcs and circles.
Angular Menu Contains commands for measuring angles.
Smart Edge Dimension A versatile edge and surface measuring tool.
Length Units Menu Provides options for choosing length measurement units. The new selection will override the default settings only in the active viewport.
Angular Units Menu Lists options for choosing angle measurement units. The new selection will override the default settings only in the active viewport.
Weight Units Menu Lists options for choosing weight measurement units. The new selection will override the default settings only in the active viewport.
Materials Menu Provides options for choosing which material is to be used when the object is manufactured. The drop-down list originates from the Measurement section on the 3D Viewer settings page > Define Materials….

The new selection will override the default settings only in the active viewport.

Analysis Perform further analysis on your model with color mapped visuals with model compare, draft angle analysis, wall thickness and curvature.
Exploded Assembly Exploded Assembly enables you to quickly transform multiple or all parts of an assembly in a chosen uniform pattern.
Coordinate System Opens a dialog box for creating/changing a coordinate system.
Properties Shows the meta data found in the CAD file.

For parts, users can enter in additional data to be saved with their ACT3D files.

3D Viewer Settings Opens an Options dialog box that allows you to change 3D Viewer settings.

3D Markups & Measurements

Utilize SpinFire Ultimate mark ups and measurements to label parts, provide notes for colleagues, perform important measurements, and analyze critical features of the model.

To create a note, mark up, or measurement

  • Choose the type of note, mark up, or measurement from the 3D tool bar.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the SpinFire Interface
  • Set the mark up in the location desired

To further edit the mark up

  • Navigate to the Markups panel by clicking on Markups
  • Right mouse click on the mark up desired in the list on the markups panel or on the physical markup itself within the graphical area.
  • The context menu differs depending on the note, markup, or measurement selected. View and select the operation desired.
  • To change principal markup properties such as font, text color, markup color, line color, etc. select Properties.

Note: Set up markup properties in Options > Settings > 3D Viewer under Colors and Label Fonts and Colors if you desire all markups to have a specific look and feel moving forward.

3D Notes

There are a variety of notes you can apply to your work space to describe an item, jot down a thought, or leave a note for a colleague.

Type Description
3D Point Note A 3D Point Note is attached to a selected point on a model.
3D Edge Note A 3D Edge Note is attached to selected edge on the model.
3D Note A 3D Note is attached to a selected spot in the 3D space and will rotate along with your model.
2D Note A 2D Note “floats” above the scene and remains in place as you pan, rotate, or zoom—it does not move with the model.
3D Surface Note A 3D Surface Note is attached to selected surface on the model.
Auto Note Auto Note enables you to automatically name or number all or selected parts or subassemblies that comprise your model.

VIDEO: 3D Notes

3D Linear Measurements

Quantify, evaluate and document your assembly and part dimensions using the many SpinFire Ultimate Linear measurements.

Type Description
Point Coordinates Determines the X, Y, and Z coordinates of a selected point on the model.
Arc Center Coordinates Determines the X, Y, and Z coordinates of the center of a selected arc on the model.
Surface Point Coordinates Determines the X, Y, and Z coordinates of a point on a selected surface.
Two Edge Intersection Point Coordinates Determines the X, Y, and Z coordinates where two edges intersect.
Edge Length Measures the length of an edge on the model. The edge is highlighted when the pointer is properly positioned.
Thickness Measures the distance between a selected surface and the nearest surface.
Point to Point Measures the distance between two selected points on the model.
Point to Edge Measures the distance between a selected point and an edge on the model.
Arc Center to Edge Measures the distance between the center of a selected arc on the model and an edge on the model.
Arc Center to Arc Center Measures the distance between the centers of two selected arcs on the model.
Arc Center to Surface Point Measures the distance between the center of a selected arc on the model and a surface point on the model.
Surface Point to Surface Point Measures the distance between two points on a surface on the model or between two points on two different surfaces.
Surface Point to Edge Measures the distance between a point on a model surface and a selected edge.
Distance Between Two Surfaces Measures the distance between two flat parallel surfaces.
Sum of Connected Edges Calculates the sum of any number of connected edges selected by the user.

3D Advanced Measurements

Additional SpinFire Ultimate measurements are available to calculate special scenarios such as measuring the length of a pipe or finding the volume of a void.

Type Description
Tube Length Measures the length of a tube between first and last radii selections.
Minimum Distance Measures the shortest distance between two sets of points or surfaces.
Minimum Thickness Calculates the minimum thickness of a set of points or surfaces.
Minimum Distance Between Edges Measures the shortest distance between two edges on the model.
Minimum Distance Between Two Surfaces Measures the shortest distance between two surfaces.
Minimum Distance From Arc Center to Surface Measures the shortest distance from a selected arc center point to a surface.
Boundary Center by Edges Determines the center point of a boundary defined by connected edges.
Boundary Area by Edges Calculates the area of a boundary defined by connected edges.
Boundary Volume by Surfaces Calculates the volume of a space defined by connected surfaces.

Radial Measurements

SpinFire Ultimate Radial measurements enables users to perform measurements surrounding arcs and circles.

Type Description
Arc Diameter Measures the diameter of a circle derived from a selected arc on the model.
Arc Radius Measures the radius of a circle derived from a selected arc on the model.
Circle by Three Points Draws a visible circle that passes through three selected points on the model and determines the diameter of the circle.

VIDEO: Arc Diameter

VIDEO: Arc Radius

VIDEO: Circle By Three Points

3D Angular Measurements

SpinFire Ultimate angular measurements can calculate mundane angles between edges to presenting tangent angles to arcs and surface draft angles.

Type Description
Three Points Angle Measures an angle defined by two segments with a common point.
Two Edge Angle Measures an angle defined by two edges on the model.
Surface Point to Point Angle Measures an angle defined by the line between a point and a surface point and the normal vector of the surface.
Surface Point to Edge Angle Measures an angle defined by a point on the surface and a straight edge on the model.
Surface point to Surface Point Angle Measures the angle defined by points on two surfaces.
Surface Point to Circle Tangent Angle Measures the angle defined by a point on a surface and the tangent of a selected circle.
Two Points Draft Angle Measures an angle defined by a line between two selected points and the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.
Surface Draft Angle Measures an angle defined by a surface point and the X-, Y-, or Z-axis.

VIDEO: Angular Menu

3D Analysis

Use SpinFire Ultimate 3D Analysis tools to identify useful information quickly through a graphical color representation of the analysis. Save the analysis as a user view to refer to later or markup appropriately.

Type Description
Model Compare Take two similar parts and view similarities and differences through the use of coloring mapping.
Draft Angle Analysis Through color mapping, analyze a part(s) for proper the draft angle.
Wall Thickness Analysis Discover the part thickness based on a color mapping analysis.
Curvature Analysis Analyze the curvature of surfaces based on a graphical color representation.

VIDEO: Model Compare

VIDEO: Draft Angle Analysis

VIDEO: Wall Thickness Analysis

VIDEO: Curvature Analysis

3D Sectioning

The capability to display a cross section of a part or assembly is one of the most important and useful features of SpinFire Ultimate.

Use the Section button from the 3D tool bar to enable sectioning.

Additionally flip sections, switch to multiple sectioning planes, align planes by axis, and place planes by coordinates.

Use the Define Section dialog to gain full control over your section planes.

Right-mouse click on a section plane to find quick commands to control the section plane(s).

On a single plane, step into projection mode and calculate the area projected.

Single plane sectioning also permits you to

  • Calculate area, perimeter, and centroid
  • Create a 2D document in the work space of the section profile,
  • Export to DXF
  • And produce a section profile table of parts to create mark ups, user views, copy to the clipboard, and export to a file (.TXT, .CSV, .XML, .XLS, .XLSX).

VIDEO: Section Menu

3D User Views

A user view is a custom view of the 3D scene that has been (named and) saved by a user. User view information is saved in the Actify .ACT3D file.

You can add a user view or access saved user views from the Views browser pane.

A user view may be selected as the “startup view,” which is displayed when the file is opened.

Some features allow you to create a user view directly from the function.

  • Exploded assemblies
  • Model compare
  • Draft angle analysis
  • Wall thickness analysis
  • Curvature analysis
  • Section profiles

Creating a User View

To manually create a user view:

  • Arrange the model in the desired angle view, color, render mode, measurements, etc
  • Go to the Views panel.
  • Right-mouse click on the User Views section.
  • Select New User View
  • Enter a name.
  • Select Make this the startup view if you wish the view to be the one that appears when loading the saved ACT3D file.
  • Click OK.

Viewing a User View

To view a user view:

  • Go to the Views panel.
  • Click on the user view.

Updating a User View

If you are viewing a user view and decide to change the camera view of the model,

Update the user view by:

  • Right-mouse clicking on Camera for the respective user view.
  • Select Update Camera.

Mark ups and measurements can appear in your user view or be removed specifically form a user view but appear in others. To adjust markups,

  • Go to the Mark up panel.
  • Right-mouse click on the mark up in question.
  • Select Remove Mark up from View to remove it.

VIDEO: User Views

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