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If you haven't tried it - DO!

If you haven't tried it - DO!

If you haven't tried it - DO!

I just stumbled across the program SmartSketch LE that comes packaged with Mathcad 2000 and 2001...   Boy oh boy have I been missing out.  Now my illustrations (necessary part of the documentation for any mathcad sheet I make, as far as I'm concerned) can be "live" reflections of the inputs and outputs of my calculations.  Sweeeeeeeeeeet.


(Still kicking myself for all the time I wasted making .bmp illustrations in MS Paint.)

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

The SmartSketch was a part of MathCad since 1998 (at least). At that time under the name "Imagineer LT". I agree that it is a very powerfull tool. Also as an 2D CAD software; it is fully parametrically controlled, what means that changing the number (size) in  a dimension changes the size of the associated feature. That's why they use it in MathCad - MathCad creates parameters and SmartSketch displays them.

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

Of course the user interface REALLY bites and the geometric constraints seem to have some problems (maybe I'm just spoiled, since the only cad packages I've used extensively are Unigraphics and Pro-Engineer)... but nonetheless it's a usable sketching tool that will allow the drawings to update w/ calculations.  It kicks the pants off of pc-paint.

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

I agree. For me the constraints work well; sometimes it is easier to re-create the geometry than to try to fix the constraints. Of course it is not UG, but it also did not cost that much...

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

I uses it for sketching electrical single line diagrams, and entering the system parameters (voltages, impedances etc) as "dimensions" in the sketch.  Great when setting up distance relays - draw the front face of the relay with all the dials and "dimension" the dials with their settings.  Even better if you use it with Mathconnex to allow creation of a nice user interface for input and output of data and hiding the internal workings from sticky fingers!


RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

Well, I just spent my evening trying to learn how to use this feature.  It was almost as fun as biting my tongue off and sewing it back on.

I was able to get the smartsketch component to show the value of the variable X in the tools>Variables table, it matched whatever I set it equal to in mathcad.  But I could not make it control the length of a line.  I read the mathcad help, the mathcad PDF, still couldn't see how to do it.  

Anyone care to clue me in?  Is there a good step by step tutorial somewhere to help me get started?


RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

heheheeh... I had the same problem at first.  Two things to check:

1) Is "maintain relationships" turned on?  (Tools | M.R.)

2) Did you find the driving/driven button?  Select the dimension, and look for the button with an icon that looks like a length dimension with a padlock on it.  Set the dimension to be "driving."

Lemme know if that helps.

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

Thanks!  That was the problem - I didn't notice that &%!!!# driving/driven button!  Hehe, gotta love this twisted and convoluted interface.  I wrote a 12 step method for getting started with smartsketch for the other guys in my office, so that they can get at least as far in 5 minutes as I got in 3 hours...

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

SmartSketch LE is great but with some limitations. For example, the worst thing for me is the file format that you can save... (.igr or something...), not readable with any other software. Am I wright?

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!


You have to upgrade to the full version of SmartSketch to read or write dwg/dxf or dgn. In my experience though, the translation isnt that great.

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

     Well, I did it.  I tried Smartsketch.  All I wanted to do for a simple demo was create a rectangle and then change its size using Mathcad to modify dimensions.  So far is has been far less usefull than scratching my drawing into the sidewalk with a nail.  I have been through Mathcad Help and Smartsketch Help.  They talk about input and output variables and I have tried a lot of combos but nothing works.  Is there an example buried somewhere in Mathcad that will show exactly how this stuff fits together?  

PS  It appears that you cannot make a "driving" dimension on a rectangle object, you have to draw the rectangle using lines to do this.  Even after this discovery though nothing works.

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

Have you followed teh prcedure in the FAQ on this forum?


Greg Locock

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

Thanks Greg,

    This looks promising.  I'll give it a try tonight.

Dave Adkins

RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

There is a video posted on the Smartsketch forum (www.smartsketch.com). You can log on as a guest and it is located within a thread called Smartsketch/Mathcad interaction (or similar).

It is a good example using a 3,4,5 triangle.


RE: If you haven't tried it - DO!

   Thanks I'll have a look at that too.

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