|DesignSpark Mechanical Online Help|
DS Mechanical’s graphical user interface (GUI) was designed to conform (within reason) to Microsoft standards and contains the toolbars, buttons, and windows associated with a Microsoft-compliant graphical application. As a result, only those features of the GUI that relate to performing DS Mechanical -specific tasks are explained in this guide. We assume, for example, that you are familiar with standard Windows conventions, such as dragging a window’s title bar to move the window, or clicking the close button to close the window.
To take advantage of the full range of DS Mechanical features, we recommend using DS Mechanical with a scroll wheel mouse. However, DS Mechanical is also fully operational with a laptop's touchpad and integrated mouse buttons. You can use the nub as a scroll wheel, and configure the laptop so that pressing both buttons simultaneously behaves the same as pressing a middle mouse button.
This image shows the major interface elements in the DS Mechanical application:
File menu: Contains file-related commands and options to customize DS Mechanical.
Quick Access toolbar: Can be customized so that it contains the file-related shortcuts you use most often.
Ribbon: Contains all the tools and modes you need to design, detail, and display models, and drawing sheets.
Active tool: The active tool is highlighted in orange.
Design windowArea in the user interface that displays your model or assembly. Also known as Workspace.: Displays your model. If you are in sketch or section modes, it also contains the sketch grid to show the 2D plane on which you are working. The tool guides for the selected tool appear on the right side of the Design windowArea in the user interface that displays your model or assembly. Also known as Workspace.. The cursor also changes to indicate the selected tool guide. The mini-toolbar places commonly used options and actions close to the cursor.
Mini-toolbarSet of tool-specific options that appears when you right-click in the Design2D or 3D model that contains at least one top-level component. window. You can also access the options in the Options panel.: Contains frequently used options for the current tool.
Tool guidesFunctions that are specific to the selected tool.: Help step you through using the tool and change the way the tool behaves.
Status bar: The status bar displays messages and progress information about your actions on the current design.
The panels initially appear along the left side of the application window. You can dock and detach these panels.
Structure panel: Contains the Structure tree, which shows you each of the objects in your design. You can quickly show or hide any object using the checkbox next to the object's name. You can expand or collapse the nodes of the tree, rename objects, create, modify, replace, and delete objects, as well as work with components.
Layers panel: The Layers panel allows you to group objects and set their visual characteristics, such as visibility and color.
Selection panel: The Selection panel lets you select other objects related to the one currently selected.
Views panel: The Views panel stores standard and custom views, and lets you assign shortcut keys to custom views.
Options panelArea of the user interface that enables you to modify functions specific to tools.: The Options panel allows you to modify the functions of the DS Mechanical tools. For example, when you use the PullTool used to distort or deform geometry. Use the Pull tool to offset, extrude, revolve, sweep, draft, and blend faces; or to round, chamfer, or extrude edges. When converting a sketch to 3D, pulling a line creates a surface and pulling a surface creates a solid. tool, selecting an edge and then selecting the ChamferSloping corner between two edges created using the PullTool used to distort or deform geometry. Use the Pull tool to offset, extrude, revolve, sweep, draft, and blend faces; or to round, chamfer, or extrude edges. When converting a sketch to 3D, pulling a line creates a surface and pulling a surface creates a solid. tool; angle with equal setback; bevel. Edge3D object composed of a single outside boundary of a feature. A line sketched in 2D becomes an edge when you pull your sketch into 3D. option creates a chamfer instead of a round when you pull the edge.
Properties panelArea of the user interface that displays editable details about the selected object(s). This panel is initially displayed on the lower left side of the screen, but can be moved.: The Properties panel displays details about the selected object. You can change the property values to change the object.
You can override the ribbon background image with the following command line options:
The image needs to be 52 pixels in height. The width can vary and you may have to experiment.
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