How to turn a radius dimension into a diameter

When you don’t draw an arc, SOLIDWORKS adds a radius dimension and not a diameter dimension.

I once told a supplier that it was impossible to change the dimension into a diameter.

Turns out I was wrong.

How to turn a radius dimension into a diameter (TLDR version)

  1. Select a dimension (in drawing, part or assembly)
  2. Look in the properties menu on the left
  3. Click the Leaders tab
  4. Click one of the two diameter buttons

Radius or diameter dimensions

Imagine you are designing a leaf spring with a hole hinge.

A hole hinge is a super awesome hinge out of a single piece of metal, with zero play.

When creating a drawing, SOLIDWORKS will automatically show a radius dimension on the arcs that are not complete circles.

Change the radius dimension to a diameter dimension

Suppose now I want to change the R3 dimension into a Ø6 dimension.

You do that in the properties menu that shows up when you select a dimension.

Click one of the two options in red. Both options turn the dimension into a diameter. I selected the option on the right.

solidworks radius dimension diameter

Now you have a diameter dimension, but the position is strange.

You’ll have to drag the dimension by the anchor point to reposition it.

SOLIDWORKS drag reposition radius diameter dimension

This is the final result:

So that was easy, wasn’t it?

Want more info on dimensions?

Then you need to check out this article on drawing dimensions from the SOLIDWORKS help.

Or check out our add-in Drew. Drew can automatically add outer dimensions to your drawing views. Without the crappy AutoDimension.

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