Elements in the Graphic-Area

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Elements in the Graphic-Area

Elements and their Symbols

We use symbols to represent different elements in the graphic-area.

You can change the size and color of the different symbols with Application Settings > Accessibility > Graphics > Display Size

Symbols in the graphic-area


Planes in the Model-Editor.

The model has three fixed Planes in the Model-Editor.

Model Axes in the Model-Editor

The model shows the fixed Red(X), Green(Y) and Blue(Z) axes. They locate the Global Origin of the model.


Planes in the Mechanism-Editor.

The axes on each Plane show its orientation.

The smaller Red, Green and Blue axes are the Plane's X, Y, and Z-axes respectively.

They locate the Plane's Origin and any Mechanism-Editor you may add to the Plane.


Part-Outlines: Added Parts and Base-Part

The Part-Outline is the symbol for a Part.

The Part-Outline symbol for an Added-Part is an ovalRed-14-1b

The Part-Outline symbol for the Base-Part is a rectangleRed-14-2.

The Part's x, Y and Z axes are at its start-Point

Each added-Part has a CAD-LineRed-14-3 from its start-Point to its end-Point.


Part-Outlines:  solved and unsolved Parts

Each Part has two kinematic states: Solved and Unsolved

The state is indicated by the color of the Part-Outline:

The Part-Outline is GreenRed-14-1b when it is a Solved Part. It has zero(0) degrees-of-freedom.

Other terms for a solved Part are: kinematically-defined Part, and Green Part.

The Part-Outline is BlueRed-14-2 when it is an Unsolved Part.  It has a maximum of three(3) Degrees-of-Freedom

Other terms for an Unsolved Part are: free Part, and Blue Part.


Pin-Joints in the Mechanism-Editor

When you do Add Pin-Joint, you select a Point in two Parts.

The symbol for a Pin-Joint between

Points in two different Added-Parts is a circle that is slightly larger than Point symbolRed-14-1b

a Point in an Added-Part and a Point in the Base-Part is a GST-PointSymbol symbolRed-14-2


Slide-Joint in the Mechanism-Editor

When you do Add Slide-Joint, you select a Line in two Parts.

This symbol for a Slide-Joint is:

a narrowRed-14-1b rectangle along one of the two Lines

a wideRed-14-2 rectangle along the other of the two Lines

a small arrowheadRed-14-3, which indicates the positive direction of the slide-joint.


Part-Axes in the Mechanism-Editor

The Part-Axes symbols are 'small' in a Mechanism-Editor.

The Axes of the Base-PartRed-14-1b are at the Origin of Mechanism-Plane

The Axes of an Added-PartRed-14-2 are at the start-Point of the CAD-Line.


Part Axes in the Part-Editor

The Part-Axes symbols are large in the Part-Editor.

The X-axis is Orange

The Y-axis is Light Green

The length of the CAD-Line maybe longer or shorter than the X-axis.

If you zoom-in, the CAD-Line appears longer relative to the axes.





Point Symbols

Mechanism-Editor: The color of Point and sketch-element symbols depend on the kinematic state of the Part to which the sketch-element is a child. In the help we use these colors to help identify Point:

Mechanism-Editor: Points are BlueRed-14-1b (Parts that are not solved), or GreenRed-14-2 (Parts that are solved)

In the Part-Editor: Points may be BlueRed-14-2 (Not defined), or BlackRed-14-4 (defined)

GST-Symbol-Points-C GST-Symbol-Points-D

'+' : center-Points (center of Arcs and Circles)

'O' : start-point or end-point of Lines or Arcs.

'CirclePlus' : start-Point or end-Point that is coincident with a center-Point


The 'Locked Point' Symbol

When you use the Point Properties dialog to Lock and Specify a Point in a Part, the Points show as small Position Symbols.


A Vector Symbol

You can show vectors in the graphic-area when you:

Use the Point Properties dialog to show the Velocity-Vector and Acceleration-Vectors of a Point.

Use Calculate Forces and Display Force-Vectors to see the Force-Vectors and Torque-Vectors.


Function-Block input-connector and output-connector Symbols

Function-BlocksRed-14-1b are a graphical icons that represent their function.

The input-connectorsRed-14-2 are to the left-side of the Function-Blocks.

The output-connectorsRed-14-3 are to the right-side of the Function-Blocks.

WiresRed-14-4 are from an output-connector to an input-connector.


Motor Symbol

When you Display Force-Vectors, the Motor-SymbolRed-14-1b that drives a Joint is the Power-Source.

This image shows the Motor-Symbol at a Pin-Joint.

The Torque-VectorRed-14-2 indicate the Application-Torque that a motor  must be able to drive.



The Spring FB element has three symbols in the graphic-area:

Symbol Red-14-1b: FB - see below Spring FB connectors

Symbol Red-14-2: Spring between the anchor-points

Symbol Red-14-3: Dimension between the anchor-points.


Ball-Joint and Connecting-Part Symbol

The Ball-Joint has its own symbol.

Edit its radius in the Ball-Joint dialog.

The Connecting-Part symbol replaces the Part-Outline when you join a Part to a different Part with two Ball-Joints.


Mass Symbol

Profile Mass: When you add a Profile, the Extrusion has mass. A small GST-PointSymbol symbol shows at the Center-of-Mass of each ProfileRed-14-2.

Total Mass: When you show Forces, the Total Mass is given next to the center-of-Mass symbol. The color of the symbol is the same as the Part-Outline, which becomes a random color when you Display Forces.

Total Mass on EACH Part = Mass of Extrusions + Mass of Imported Solids + Mass of User Defined Mass


2D-Cam Contact Points

When you add a 2D-Cam, the Contact points between the Cam and the Cam Follower are shown as small dowel symbols.

If these Points do not delete when you delete a cam, then edit the Cam-Part, and delete them.



The Symbol for a Motion-Point is a small triangle inside a small circle.

The circle is slightly smaller than the standard symbol for a Point.



The Symbol for a Gear-Pair is two involute Gears.

The Gear-Pair is a kinematic-element - it transmits motion from its input part to the output-part.

You can edit the Number-of-Teeth, Module, and many other parameters.



The Symbol for a Driving-Pulley is a different default color to a Driven Pulley

See Application Settings > Graphics > Graphic colors.

A Belt can drive the Pulleys, or a Pulley can drive the Belt.

Why is the Base-Part not Green?

The Base-Part is not Green!

The Base-Part is not Green!

If the Base-Part is a not Green (or a similar color) when you add your first Mechanism-Editor, it is usual that Display Force Vectors icon is enabled.

GST-Icon-Force-Vectors-Show Forces toolbar > Display Forces is enabled

However, there are no Force Vectors to see in the model.

To make the Base-Part Green, you should disable Show Force Vectors

GST-Icon-Force-Vectors-HideClick the Forces toolbar >Display Forces - it is now disabled.

When the icon is gray, Force-Vectors are disabled and the Base-Part should be Green.

Why is half of the Base-Part hidden by a Plane?

BasePart partial hidden by a Plane.

BasePart partial hidden by a Plane.

The Base-Part is partly hidden by a Plane if the:

GST-Icon-ShowModelinMechVisibility toolbar > Show Solids in Mechanism is enabled

When the Show Solids in Mechanism is enabled, we also show the Planes.

You can do:

GST-Icon-Visibility-ModelinMech-HideClick Visibility toolbar > Show Solids in Mechanism to disable.



GST-Icon-DispFilt-PlanesClick Display toolbar > Display Planes to disable Display Planes


Why is the Base-Part Pink or Grey?

The Base-Part is gray.

The Base-Part is gray.

The Grey Part-Outline of the Base-Part in a different Mechansim-Editor.

The Grey Part-Outline of the Base-Part in a different Mechansim-Editor.

You can see Kinematic and sketch-elements of other Mechanism-Editors when the:

GST-Icon-Visibility-Other Mech-SHOW Visibility toolbar > Show other Kinematic and Sketch-Elements - a Global Setting - is enabled

AND Mechanism name-tab light-bulb in the other Mechanism-Editors - a Local Setting - are enabled.

The Part-Outline of the Base-Part is a kinematic element.

To hide the Part-Outline of the Base-Part, click the icon to disable the Global-Setting.


The color of the other Kinematic and Sketch-Elements are specified by:

Application-Settings > Graphics tab > Graphic Colors > Background Sketch