Why use Add CAD-Line?

All Added-Parts [see Add menu > Mechanism sub-menu > Add Part] have a CAD-Line from its start-Point to its end-Point. You can also edit a CAD-Line to import a SolidWorks or STL [Solid], and so represent the 3D model.

However, you may want to import more Solids on to the same Part.

With more Solids on one Part, you can:

Show greater model fidelity with different Solid details, for the same moving Part.
Use Pattern > Phase Visibility tool to show and hide the different SolidWorks models at different phases in the machine cycle.

Use CAD-Lines to:

Import and show a DXF Drawings
Import and show a SOLIDWORKS® Part
Import and show an STL File
Specify Mass & Inertia Properties

Add CAD-Line

Geometry toolbar


Geometry toolbar


Add menu > Geometry sub-menu> > Add CAD-Line

What to do:

2.Click Geometry toolbar > Add CAD-Line.
3.Drag in the graphic-area to specify the start-Point and then its end-Point.

'Drag': mouse-button-down [start-Point], move your mouse-pointer, mouse-button-up [end-Point].

The CAD-Line is now in the graphic-area.

Free-Points and Merged-Points

Add the start-Point and end-Point of the CAD-Line as:


Add constraints and dimensions to the start-Point and end-Point later.

You can delete constraints and dimensions, if necessary.

Do this for a layout sketch.

See Also: How to Delete a Constraint


Do this to construct a sketch-path or sketch-loop

See: Hover+Drag , merge-points.

CAD-Line in Added Part and with the Add CAD-Line command

[Note: in the image, I have added the arrowheads along the CAD-Line to indicate the X-direction]

In the graphic-area:

CAD-Lines are dark green1s-red2s [default colour]

CAD-Lines have a Coordinate System:

The Origin is at the start-Point3s
+X–axis: from the Origin4s to the end-Point5s ,on the Mechanism Plane.
+Y–axis: at +90º from the +X–axis, on the Mechanism Plane.
+Z-axis: perpendicular to the Mechanism Plane [towards you in the default view [Front-View]]

The Coordinate System is important:

to orientate CAD elements that you import


In the Assembly-Tree:

CAD-Lines are the only sketch-elements that show in the Assembly-Tree.


What to do next:

CAD-Line dialog-box.

See: How to open a dialog-box

See about: CAD-Line dialog-box

Note: you can open the CAD-Line dialog-box from the:



Model-Editor [if there is a Solid linked to the CAD-Line]






Drag from the start-Point to the end-Point of CAD-Line


Pointn at each end of the CAD-Line

The CAD-Line shows in the Assembly-Tree.

Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd