The 20 Essential Shortcuts and Commands

You Need to Know when Working with 3D Scan Data in Ares Commander

The 20 Essential Shortcuts and Commands You Need to Know When Working with 3D Scan Data in Ares Commander


Working with 3D point cloud data can be complex, requiring many tools to convert point clouds into 2D/3D CAD deliverables. ARES Commander with the Undet Point Cloud plugin provides robust tools and commands to streamline and enhance the point cloud-to-CAD process. However, familiarity with these tools is insufficient. They must be quickly accessed and used to achieve optimal efficiency.

TIP: Memorizing shortcuts and commands to use them from the command line is the fastest way to improve your productivity. CAD technicians who leverage keyboard shortcuts over manual tool selection from the interface can achieve a 30-50% increase in speed. As such, we’re here to help you learn how to use these as quickly as possible.

This guide will not cover basic drawing commands, such as creating lines, polylines, rectangles, or copying objects using the COPY command. Instead, we will focus on the essential shortcuts and commands you need for daily work with point cloud digitization in ARES Commander. Below are the selected tools and commands:

1. CCS (Custom Coordinate System): Establishes a custom coordinate system aligned with point cloud points.

• CAD Command: CCS or UCS

• For quick use, type CCS or UCS, and press ENTER.


2. CSSTYLE (Coordinate System Manager): Facilitates saving, renaming, and deleting coordinate systems.

• CAD Command: CSSTYLE

• For quick use, type UCSMAN or CSSTYLE, and press ENTER.


3. Plan View Tool: Reverts to the active coordinate system’s plan view (XY plane).


• For quick use, type PLAN, and press ENTER twice.


4. Power Trim Tool: Extends multiple lines by dragging the pointer across them.


• For quick use, type PTR, and press ENTER.

TIP: The other trimming command is the TRIM command, but the key is to use it quickly: type TR at the command prompt and double-click the right mouse button – you’ll immediately be able to select the lines you want to trim.


5. Extend Tool: Lengthens lines up to the selected line.

• CAD Command: EXTEND

• For quick use, select the line to which you want to extend other lines, type EX, and press ENTER.

TIP: Lines can also be easily extended using the POWERTRIM command by holding down SHIFT and selecting the lines you want to extend.


6. Chamfer Tool: Combines and extends two lines into a single polyline.

• CAD Command: CHAMFER

• For quick use, enter CHA, press ENTER, and select the lines you want to intersect.


7. Convert to ARC: Transforms polyline segments into arcs.

• For quick use, select the center of the polyline and choose convert to arc from the pop-up menu.

TIP: In a similar way, you can also insert an additional vertex to the selected polyline. To do this, select the Insert Vertex command.


8. Stretch Tool: Elongates CAD geometry without breaking or splitting it.

• CAD Command: STRETCH

• For quick use, type STR, wait half a second, press ENTER, and select lines to stretch.


9. Mirror Tool: Generates reversed copies of selected objects.

• CAD Command: MIRROR

• For quick use, select the lines you want to mirror, type MIRROR, press ENTER, select the reference line, and press ENTER again.


10. Property Painter Tool: Applies desired properties to objects, including colour, layer, line type, and material properties.


• For quick use, select reference lines, type MA, press ENTER, and select the lines you want to apply properties to.


11. Get Distance Tool: Measures the distance between two points in a drawing.


• For quick use, type DI, press ENTER, and measure the distance between two mouse clicks.


12. CTRL + Right Mouse Click: Provides swift access to contextual menus or snap functions.

• For quick use, hold CTRL, and click the right mouse button.


13. Offset Tool: Creates parallel copies of selected objects at a specified distance.

• CAD Command: OFFSET

• For quick use, select the lines to offset, type OFF, wait for half a second, press ENTER, select the offset step and click the left mouse button.


14. Note Tool: Adds text annotations or labels to a drawing.

• CAD Command: NOTE

• For quick use, type T, press ENTER, select area to add note, enter your note and click the left mouse button.


15. Properties Window: Displays essential information about selected objects.

• For quick use, hold CTRL, and press 1.


16. Copy with Reference Tool: Duplicates objects while specifying a specific reference point.

• CAD Command: _COPY@ (CTRL+SHIFT+C)

• For quick use, select lines and objects to copy, hold CTRL+SHIFT and press C. Select the reference point and press CTRL+P (PASTE).

TIP: You can also use reference point – 0,0,0. To do this, select lines and objects to copy, hold CTRL+SHIFT, press C, enter 0,0,0, and press ENTER. You can use the same reference point at 0,0,0 to paste the copied object.


17. Break Line Command: Creates segmented lines to represent breaks in continuous objects.


• For quick use, type BREAKLINE, and press ENTER.


18. Hatch Tool: Fills enclosed areas with patterns or colours.

• CAD Command: HATCH

• For quick use, type HATCH, and select areas to hatch with the pre-selected pattern.


19. View Tiles Tool: Divides workspace into multiple viewports.


• For quick use, type VPORTS, and select the default configuration.

TIP. You can use the UNDET_VP_RESIZE command to change the view tiles size. For quick use, type VP_R, wait a half a second, and press ENTER.


20. QS (Quick Save) Tool: Saves work progress swiftly, without going through the traditional save dialog.

• CAD Command: QSAVE (SAVE)

• For quick use, type QS, wait a half a second, and press ENTER.


Memorising these commands and shortcuts will significantly enhance your productivity when working with point cloud digitisation in ARES Commander. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Software used in the video content: #ARES Commander 2024, #Undet plugin for ARES Commander.


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