PolyCAD Options Panel

The PolyCAD Options Panel controls features and parameters common to the editing environment. The parameters cover features such as manipulation options, colors and units etc.

Manipulation Options

Controls various editing and interactive manipulation options.

Grid Spacing Specifies the Grid interval.
Major Frequency Specified the frequency at which the major grid line should occur.
Key Nudge Specified the distance that control points will move when modified using the arrow keys.
Grid Turns the Grid On or Off
Enhanced 3D Editing Turns Enhanced 3D Editing On of Off
Grid Snap Turns the Grid Snapping On or Off
Object Snap Turns the Object Snapping On or Off
Object Highlighting Turns interactive Highlighting On or Off
Show contours while editing Show surface contours while in edit mode
Show curvature while editing Show curvature of curves and surfaces while in edit mode


Specifies color used in the view and while editing.

Background Background color of the modelling environment
Normal Drawing Initial color of all new entities
Selected Color when entities are selected
Disabled When an entity is being edited, the color of the other entities.
First Curve Point The color of the first control point of a curve
Control Polygon The color of the control polygon line segments
X Contours The color of generated X contours
Y Contours The color of generated Y contours
Z Contours The color of generated Z contours
Opening Normal Vector The color of the normal vector of opening entities.
Major Grid Color The color of the major lines of the grid
Minor Grid Color The color of the minor lines of the grid
Axis Icon Color The color of the Axis Icon
Snap Icon Color The color of the snap icons
3D Edit Icons Color The color of the Enhanced 3D Editing icons

Axis Icon Location

The axis icon displays the directions of the main axis directions. It can be displayed at the origin of the environment, at the bottom left corner of the view or disabled.

Adaptive Degradation

Adaptive degradation controls how entities are drawn when the model view is rotated, panned or zoomed. As complex objects take more time to draw, they can be displayed as bounding boxes during view manipulation rather than slow the operation.

Always Always displays entities as bound boxes when the model view is manipulated
When Required If a drawing operation of the screen takes longer than delay, the view swaps into the bound box view for the duration of the operation.
Delay Specifies the maximum time in which the screen should be updated before the view swaps to displaying bound boxes.
Never Never use adaptive degradation

View Rotation Mode

Depending on personal preference, the camera can be rotated using two methodologies.

About Project Centre The model is rotated about the project centre.
About Camera "Lookat" Point The camera rotates about a "lookat" point.

Surface Curvature Shading Model

Controls how surface curvature is displayed.

Mono Displays surface curvature using a linear grey scale color model.
RGB Displays surface curvature using a RGB color model. Color intensity is not constant.
HSL Displays surface curvature using a HSL color model. Color intensity is constant.

Surface Zebra Shading Parameters

Controls the display of Isophotes/Zebra continuity shading on mathematical surfaces. Rotate the sphere to change the light direction. The buttons in the top left can be used to control the angular resolution of light vector changes. The reset button return the light vector to the centre, i.e. the light source shines is directly above the surface and shines down the Z axis.

Zebra Band Colors Control the two colors of the zebra stripes.
Zebra Band Transition Frequencies Controls the number of bands, the angles refer to the frequency at which the color transition from one to the other with respect to the angle between the surface normal and light source vector.

System Options

Control project file options.

Open Project on Startup Control whether an new project is opened on starting PolyCAD.
Enable Auto Save Turn Autosave on or off. This only functions if the project have been previous saved.
Interval The interval between autosaves.
Resolve NVIDIA Double Buffering Problems This option resolved problems with rubber banding/dragging that occurs with some modern cards. See here for illustration.

Design Units (for Hydrostatics)

Defines the scale units of the model design for the purpose of hydrostatic calculations.

Hydrostatic Mass Units

Defines the mass units that will be used when displaying displacement (weight).