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How to display the coordinate system of the figure (UCS icon)?

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yu sh
yu sh on 6 Sep 2016
Edited: Divin Xavier on 8 Jan 2021
I have a 3D object having irregular shape and volume changing along the axes direction. I want to show the coordinate system icon in the figure associated with that object so that when I will rotate the object it will also change,like available in different CAD/CAE systems. How can I get this in MATLAB?
yu sh
yu sh on 6 Sep 2016
Thanks Henry I don't need arrowheads, do you have a written code for it?

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Accepted Answer

Henry Giddens
Henry Giddens on 6 Sep 2016
Edited: Henry Giddens on 9 Sep 2016
Hi yu, Yes I have done it a few times. You should be aware that this will work for me because the scale on each axis is equal. For example:
%before this you have plotted a surface in axis hAx
%Get X, Y and Z data for plotting the axes...
X_range = hAx.XLim(2) - hAx.XLim(1);
X_start = hAx.XLim(1);
X_delta = X_range/20;
Y_delta = (hAx.YLim(2) - hAx.YLim(1))/20;
Y_start = hAx.YLim(1);
Z_delta = (hAx.ZLim(2) - hAx.ZLim(1))/20;
Z_start = hAx.ZLim(1);
X_Line = line(hAx,[X_start+X_delta X_start+X_delta*5],[Y_start+Y_delta Y_start+Y_delta],[Z_start+Z_delta Z_start+Z_delta]); % x Line
Y_Line = line(hAx,[X_start+X_delta X_start+X_delta],[Y_start+Y_delta Y_start+Y_delta*5],[Z_start+Z_delta Z_start+Z_delta]); % Y Line
Z_Line = line(hAx,[X_start+X_delta X_start+X_delta],[Y_start+Y_delta Y_start+Y_delta],[Z_start+Z_delta Z_start+Z_delta*5]); %Z Line
X_text = text(hAx,X_start+X_delta*6,Y_start+Y_delta,Z_start+Z_delta,'x');
Y_text = text(hAx,X_start+X_delta,Y_start+Y_delta*6,Z_start+Z_delta,'y');
Z_text = text(hAx,X_start+X_delta,Y_start+Y_delta,Z_start+Z_delta*6,'z');
You can then play around with how long you want each line, the colors of the lines and text etc... I tend to use linkprop to link the properties of the lines that need to stay the same. If you do not have equal axis scales, this method wont really work...
Divin Xavier
Divin Xavier on 8 Jan 2021
Instead of Line command you could use annotation to get the arrow heads (version 2020b)
X_Line = annotation('textarrow',[X_start+X_delta X_start+X_delta*1.5],[Y_start+Y_delta Y_start+Y_delta],'Color','k'); % x Line
Y_Line = annotation('textarrow',[X_start+X_delta X_start+X_delta],[Y_start+Y_delta Y_start+Y_delta*1.5],'Color','k'); % Y Line

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