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Advanced notes in SolidWorks drawings: Pattern Instance

Want to stuff some sweet automatic pattern instance updates into your drawing notes?
Many times when people get to the point of creating a drawing they are stretched for time causing failing back to basic techniques and manually labor.
In this short video we are going to get some quick advanced drawing fun into our Solidworks notes. Getting your pattern instance into your drawings can safe you a lot of hassle when there is a design change.


Like to see more SolidWorks drawing tips, check out this blog post.

SolidWorks Drawing Tips and Workarounds

SolidWorks wants to know about your drawing workarounds.

A while back Matt Lorono from SolidWorks started an interesting post on the forum. Looking for user feedback on what is most troublesome in regards using SolidWorks drawings.
One could think that the forum is exactly the right place for such a thread, as all of us users should favor that SolidWorks is listening instead of imagine the best develop time spend for upcoming releases.

I thought the time would be well spend on a small video highlighting some drawing tips and workarounds from Matt’s forum post.

There is always some good drawing tips and workarounds to be found. I like one of the comments, “ANSI standard or not. If the boss wants it to look a certain way, that’s the way it has to look”. So I am all thumbs up for SolidWorks asking the question and helpful users feedback.
Link to forum thread:
Link to foreshorten arrow blog post:

A couple of useful tips regards SolidWorks Dimensions

SolidWorks has a couple of really great functions most people miss rushing to get some dimensions on their models.

I think we all have a tendency to get stuck in our set ways and many do not use some of the great less known buttons and functions SolidWorks has.
Here is 3 favorites in regards to dimensioning.
Dimension names…
Probably the most known and yet not often used. If you do a lot of equations or Design Table you might use it frequently, but what about an easy way to earmark a dimension for easy recognition.

Insert Tolerance in your model dimensions…
Practice is to model too normal and then apply tolerances on the SolidWorks drawings. However applying the tolerance on critical dimensions on the model and use Model Items on the annotation toolbar to make them appear in your drawing secures that important information is on the actually part file. This will help raising a red flag when making one of those hectic design changes when under a time crunch.

Dimensions Read Only…
If there is a dimension in your design that absolutely never should change, make it ready only. You are really doing everyone a favor by not giving someone an opportunity to screw up.

Just a couple of things to possible add as standard “Best Practices” in your daily design routine.

Tools to make your drawing spectacular in SolidWorks 2011

With everyday revolved around the 3D world it is kind of funny that when it comes down to actually manufacturing these 3D goodness we still hand out a detailed 2D drawing to the craftsman. A true detailed manufacturing drawing is a true piece of art, and yes it is all about the details. But less face it, these days when we have finished our 3D models the time portfolio is pretty much used up for our projects, and the time to make that fabulous detailed 2D print comes down to overtime. SolidWorks have added a couple of nice drawing features in there latest version of there CAD package.
I think this is important! Not because users most likely are happy to pay maintenance for 2D drawing tools, but because that these tools might actually be the one’s that helps an upgrade being worthwhile, when it comes down to get all the necessary information to the manufacturing floor.
Dimension Palette

With an extra line added to this little magic box, you just recieved some handy buttons to line up and organize your dimensions in your drawings.

Cosmetic Threads callouts are now editable
Any improvement to Cosmetic Threads is pure enjoyable, and I am not trying to put the screw in motion to trash SolidWorks work on this subject. The fact is that our models works a lot better with this feature than of it was modeled up. So it is defiantly cool that we now can added these functions in a design table.

How about pattern a note…
This feature might not make you jump out of the chair in joy, but being able to pattern a note in drawings is a nice feature. I can only talk for myself here, but I know that trying to place more than a couple of notes straight or in a circular pattern before 10am is impossible even after a few cups of coffee unless you are looking for a zig-zag pattern.

Best for last?…3D Drawing Views
I have to say this one is a favorite of mine, why? Having the task of sending 2D prints to the manufacturing floor you awesly want to make sure the guy’s gets the information they need. A picture is worth a thousand words, and the standard views does not always display your fabulous 3D creation best. View-> Modify-> 3D Drawing view is a 120% enhanced feature for you to get that rotated perspective that will result in a clear vision of you part.

The 2D art is still a necessary tool, and I am glad that SolidWorks is continuing adding new features inside the .slddrw