Chapter 20. Automating Drawings: The Basics


  • The difference between templates and formats

  • Creating drawing formats

  • Creating drawing templates

  • Creating blocks

Engineering drawings include a lot of repetitious information from one drawing to the next. The information is not always exactly the same, but it is usually in the same format and of the same type. For example, part drawings always include information about who made the drawing, when the person made it, what the material and surface finish of the part are, and some basic notes that depend on the use of the drawing (manufacturing, assembly, or inspection).

All of this information needs to appear consistently on each drawing, every time. However, humans are not always good at following dull routines, which is why we have computers to help with these boring or difficult tasks.

The Difference Between Templates and Formats

Simply put, templates are collections of document-specific settings and default views, saved in the *.prtdot (part template), *.asmdot (assembly template), and *.drwdot (drawing template) file types.

Formats, more formally called "sheet formats," are exclusive to drawing documents, and contain the sheet size, the drawing border-line geometry, and the text/custom property definitions that go with the text in the drawing border. Formats can also include company logo images.

You can save formats in drawing templates; in fact, this is the method that I both use and recommend. Using SolidWorks' default settings, ...

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