Drawings Overview

You can generate drawings in SOLIDWORKS the same way you would generate them in 2D CAD systems.

However, creating 3D models and generating drawings from the model has many advantages; for example:
  • Designing models is faster than drawing lines.
  • SOLIDWORKS creates drawings from models, so the process is efficient.
  • You can review models in 3D and check for correct geometry and design issues before generating drawings, so the drawings are more likely to be free of design errors.
  • You can insert dimensions and annotations from model sketches and features into drawings automatically, so you do not have to create them manually in drawings.
  • Parameters and relations of models are retained in drawings, so drawings reflect the design intent of the model.
  • Changes in models or in drawings are reflected in their related documents, so making changes is easier and drawings are more accurate.
Comparison of drawings between 2D CAD systems and SOLIDWORKS include:
Creating Drawings drawing lines generated automatically from models (parts or assemblies) or drafted with sketch tools
Standards default ANSI (inches) and ISO (mm), with templates for DIN and JIS ANSI, ISO, DIN, GOST, JIS, BSI, and GB standards are available in document property options, and the settings can also be saved in templates
Scaling scale "viewports" scale sheets and views as properties
Multiple Drawings multiple "layouts" multiple drawing sheets
Title Blocks prompts for title block information edit sheet format, adding lines, text, and links to document properties and custom properties
Drawing Views views created manually with "viewports," geometry, and layers standard 3 views, model views (such as isometric and exploded), and relative views created automatically from models; derived views (projected, auxiliary, section, detail, break, broken-out section, and alternate position) are created with one or two steps from the standard views
Aligning Views manual command aligned automatically, but can be dragged; alignment can be broken; views can be rotated and hidden
Dimensions inserted manually and do not change geometry model dimensions specified in sketches and features and inserted from models into drawings; model dimensions can be modified in drawings and are linked to the model; reference dimensions in drawings cannot be modified but do update automatically if the model changes; sketches and drawings can be dimensioned in one step
Dimension Formats dimension styles dimension favorites
Symbols available with control codes, Microsoft Character Map, or third party software available from an internal library for dimensions and the annotations that use symbols, and in the Design Library
Annotations text, center marks, and geometric tolerance symbols available, others created manually (often in blocks) notes, cosmetic threads, surface finish symbols, datum feature symbols, datum target symbols, dowel pin symbols, multi-jog leaders, balloons, stacked balloons, area hatch, weld symbols, geometric tolerance, center marks, centerlines, weld beads, revision symbols, and hole callouts are available as tools
Automatic Operations automatic regeneration, saving, stacking of multiline text automatically insert center marks, centerlines, balloons, and dimensions into new drawing views; also insert these items into a drawing or drawing view in one operation
Leaders separate entities, attached manually available with annotations and attached automatically to the annotation and (if desired) to the model; the leader moves with the annotation and model
Crosshatching separate entities added to section views automatically, can be modified individually; area hatch available for faces and closed areas bounded by model edges or sketch entities
Tables blocks often used to create tables; links to database tables Bill of Materials, Hole Tables, Revision Tables, Weldment Cut Lists, Design Tables, and General Tables
Bill of Materials parts lists are created by extracting attribute information manually generated automatically with item number, quantity, part number, description, custom properties; numbers in balloons correlated; anchor point
Layers primary organizational tool, group information by function, equivalent of overlays specify color, style, and thickness of lines in named layers, turn layers on and off, but other means available for hiding views, lines, components
Blocks often used to create annotations and symbols can be created, inserted by instance, exploded, edited, and so on; most annotations and symbols available as tools or in libraries; legacy 2D CAD blocks, including title blocks, can be imported and used in SOLIDWORKS