Automating SOLIDWORKS Drawings with DriveWorks Pro

   By Devin Martin on November 2, 2022

driveworks schematic sketch

You may already know DriveWorks is best in class CPQ and design automation software for manufacturers. You may have even seen how DriveWorks enables engineers, sales teams, distributors, and customers to design, engineer and configure any product, on any device. But did you know DriveWorks automation goes all the way down to the SOLIDWORKS Drawing level? This allows for the quick setup and automation of manufacturing data like assembly drawings, part drawings, DXF creation, and SOLIDWORKS BOMs. Use DriveWorks to quickly generate new variations of models and the corresponding manufacturing documents in no time!

Driving SOLIDWORKS drawing files is something DriveWorks does amazingly well, so let’s look at a few key things you can drive using DriveWorks and the tools to make it happen easily.

Automatically Rescale and Position your Views

rescaling solidworks drawing in driveworks

The first (and often most common) struggle we are going to address is the ability to automate the rescaling, and positioning of a drawing view when the main part changes. While SOLIDWORKS makes part and assembly changes easy – the drawing changes often are hard to keep up with. Especially when a new view scale or even completely new view positioning is required. Don’t worry though, DriveWorks has a trick up its sleeve – and it’s a big one. The “Rescale and Position View” generation task. This task uses the bounding box of the drawing view itself to maintain and regulate the view scale and position within a predefined boundary that you set! All that needs to be done is to set where the view should be limited to, and DriveWorks does the rest. It’s a simple and elegant way to solve the drawing view scale problem that so many of us are faced with. You can find this task in the “Generation tasks” section of DriveWorks Pro and use it to make quick work of all of your view scale and position automation tasks.

More about this task can be found in the helpfile Rescale and Position View.

Update Dimension Placement with a Snap

update dimension placement

The next thing that we typically need to automate is the Dimension placement. As drawing views change scale and move around, so do the attached dimensions. DriveWorks has a few tasks that allow for you to fine tune and adjust individual dimensions, but it has dimension placement adjustment built right into the core tool itself. When capturing your drawing – be sure to capture the relative dimension placement. This is done easily in the annotation positions task pane right inside SOLIDWORKS. Select the dimension you want to be able to automatically reposition, and then capture its position relative to the bounding box of the drawing view itself. Once that’s done, the dimension or annotation will magically always update to the correct spot on the drawing whenever it is driven.

More information about capturing annotation and dimension positions can be found here.

Drawing notes, title blocks, and more!

solidworks drawing automation drawing notes

Don’t get me wrong, driving drawing view scales and dimensions are all necessary but automating drawing text is often overlooked. We need to update EVERYTHING about the drawing, including the small block of text in the lower left corner that details the type of finish or post treatment that the part needs to have..right? DriveWorks handles this with ease in a number of ways. First, DriveWorks can drive custom properties so the customer information, date, revision, and more can all automatically be pushed right into the title block. But for those things that don’t need to be captured as a custom property like general drawing notes, or annotation attached to leader lines, we can drive that by simply capturing the annotation itself. DriveWorks lets us capture annotation text and then drive it straight into the note. But what about those blocks of text that I have stored in my library? You can actually insert and drive entire blocks (text blocks or drawing blocks) right onto the drawing as needed. This means you can completely automate FULL lists of items extremely easily.

More information about driving text and inserting blocks here:

SOLIDWORKS Drawing Automation with no limits

DriveWorks Pro makes automating drawings easy, no matter how complex. DriveWorks can do everything from automatically rescaling and positioning views to inserting BOM tables and automatically ballooning your updated views. If you’re looking to save engineering time and generate manufacturing documentation with more speed and precision see what DriveWorks can do for you.

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Devin Martin

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