14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2017 3:35 PM by Mike Helsinger

    Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables

    Kurt McMurtrie

      My enhancement request is to be able to visually see which notes, dimensions, items in tables are linked or automatic dimensions vs. manually typed information. Flip a switch and all linked items are green and unlinked items are red???

       

      We use reference drawings a lot in our business. So reference replacing detail drawings is very helpful and a great tool.  On drawings most dimensions are automatic and update as needed when the model changes. On the rare occasion there are additional notes or even manually entered dimensions added to these dimensions or tables.  And these rare occasions are starting to get us in trouble because the manual information entered into these dimensions or tables does not appear to be wrong visually when the drawing is reference replaced with a new part or assembly. (not dangling).  If there was a way to show all values in dimensions, notes, and tables that were linked to something vs the items that were manually entered into the drawing we would be able to focus our checking on those items and be alerted that these items may not have updated automatically.

       

      Anyone else experience these issues?

        • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
          John Stoltzfus

          What I would do is add those notes to a Layer, this would work if you print the drawings Black & White, but would show if colored.  The other thing you could do is have them as black but then turn the layer on or off and you would see which ones hide and which ones show etc..

          • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
            Mike Helsinger

            Kurt, I like your thought process, I'll brainstorm along with you.  You are bringing up a broad view of annotation styles, and there are many unique ways this could appear in drawings.  I'll make simple brick and break down some of the application to what I think you are saying.

             

            • First I think of sketches within drawings.  You may have a part you insert into your drawing, and you may have a need to make an additional sketch in your drawing. 

              We do have control over how these entities present their dimensions.  Notice the 3.0 dimension is gray while the 1.5 is black.  There is control for this in your Options > System Options > Colors. 

              My 3.0 dim is Driven by the part geometry & the 1.5 is Driving my sketch geometry.  Setting these colors could be one way you might flag some elements of your drawings.

            • Next I think of Overridden dimensions.   As far as I am aware of there's no control for making my 3.1 dimension to stand out from my 3.0 covering the same element.

              This could be the meat of your ER.  If you ask for them to add color control for dimensions that have the check box selected you would have a great new flag for your CAD user to see what's been doctored.  If you are still writing your ER, I would use some of these specifics for the code writers to draw from.  I think they appreciate the nitty gritty specifics whenever possible.

            • As far as links within a notation text, that would be a neat feature for the ER, go for it!
            • You also mentions tables.  I haven't worked with them for a few years, currently I deal in single component drawings that don't need tables.  I recall BOM tables having some kind of color affect based on links vs manual entry, perhaps when the table is actively being navigated?  I'd need to do some research or perhaps someone else is better versed than I about this.

             

            Hopefully this is on track with what you are talking about.

            • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
              Scott Ellery

              Hi Kurt ,

               

              I can see this enhancement being useful but I also think it comes down to proper practice as well. is there a reason there are manual dimensions on the drawing? this seems crazy to me as there should be no reason for this. if a dimension is incorrect then you should be adjusting the model not fudging the dimension (unless there is a different scenario you are speaking about).

               

              as far as notes and table, generally you would have these standardized and saved for quick use from the design library (even notes linked to properties ) but if you really had to see which notes were custom properties and which were not the layer option that John mentioned is the easiest way to accomplish this.

               

              and of course with any proper design practice due diligence needs to be applied to the situation, if you are going to replace parts then all irrelevant notes need to be purged, which can be a daunting task.

              • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
                John Stoltzfus

                Not really what you want - but there is a setting that when the model gets changed it will highlight in the drawing the next time you open the drawing

                 

                • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
                  Mike Helsinger

                  Scott is right, best practice is the best practice.  I think I have only had rare occasion where I have had to say I know what I have modeled is right but I need to fudge something within allowed tolerance to make it real world appropriate.  More commonly I have needed to inspect what the guy before me did to the drawing or production file that he should have done in the root model.

                   

                  Also, I just found this one.  Could this be for MBD notations or for links?  Useful to this idea?

                  • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
                    Jim Steinmeyer

                    Kurt,

                    I have found something that might be helpful if you need to show dimensions or other imported information in your added notes. If you have a dimension or balloon that is needed in a note you can create the dimension and place it on the view. Now create the note and when you get the point in the note that you need the dimension, just click on it and it will be embedded in the note or balloon. Then you can finish typing your note. Now you have the information needed in the note and it is linked so that it will change as the model changes. The balloons will update with the BOM as well. If you don't want the dimension or extra balloon cluttering your drawing you can then hide it or move it off the sheet.

                    • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
                      Kurt McMurtrie

                      I agree with most everything you have said. We have been using Solidworks since 1997. We open reference machine designs and modify them and their details. We don't draw machines from scratch every time (rarely ever). the equipment we design has thousands of parts and the quantity on most of these parts is 5 or less (most of the time they are 1 off). We do not have 1 drawing and make millions of parts from that drawing. We have millions of drawings making 1 part per drawing. Our models started before many many solidworks enhancements. (Before weldments/multi-body parts, before hole wizard, etc etc.)  Through the years the majority of our files are more up to date than they started but we can not update every part to the latest and greatest functionality each time.  

                       

                      We do link as much information back to the parts as possible (when created new from scratch). However we still need to be able to deal with using legacy data. Most of the time it is not cost effective to redraw a huge weldment to get an automatic cut list generated. Through the years our fabrication BOM on the detail drawing has been several different styles. excel, general tables, fully automated cut list tables.... because of all the new automation (which is great) people get lured into a false sense of security that everything on the drawing is correct as long as it is not dangling or overrefined. And since we have a mix of brand new files and old files and old files changed into new files (with old and new features).  there is no good way to look a detail drawing and determine what on this drawing was pulled in automatically from the part or assembly and what was manually entered because these new automated functions were not available at the time. 

                       

                      The above paragraph would be the same for dimensions and notes.

                           Dimension may update but notes after the dimension may not. Qty of holes or special call outs. (we used library features for taped holes along time ago)

                      Note can be linked to file properties now but not always. manually typed notes were common.

                       

                      If you don't have to deal with old legacy data that is still being used and modified this may not be for you.   But currently without checking everything on the print to see if it is linked or manual there is not a good way to find these issues. 

                      • Re: Linked notes vs manually typed notes, dimensions, tables
                        Glenn Schroeder

                        Kurt,

                         

                        I don't know anything about them, but someone may be able to write a macro that would somehow highlight annotations that are (or aren't) linked to a model.  You might want to ask in the API section of this forum.


                        Glenn