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Using Layers In Drawings

Question asked by Jed Ferreras on Aug 23, 2017
Latest reply on Aug 25, 2017 by John Stoltzfus


I have been using solidworks and inventor for over 10 years now but recently I started working for a company that was using solid edge.


At that company with solid edge they had a drafting practice that involved making an assembly view in the drawing and then applying layers to various objects within the drawing. Depending on the desired layer settings, sometimes they would also use overlay views.


Pretty much the idea is that you have an assembly, but now that you want to discuss the precise nature of a specific component or sub-assembly, what you do is you show the entire assembly, but in the drawing anything other than your specific item is on a layer using the lowest lineweight settings and with a gray line color. If in the same view you also want to show referenced but not directly related objects, then they use hidden line types. In addition to this, the firm would also create overlay views which would allow to show otherwise hidden items but on a layer with specific lineweight, line color, and linetype settings.


An example to help illustrate this practice would be a car in a drawing view in which everything except the wheels is on a layer with the lowest lineweight and gray color, that way the wheels stand out and when you look at the drawing both the title and the layer settings allow you to focus immediately on the wheels. In addition to this, you could imagine say the break disks being on an overlay view highlighting whatever specific details are needed.


So with all this as a preface, I am attaching a sample view of an assembly I am working on. This is a product for a company I was recently hired at where they are using solidworks, and now that I am not using solid edge Id like to be able to bring back that technique of assigning drawing items to layers with specific settings and also be able to create overlay views to show specific details.


In the case below, I was able to place either specific parts or entire assemblies into a layer. The issue here is that this affects the entire drawing, so if I have 10 sheets I cant have unique layer settings for each sheet and its views because the settings are applied to the parts and not the view.


I am currently considering whether to create my views in separate drawing files, but still I think this practice is pretty useful for precise drawing communication and therefore id like to investigate the possiblity of being able to apply it in solidworks.


Please review and advise.