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Conditional Sheet Format Information

Question asked by Max Wigfield on Jan 11, 2018
Latest reply on Jan 18, 2018 by Max Wigfield

Hi everyone,

My company has recently upgraded to SolidWorks 2017 SP5 (were previously using 2011) and I've become frustrated with the "forced ruler" when editing sheet format as discussed here (without resolution) - How do I disable the rulers when editing a sheet format? . Following a suggestion in that thread I would like to eliminate the need to edit the sheet format on a regular basis (currently doing so for almost every drawing), but I'm concerned the functionality I need is beyond the built-in capabilities. I believe what I require is likely achievable with macros, but having no experience with these I would much prefer a simple solution if possible and feel there may be features available that I'm not even aware of.


The main issue is that we design parts that are then regularly outsourced to a range of manufacturers, who require drawings in various different formats. Company policy requires we keep a copy of all drawings in SLDDRW and PDF formats which contains the full information of that part, including details such as Client which cannot be passed on to the manufacturer. These details are added at part level and there are no problems in that regard, but when it comes to saving a drawing my process is typically along the lines of: Save drawing -> Save as PDF -> Edit Sheet Format -> Delete client name -> Save as DWG -> Exit without saving (to maintain client name in the SLDDRW). This both extremely tiresome to do for large projects and also adds a layer of user error. While the optimal solution would be to simply remove details like this from drawings outright, this is regrettably not something I have control over.


As such my main question here is (1) Does SolidWorks have the capability to delete information from a sheet format dependent on what file type the drawings is being saved as, or any other means of automatically removing certain information from a drawing without having to edit the sheet format? If this is only possible through macros then I would be extremely grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.


Another related question I have is (2) Is it possible to automatically detect the author of a part or drawing (using Windows username for example) and populate the sheet format with this information? At present we have fields in the sheet for the original part author, the latest user to modify the part, the original drawing author and the latest user to modify the drawing. The latest user to modify is easily controlled using the "Last Saved By" property, but original author is dependent on users actually filling in a custom property and sometimes people either forget or just don't bother.


The need for this comes from having multiple users who will commonly pick up each others jobs, resulting in a situation such as: User A modelled the part, User B produced the manufacture drawings, and User C updated these drawings with a revision a week later. If there is then a problem with these drawings (regardless of what the issue actually is) there is no trace-ability that User A or B ever worked on the project unless they manually set themselves as the original part and drawing authors, and User C will then either get blamed for the problem or expected to make an alteration to the model, which would be far better suited to the original creator, User A.


I don't imagine any of you have run into these exact problems as they feel fairly unique to the way we work, but any insight or suggestions to resolve either of these problems would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.