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Are you using the "Make Reference Sketch" command (SW2020)?

Question asked by Alin Vargatu on Mar 14, 2020
Latest reply on Jun 3, 2020 by Brian wilson

How many of you are aware of the existence of a new state for a sketch, called "Reference Sketch"?

It can be used as an excellent tool for preventing "accidental edits". No dimensions or relations on that sketch will be available for editing, as long as the sketch is declared "reference".


The Help file is not really helpful about what this is or how to use it, or at least I was unable to find information on that.


The only mention of Reference Sketches is found in the 2020 What's New document: 2020 What's New in SOLIDWORKS - Importing 2D DXF or DWG Files as Reference Sketches. Not really helpful.


So, I started digging:


1. The 2D Reference Sketch icon (see Sketch 2 below):


2. RMB on a editable sketch to make it Reference Sketch:


3. RMB on a Reference Sketch to turn it back to Edit Sketch:



4. A Reference Sketch cannot be edited:

5. A Derived Sketch cannot be turned into a Reference Sketch:


5. If a Reference Sketch has sketch relations to other entities, it will update when the parent entities are updated. Does that defeat the purpose of having it declared Reference?


6. If you make a 3D Sketch a Reference Sketch, the icon looks like the one of a Layout Sketch.



Preliminary Conclusions:

1. Declaring a sketch Reference Sketch is only a way to hide the Edit Sketch icon.

2. The sketch is not frozen, it will update

3. The dimensions and constraints inside the sketch are still active

4. A Reference Sketch will take the same amount of time to rebuild as a Editable Sketch

5. The UI is all over the place with the icon for the 3D Reference Sketch dreaming that it became a Layout Sketch.


Matt Lombard John Stoltzfus Grant Mattis Mark Johnson Bret Hekking, Priya Dalmia, Kevin Berni, Rebekah Hanks