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The missing 5% functionality: DETAILING MODE for DRAWINGS

Question asked by Alin Vargatu on Oct 4, 2020

This is another post from the "Missing 5% functionality that makes users avoid this tool" novella.

 

The Good

The Detailing mode is a game changer for users who work with drawings of complex models. It offered the ability to open the drawing almost instantaneous (by not loading the model) and add, edit or remove:

  • dimensions
  • notes
  • secondary drawing views
  • sheets

Overall a thing of beauty. Many users reported a life changing experience after using it.

 

The Consequence

It works by saving more information in the drawing file, mostly related to existing edges and their ID. That, unfortunately, creates two less desirable consequences:

  1. Larger file sizes (all that independent info needs to be stored somewhere)
  2. Long saving times, especially the first time a drawing is saved in SOLIDWORKS 2020 or newer format

 

Considering that 95% of the SOLIDWORKS drawings are simple enough not to need the use of the Detailing mode, it is important to give the users the ability to decide how much information to save in the file.

 

Current Solution

Currently (SOLIDWORKS 2020 and 2021) implemented this user control as a System Option:

  

This is not ideal for two reasons:

1. It does not allow to customize the amount of data saved per file. Ideally:

  • simple drawings should have this option unchecked
  • complex drawings should have the option checked

2. Potentially creates major problems for teams of users. One user, who has this system option unchecked, could open a large drawing, save it and erase or the detailing data. Then, when a power-user needs to open the drawing in Detailing mode, it would be impossible.

Team level consistency is important.

 

Ideal solution

This option should be a document level setting. Allow the user to decide to save the drawing with the Detailing data included or not.

To simplify the workflow, the SAVE dialog can also have a checkbox called Detailing Data to allow the user to make such decisions.

It might be even worth considering having a Large Drawing Mode, similar to the Large Assembly Mode where the software can decide to save or not Detailing data, based on the content:

  • number of sheets
  • number of edges
  • number of section views

and all kind of other factors known to slow-down the detailing process.

 

SPRs to Vote on

SPR 1194315: Needs to improve performance when saving drawing with ‘Include Detailing Mode Data when saving’ option enabled

 

What do you think?

 

Matthew Lorono

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