is it possible to save a solidworks drawing as a copy without any references to the part, and still be able to dimension etc the drawing? this is so i can go back and dimension an old revision if need be.
Sounds like what you need is a "dumb" drawing, like what you get by just drawing it manually with no referenced part.
Or, to "lock in" a drawing, do it all up normally, using the part reference, then save as a .pdf.
If you must maintain a drawing of an obsolete part, save that part geometry in a configuration and maintain the reference to that config.
i tried detatched drawing, but it still had references to the part.
I'm with Paul on this one.
I am pretty sure that, while it is true the drawing still has a reference to the part file, the reference is unlinked (shown by the blue broken chain link on the drawing view in the FeatureManager), and any change to the part file will not update in the drawing. When I opened my "save as detached drawing" file after making a design change in the part file, I was greeted with a message " ! The following sheets contain drawing views which are out of date with their external model(s). Sheet2 " My only option was to click "OK" I think that is the only reference being made from a detached drawing back to the part file --- that it knows the two are no longer in synch (perhaps maybe so a down-the-line drafter (i.e., you, in your one-man show) can at least see which part file the drawing originally originated from ?). My detached drawing was dimension-able, editable (I could add views and such), and save-able. It looks to me as though this should accomplish what you are looking for.
the reason why i dont want to save the part (or assembly) as a copy is because if i have 10 revisions and the file is 30mb in size, as you can imagine things start to get carried away. i really want to be able to add dims to a old drawing that has since changed a few times, which you cant do to a pdf etc.
i could do that, but i really want the drawing as a solidworks file.
It seems "save as detached drawing" should do what you are looking for. I haven't done any extensive testing on this, but if you are finding that it still has undesired references, you could instead save your .slddrw file as a .EDRW eDrawing --- making sure you have "it is okay to measure this drawing" option checked. You can then add dimensions to the eDrawing with the Markup tool. Admittedly, though, the robustness of the Markup tool is lacking compared to the SW dimension tool, but it might perhaps function well enough for your application.
The only other suggestion I would have is this, save the drawing as an Acad dwg, then bring it back into Solidworks. This will give you sketch entities with dimensions. Not very elegant, but will get you a dimensionable drawing with no references.
before you make changes to an existing part:
open the part, save as, check save as copy and give it a new name (the old rev)
now save as the drawing, check save as copy and give it a new name (the old rev dwg)
close the part without saving, close the drawing without saving
open the new named drawing, it is referenced to the new named part
the new name should be the old revision, the existing name will be the new part as you go forward, which you can now reopen and make your changes
I do not have or use PDM, so I don't know how it will work with that, in fact, that is why I do it this way
that was already suggested and as Greg said "the reason why i dont want to save the part (or assembly) as a copy is because if i have 10 revisions and the file is 30mb in size, as you can imagine things start to get carried away"
I believe detached is the only way you can get what you are really looking for. I don't think you can completely break the link to the part/assembly but as long as the part/assembly file is not opened your drawing stays out of sync. Here are two items from the help that detail out what you can/can't do with them:
Retrieving data ...