38 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2011 2:45 PM by Glenn Schroeder

    Detail drawing question(s)

      I've been using AutoCAD since I can remember to do detail drawings of our various products. As we have transitioned to SW (finally), there are sometimes when it seems that in spite of all of the power and superiority that SW has over ACAD, that it is more frustrating to use.


      Here is one example...I'm sure this is an example of how I'm using it wrong, but I want confirmation...


      I design cranes and their support structure. The support structure is called a runway. So, I model the entire runway in SW and then make a drawing. When detailing this drawing, I progress using the following steps:


      1. Import the assembly and balloon it using the balloon tool
      2. Generate a BOM using the assembly
      3. Import the various parts composing the assembly for detailing and manually balloon those to be consistent with the assembly balloons and BOM

      There HAS to be a better way.


      I'm frustrated that SW (as I'm using it) has no awareness of the fact that the column, labeled as part 2 in an assembly, should also be part 2 when I import it as a part into the same drawing on the same sheet.


      What I LOVE about SW is that there is consistency between the assemblies, parts, and drawings in real-time. This means that I cannot modify one without affecting all related documents. This was a problem in the past with ACAD as it wasn't aware that the top view was related to the side view etc - all views had to be modified discretely which was a pain and a source of errors.


      It seems as if SW has addressed this by making each part/assembly/drawing interrelated...except when it comes to the BOM. The power and funtionality of the BOM is moot when I have to manually change the line items to be consistent.


      So, my questions are:


      • Is there a different way I should be detailing my assemblies other than using the assembly then part in a given drawing (as this seems to "Break" the BOM consistency)?
      • Is there a way to make the BOM aware of the parts within a sub-assembly? It seems as if I want all of the fasteners counted in my BOM, they have to be in the base assembly I'm detailing and not a sub-assembly (which makes things very tedious).

      The schooling I had in SW was related only to the use of FEA and base modeling techniques in college. The detailing was thought to be CAD operator training and not "worthy" of an ME. Well, with the small company I currently work, I wear multiple hats including CAD operator and designer. As such, I feel as if I'm kind of operating in the dark here a little.


      Any ideas?



        • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
          Glenn Schroeder

          You can use sub-assemblies and show individual parts in a BOM.  I don't have one in front of me right now, but I think that you just need to make sure that in the Feature Manager under BOM type Parts only is selected and not Top-level only.  However, I don't believe that you can tie a part number in the BOM to a part so that it is consistent if you detail the individual part or sub-assembly that it is used in.  You still have to do that manually.  I hope this helps.

            • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

              Right now, I'm importing an assembly and its views into a drawing and then importing the parts and its views into the same drawing. Is there a way to generate detailed part drawings of an assembly and have it tied to that assembly (other than importing separate files into a drawing)?


              What I would like is to be able to show an assembled assembly (hence the name) with balloons in one view and have it reference (implicitly - via consistent BOM balloons) the detailed drawings of the parts. If you have an assembly of any complexity whatsoever, it's not practical to detail it, you have to detail the parts (at least I do).


              In so doing, you break the BOM consistency.


              This seems needlessly tedious to me. What am I doing wrong? Is there a different way to detail?

                • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                  Wayne Tiffany

                  For an example here, think about a simple weldment.  We put the wlmt on a sheet and then detail the individual parts on that same sheet.  So, just as you are doing, add a BOM and balloons to the wlmt view.  Then insert a new drawing view, it asks what you want in that view, direct it to one of the piece parts, and you have a view of that part to detail.


                  In those detail views, we put a note (attached) that lists the item number and the view scale.  (Hopefully someday we will have access to the a view scale property, but that's a different discussion.)  Notice that it has a property link in it.  To tie that to a balloon, edit the note, highlight the property, click the appropriate balloon, uncheck the underline, close.  Now if the BOM order changes, those detail notes change with it.  This will also work if you put the detail view on sheet 2 or something, however it will not work if you put it in another drawing file.  In that case, you may put a copy of the assy and a BOM in that drawing also, but make sure that both BOMs are tied to assy order.



                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

                      Thanks Wayne. That is a workaround (although not automatic as I would like it to be )


                      Effectively then I'm clicking the BOM item as an attribute in a note. That does save some time and adds some consistency after that "link".

                        • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                          Alan Stoldt



                          Welcome to Solidworks.


                          I too was an AutoCAD guy, and agree with you.


                          Unfortunately as you've witnessed, SW hasn't paid a whole lot of attention toe the drawing side of things.


                          BOMs are a small part of it.


                          You are not alone.

                            • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

                              That is something I have been witness to since my first exposure to SW (SW2005 in school).


                              For all of the design elegance that SW has, the detailing is clumsy at best. At first, I found it quicker to model in SW then made an ACAD drawing for detailing. Obviously, this was (and is) idiotic as I've created another discrete orphan document.


                              Text is clumsy, the auto-updating of the BOM is clumsy, leaders are clumsy (and slow), dimensions are more difficult to put where I want....in general I can just detail and draw about 100X faster in CAD. I find myself detailing in SW, wishing for the ability to left-hand-type and right-hand-mouse. This is SO FAST in CAD. But, I just can't in SW. Instead, I get the floating menu in SW (or whatever it's called - the thing where you hold the MB and move the pointer in any given direction to get a command) - whose idea was this?


                              Anyway...can someone point me to a tutorial or something like that to help me detail and draw in SW?


                              I'm not an advocate of CAD by any stretch of the imagination. I understand that with the power of SW comes complexity, but it seems to me that the drawing/detailing is arcane and slow.

                                • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                  Peter De Vlieger

                                  It's good to hear that I'm not along in thinking that.


                                  SW seems to focus solely on the 3D model. It never crosses there mind that at the end of the day you might want to actually make something that can be printed.


                                  True I can create a model quicker in SW than in Acad, especially if that model is subject to change (and when isn't it). But to make the actual drawing can be about as much fun as a root canal. It's slow, difficult and non intuitive. Unless ofcourse you only want to use the standard layers, with standard views, all preferably in B&W, of a straight forward model.

                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                    Derek Bishop
                                    Like others I agree. I'm also a ME that has been doing a bit of detailing and find the drawing side of things can be clunky, especially for things like weldments and piping. SolidWorks still has a long way to go in these areas. Drawings in my game are going to be around for a long time.
                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                    Jerry Steiger

                                    Well, it is called SolidWorks, not DrawingWorks.

                                      • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                        I guess my furstration is that without the ability to get a drawing on paper, the rest is superficial. At some point in time, I need a detailed drawing to build something.
                                          • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

                                            Back to the balloon issue,

                                            In my opinion you need to think SW not Acad, forget ballooning parts in their own drawing, use ID numbers, the main assembly drawing has ballooned items which refer to the BOM, the BOM then tells you the ID Number of the part which will be on the part drawing, Use the ID Number at the start of the file name as well as in a part propertie and you can go wrong, 

                                              • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                Alan Stoldt

                                                Let's not forget that when you have a customer expecting an end product that meets "such and such" requirements, explaing to them that the software doesn't do that doesn't often fly.


                                                You then have to expend the time to make the software conform (or appear to --> cheat it) to the customer's expectations.


                                                This is, of course, in the real world.


                                                If you are a software developer, giving the customer's (read user's) what they requested doesn't seem as important.

                                              • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                Jerry Steiger



                                                I suspect that in your industry, you are correct, you do need a detailed drawing. In mine (mostly plastic parts), I usually don't. So the fact that SW sucks as a drafting tool doesn't bother me much and I can afford to make flippant remarks in the threads where people tied to drawings vent their frustrations.


                                                If you could, in fact, find your way clear to using the solid model as the master and only put the critical and inspection dimensions on the drawings, then I'm sure you would be a lot happier with SW. On the other hand, if you were able to go that direction, you might find yourself in the situation I found myself in many years ago, when we first started using the simplified drawings. I visited one of our mold makers and found that he was still generating 2D drawings for all of the pieces that went into the mold. My job had gotten much easier and his job had gotten worse! Fortunately the mold makers eventually realized that they needed to move in the same direction.


                                                Jerry Steiger

                                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

                                                    I didn't interpret any comment as insulting by any means. I realize using SW as I do is like using a jackhammer to tenderize a chicken breast.


                                                    It just seems odd that the elegance that SW has in so many areas can be so noticeably lacking in one. Perhaps future versions of SW will better handle detailing and drawing. I know 2010 is already better than 2009. Baby steps I guess...

                                                      • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                        Jerry Steiger

                                                        I'll go back to my original point; it is SolidWorks, not DrawingWorks. AutoCAD had many years to make drawings work well. Through most of those years, drawings was all they did. They also had a huge user base to give them inputs on how to make drawings better. SolidWorks has always been focused on the solid design, not the drawing. A pretty healthy fraction of their users are focused on the parts and assemblies rather than the drawings as well. I don't know what percentage of SW's programmers are working on the drawing side, but I would bet that it is a very small number. I'm afraid that you and all of the others who spend a lot of time on drawings are always going to be frustrated.


                                                        It could be even worse than just a matter of focus. Perhaps you've noticed how SW bogs down when you import a drawing with a lot of lines. The same thing happened to SolidDesigner. Is there something about the way a 3D modeler works that doesn't allow it to handle 2D collections of curves efficiently?

                                                          • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                            Derek Bishop

                                                            Jerry, looks like we agree that Autocad is the better tool for creating 2D drawings.

                                                              • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                Jerry Steiger



                                                                Well, actually, for the short time I had to use AutoCAD, I hated it. I would go back to ME10 (HP, then CoCreate, PTC now, I guess) if I was doing 2D drawings a lot. I guess what we actually agree on is that SolidWorks is not a very good 2D drawing package.


                                                                Jerry Steiger

                                                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                    Derek Bishop
                                                                    I think that one of the problems with 3D CAD is that you have to have a whole lot of automation to make it an efficient tool. That is fine if the automation works well and is relevant to your needs. In the case of SW, neither is true. The advantage of 2D CAD is that the possibilities are limited only to the imagination and expertise of the user. I used it a little but have worked a lot with designers who do. I  have rarely if ever heard of the kinds of problems we experiene with 3D CAD. The problem is that it is labour intensive.
                                                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                      Vikas Garg

                                                      Hi Steve,

                                                      Count me in

                                                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                      Roy Potter

                                                      2010 does have access to the view scale property:

                                                      System Properties

                                                      There are two new system properties for drawing documents:


                                                      SW-View Name and

                                                      SW-View Scale



                                                      These properties are similar to the system properties


                                                      SW-Sheet Name and SW-Sheet









                                                • Re: Detail drawing question(s)


                                                  I had similar issues when moving from AutoCad to SW. What one needs to bear in mind is that these tools work very differently so one needs to adjust your working style accordingly. It is very difficult to sum up how we have configured our detailing system here to suit SW but I will say that I will never go back to AutoCad.


                                                  We had similar questions with regards to fasteners and the only workable way around this was to put them in the sub assy. All the sub assys are referenced in the main assy so is it such a big issue? One advantage of this for us is that when a sub assy is manufactured for spares all the fasteners are already included. This might be different for your business.


                                                  What I try to explain to my juniors here is to change your mindset and work backwards from the drawing. What I mean by this is to first determine how you want your detail drawing set to be layed out, then model accordingly. Let your drawing requirements drive your modelling procedure and not the other way round or you will be very restricted and frustrated.


                                                  It is definately worth planning your project first before just jumping in and turning out a fantastic model that cannot be detailed, soon your technique will improve and it will become second nature to create "detail friendly" models.

                                                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                      Peter De Vlieger



                                                      While it's true that one has always have adapt to how a program works in some respects it's also true that a program shouldn't ask the user to adapt so much that it becomes counterintuitive, not to say counterproductive.


                                                      Modelling driven by drawing requirements is one of those things. Besides the fact that it isn't suitable nor possible for everyone it also kinds of negates the entire idea of design intend. Even on Acad LT I just "designed" in function of what was needed and only worried about detailing at the final stages of prepping it for paperspace.


                                                      As other people have remarked, SW can be so elegant about how things are done whilest one is making a part or an assembly. When it comes to drawings it's almost as if one is using a completely different program made by a different company which has a shoestring budget. Of course it will be different compared to Acad. Of course one will have to make adjustments in how one works because of that. Of course it will have it's own quirks. All of that is no excuse to force users to work in a manner that is neither logical nor convenient and that on top of that forces the user to constantly find and use work arounds so as to actual be able to do what the program promised to do but can't.


                                                      The best example, IMHO, that shows that "drawings" are deemed less important is when you use section views. You can make a section view simultaneously along 3 different planes of your own choosing so as to really dig deep into an assembly or part and show an inner detail or an unhindered view of an detail when in model mode. Try to actual show the same on a drawing and you're in for a world of fustration and most likely will have to settle for something that comes somewhat in the neighbourhood. Even just a section view along one plane can be a source of fustration to get just right. It can be so bad that it becomes just easier to make a screenshot. However don't insert the subsequent jpg into a drawing because SW doesn't have WYSIWYG printing in drawing mode.


                                                      You might think of me being harsh but then again .... perhaps if enough of us rock the boat they'll add a fin to the kneel instead of adding another couple of gilded knobs.

                                                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)



                                                      I think you are correct in some of your statements, but I dont think it is all bad. A couple of tweeks to our modelling style and it was all good.

                                                      My biggest gripe with drawings is that they become extremely cumbersome to work with when you get up to a couple thousand components.

                                                        • Re: Detail drawing question(s)



                                                          I understand what you're saying. I have made significant changes to my modeling practices as a result of SW.


                                                          Probably the biggest change is the fact that I'm now very aware of driven and driving dimensions and what might be considered variable dimensions.


                                                          What I love about SW is that if I model and mate correctly, I can make one dimension or mate a variable and then update arbitrarily in real time with one step. This is so simple and elegant. I love the fact that I can just change in dimension and then have a series of related documents and dimensions update correctly and automatically. This can only be accomplished if the models are setup with a thought process and correctly.


                                                          I have learned this over the years and evolved to make it work for me.


                                                          For the life of me, I can't make the same leap on the drawing end of things. The drawings, to me, seem to be little more than an afterthought.


                                                          I'm not asking for this to "be like CAD". This post is about where I can go to learn SW drawing such that it's not so slow and cumbersome. So far, I haven't seen an answer to that question. The comparisons to CAD, for me, are just natural as I can detail the same thing literally 10X faster in CAD than I can in SW.

                                                            • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                              Peter De Vlieger



                                                              I'm not asking of it to be a different program either.

                                                              Like you I just want it to be not so slow and cumbersome.

                                                              Like you I know that I can detail a drawing in CAD ten times faster, if not even quicker.



                                                              If you ever do find an answer, please do share it with the rest of us who feel that they are a modern day Sisyphus.

                                                                • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                  Derek Bishop

                                                                  Sisyphus had it easy Peter.


                                                                  I think you blokes pretty much sum up my own feelings on the topic. Here are some other examples I've hit lately. Try selecting edges of RHS and SHS members or small bore pipe in drawings for dimensioning. It is hard work and at times prone to error. On a number of occasions I've inserted dimensions only to find that the wrong edge has been picked up and the dimension was wrong. Fortunately I knew the dimension. The convenience of a dimensioning flyout window is soon lost to minutes and hours wasted trying to select such edges.


                                                                  How do you insert centre lines on weldments and piping where you have to provide arc lengths on bends? Annotation centrelines don't cut it. They don't allow you to insert arc length dimensions and obtaining intersection points is difficult. One alternative is to sketch in the centre lines on the drawings. I've recently wasted hours (days?) of time redrawing and redoing centrelines and associated whose sketch relations become corrupted each time the model is changed. A better alternative is to draw a centreline sketch in the model with dimensions marked for drawings. You can then insert dimensions as model items and select the sketch feature. This is great providing the view you are dealing with is not a detail. I tried this on a detail and it would not work. If it was just a projected view or section you can also convert the centreline sketch in the drawing. Instantly you have centrelines and dimensions that can be redone in a matter of minutes. Again I've been unable to convert these sketches in certain views. That means I've got to rethink the way I model to ensure that I can show the centrelines and dimensions easily on a drawing. It is called the tail wagging the dog.


                                                                  The same kind of problems were encountered with cutlists and BOMS. If I create a cutlist for a relatively small weldment for a single part then everything flows very well. As soon as I start using larger weldments in assemblies I run into problems with he cutlists. That means I'm being forced to create models in a certain way in order for the drawing cut list to work. Again, tail wagging dog.


                                                                  As mentioned by others, I'm finding the trick is knowing the strengths and weaknesses or limitations of the software and working around them. This can make a drastic improvement in the speed with which things can be done. But it means that you have to do a lot of trial and error to find the best method. If it is a one off project then it is not going to be efficient. Autocad seems the better proposition.


                                                                  Are we pushig the software too hard or extending it beyond what it was intended. The stuff I've been doing lately consists of a few hundred bodies and is relatively trivial. It is something SW should handle with ease. I have a relatively expensive tool that holds out the promise of doing most things but practically has a hard time doing much at all.

                                                              • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                Peter De Vlieger



                                                                Having to make layouts for piping I can symphatize.


                                                                Just today I spend the better part of an hour just waiting on the drawing to rebuilt views, section views, cropped views and at the end of the day I'll still won't have anything to show for it because it can't handle it. Restarting SW doesn't help, rebooting doesn't help.


                                                                Zoooef    =   the sound of the deadline flashing past me

                                                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                    Serge Piastra
                                                                    I find it SO ironic that we are beginning to read posts originating from ex-Autocad users, complaining
                                                                    about the lacklustre performance of SlowItWorks in Drawings...
                                                                    The SWX Marketing Dept has been targeting you guys for some time now, at the detriment of its long time users.
                                                                    I guess, keep sending as many ERs as possible, and we might get some improvements!
                                                                • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                  Aaron Larson

                                                                  Wow - all great conversation.  Though I must say as an ex Pro/E and Autocad user I would never trade in my SW for anything else.  SW, IMHO, has indeed made great improvements in drawings since 2007.  The on-demand resolution scaling of views certainly seems to speed things up as well as selective sheet loading.  The improvements in 2010 for rapid dimensioning and the dimension palette as well as the "s" key (released in 2008) and mouse gestures put many controls right at your finger tip (or mouse tip).  I work in molds and while I don't have thousands of parts in a mold I do often have 100-150.  My BOM sheets often have  2-3 section views, one iso, and multiple detail views.  I wouldn't call the speed blazing at this point but it doesn't cause me any pain.


                                                                  Since I'm obviously the minority here I won't spout off with too much positive review but I will offer a simple solution we used to use for ballooning our detail views of mold components.  We used to follow the mindset "one mold one drawing" meaning that all things related to that mold must be in the same *.slddrw file.  All the way from assembly to the teeniest custom pin.  In this scenario we at first too were manually creating balloons next to a block of text under our component detail views relating that particular piece part back to the BOM on the assembly sheet.  I then figured out that you could actually link the view of the individual component back to the BOM on the assemblya sheet via right clicking the view>properties and checking the box "Link to Bill of Materials" and then selecing my bill.  You can then attach a balloon with leader to the piece part and the balloon will reference the correct item number and update as you'd expect it.  Just edit the properties on the balloon to have no leader and you're good.  Just make sure that if you have a block of text for the component you have both the text and the balloon attached to the same view so that they move together if the view moves.


                                                                  That worked well - then we got into PDM and we simplified our lives 10 fold.  With PDM .... I DON'T CARE WHAT THE BOM NUMBER IS!!! It's a huge burden lifted.  We have now moved to having all separate drawing files for each component and assembly.  Each assembly has its own BOM.  If I want to look for a part I find it on the BOM - find it's description (or perhaps part number I I weren't a mold builder) and then look for that part description in my PDM system.  Going lean what each drawing file contains was huge for us from both a performance standpoint as well as a usability stand point.  If I need to send a mold component drawing back to my machinist I can now send him a full print of just that component that has all of the title block info on it because it's the only darned component on the print!    They love that.  And I love the fact that my PDM rev is right on the print so that I know exactly which model/drawing rev produced that drawing.

                                                                    • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                      I agree, SW drawings are not as bad as being made out. Sure there are a few issues, the odd line doesn’t highlight after dimensioning from a midpoint but you just click and it still works and big drawings can take a while to rebuild, but a one part one drawing policy fixes this...Remember 2D is 2D the hard work required to modify 2D drawings and any lag with the 3D drawing side of things.. is more than offset by the advantages of 3D.. Dont forget, you can also open a part by RMB its line on the BOM
                                                                        • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                          Peter De Vlieger



                                                                          ".. one part one drawing..."


                                                                          Is all good and well but not everything can be done that way.


                                                                          E.g.: A piping drawing can hardly be broken down to the part level because it wouldn't make any sense to do so.


                                                                          An odd line not hightlighting doesn't even start to cover the issues I have with it.

                                                                          Howabout a view that only shows all details when in shaded mode. When wanted in a non shaded mode one has to have the origin assembly open and even then do a half dozen rebuilds before it catches on

                                                                          Howabout that you can change the layer to use for a balloon only to notice that it doesn't respond well to that change.

                                                                          Howabout that you can select a particular custom property for a balloon style but that it won't recall what property you selected when you save it as a balloon style..

                                                                          Howabout having a drawing that is finally how I want it ( after I lowered my expectations a whole deal) that can't be printed and if you do a 'save as' dwg  gives you something that needs editing in a 2D package.


                                                                          I'm happy for you that it works sufficiently well for what you have to do with it but as you can see that doesn't apply for all of us.

                                                                        • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                          Derek Bishop
                                                                          I think your experience will depend a lot on what you are modelling and how you are using the software. My main beef with SW is slopping programming.
                                                                          • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                            Glenn Schroeder

                                                                            I was just reading back through some old discussions I had bookmarked and ran across this description of how to tie a drawing view of a single part to a BOM so that a balloon on the part will update automatically.  It'll save me a lot of time and I thought maybe I'm not the only one who didn't know about it.


                                                                            Aaron Larson wrote:


                                                                              I then figured out that you could actually link the view of the individual component back to the BOM on the assemblya sheet via right clicking the view>properties and checking the box "Link to Bill of Materials" and then selecing my bill.  You can then attach a balloon with leader to the piece part and the balloon will reference the correct item number and update as you'd expect it.  Just edit the properties on the balloon to have no leader and you're good. 

                                                                            I can't believe I never saw this before.  It seems like I learn something new every day.



                                                                          • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                            Robert Libby

                                                                            It seem that people seem to forget that each CAD package is different. The program different, they think different when creating a CAD package. I have read thru many of these post and wonder how people handled learning a new CAD package. How did they look at AutoCad, back when it was running on DOS then moved to Windows. Issues every when they did that. As someone said SolidWorks started out more 3D based than drawings and they have said that.

                                                                            There is a great deal of programing and information going on behind the seen. I when I come across and issue that might have worked in AutoCAD or another CAD package, I find out how SolidWorks is doing it and work within in the Software. I have found that most things can done and that it's a matter of learn how the CAD package I am using does it. I would think that people who started on SolidWorks and then moved to a 2D CAD package might think it was slow and had issues.

                                                                              I have worked with many CAD packages from the low end to the high end and enjoy SolidWorks the most. It's a matter of knowing how the CAD package does things. I have found that the people I work with are trying to do this in SolidWorks the same way they did it in a 2D CAD package. They never look to see if there SolidWorks does it differently. I think it just take stepping back and saying "What do I want to do and How does SolidWorks 3D CAD package handles it.


                                                                            Just my thoughts. You all have given me something to think about when I deal with issues we have.


                                                                            Thank you.




                                                                              • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                                Aaron Larson
                                                                                I couldn't agree with you more.  That is really the key - learn your environment.
                                                                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)

                                                                                    I think you're addressing something different. If there are things in SW that cannot work as a result of the differences with CAD, that's one thing. If there are things that don't work because the drawing/detailing aspect of SW receives .001% of DSS's budget and attention, that's another.


                                                                                    I understand there are a great many differences between CAD and SW and I also realize that some of my gripes cannot be addressed. But, given the fact that some have been addressed over the years, leads me to believe that most of the gripes I have fall into criteria 2 above (and not 1).


                                                                                    Don't get me wrong here..SW is AWESOME. I love the program. It's just frustrating to me that such a powerful and elegant program can be so pedestrian (if not clunky) when it comes to making drawings.

                                                                                  • Re: Detail drawing question(s)
                                                                                    Peter De Vlieger



                                                                                    There might be some that don't want to learn something new or who aren't able to.There are some who get into a comfort zone and don't want to get challenged nor grow.


                                                                                    However in lots of cases it is more what the company expects of the user. Management don't use it and all they see is the final drawings. They have no clue what kind of magic and miracles where needed to get to the drawings.


                                                                                    If you are your own boss mileage may vary.
                                                                                    If you have enough clout to be able to dictate how future drawings will look, good for you.
                                                                                    If you only have to take into account using this program and not having to worry about the look of the drawing being according to the company standard  (which was developed on a 2D package), swell for you.


                                                                                    Unfortunately, some of us aren't our own boss, don't have the clout and do have to make the drawing look similiar to all the other drawings that the company has made the last 15 year and will make in the future.


                                                                                    I comprehend that programming something like this is not easy. At the end of the day though that is no excuse for stuff not working. If you buy a Maserati you know that it has a whole deal higher end technology and engineering in it than a Ford T. When you have to push the horn while activating the left indicator lights and slamming the brakes so as to make the windscreen wipers work on the Maserati...... one has to come to the conclusion that it's a cool looking car that can go fast but isn't supposed to be used in the rain ?


                                                                                    I've been a computer nerd since 1981. I'm a former Gunnery Sergeant , former certified electrician, former certified digital electronics repair man, former salesman and have been a piping draughtsman for over a decade. I've used all kinds of Acad's, acad lookalikes as well as Cadpipe. I'm the de facto Acad admin within the company. I think it's safe to say that I for one don't mind learning new stuff.


                                                                                    What I do mind is using a supposedly more advanced tool that doesn't let you do stuff that something much less advanced would and could.
                                                                                    What I mind is having a product that has all kinds of features in drawings that would be nice if only they actually worked as advertised.
                                                                                    What I mind is that there are certain facts that you can't find in a manual or documentation. That you are then forced to spend hours online researching for every tidbit of info,  hunting down SPR's,  teaching one self by try and error, buying 3rd party manuals that may or may not be correct or up to date. I'm not saying that other packages don't have issues but then again... I didn't buy another package nor do I have to use another one.


                                                                                    The last month I have been mainly trying to make drawings. Time and time again I ran into issues. Time and again I call my VAR only to hear that there's a SPR in existence for the issue I'm having at that moment.


                                                                                    Taking a step back and asking myself ;


                                                                                    - "What do i want to do"                                                                    Answer : "My job, namely making a drawing of piping to the company standard"

                                                                                    - "How does Solidworks 3D Cad package handle it?"                 Answer : "With difficulty."


                                                                                    If it does what it needs to for you, that is great. Try to understand though that some of us have demands that, although still within the scope of SW, aren't being met.


                                                                                    I love what it can do in 3D mode but it sure would benefit greatly from some serious programming budget on the "drawing" side of things.


                                                                                    Have a nice one