2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2010 1:29 PM by David Beard

    SW 2010 export to AutoCAD dwg dimension precision number of decimal places changes

    David Beard

      A vendor is producing AutoCAD dwg files for my company by exporting from Solidworks 2010 slddrw by using File - Save As - AutoCAD DWG.  In Solidworks, the drawing document setting for unit number of decimal places is three (.123), and several dimension properties show that their precision is .123 (Document), not an explicit .123 override.  When the exported dwg is opened in AutoCAD or DWGEditor, some of the dimensions are appearing with a precision of zero.  Examining the dimension styles (SLDDIMSTYLE0, SLDDIMSTYLE1, etc.) of these dimensions shows that the dimension style created by Solidworks during the export process has a precision of zero (no decimal places).  There are no overrides applied to individual dimensions during the conversion; each dimension appears as it should according to the dimension style settings.  The problem is, the dimension style should have been set to display three decimal places when the dimension style was created by Solidworks.


      I am not changing the dimensions' styles from the ones created by Solidworks, so a style change is not the issue.


      Has anyone else run into this problem & found a way to prevent the number of decimal places from changing during the dwg export?  I can't seem to duplicate it in SW 2008, but I haven't tried that many times.


      A side note: many arrowheads are also changing from closed filled to Dots in these drawings, but that issue is less critical: it is easier to correct and doesn't require me to have any knowledge of the original dimension appearance.





      After sleeping on it, I think the answer may be simpler than I thought.  The vendor is importing (inserting) multiple Solidworks-generated dwgs as exploded blocks into a single new AutoCAD "template" dwg.  The first drawing (call it Dwg 1) inserted adds the dimension styles SLDDIMSTYLE0, SLDDIMSTYLE1, etc. to the new drawing.  Since the dimensions in the next drawing being inserted (Dwg 2) have dimension styles also named SLDDIMSTYLE0, SLDDIMSTYLE1, etc., inserting Dwg 2 into the new drawing makes Dwg 2's dimensions take on some of the the dimension styles of Dwg 1.  This could explain the arrowhead problem, too.  A simple fix is to rename the Dwg 1 dimension styles in the new dwg to SLDDIMSTYLE0-1, SLDDIMSTYLE1-1, etc. before inserting Dwg 2.  I'll follow up in this post if this idea works or not in case anyone else runs into the issue.


        • Re: SW 2010 export to AutoCAD dwg dimension precision number of decimal places changes


          I've noticed a similar issue exporting from SW 2009.  [I work for a company that, as a standard, keeps all their mechanical drawings in a database as both .DWG and .PDF files.  While we've been using SolidWorks recently to speed up the mechanical development process, the drawings still must be available in these two formats, and I'm currently figuring out how to comply with the .DWG requirement.]  While exporting my first drawing file to a .DWG format, the inch dimensions went from a precision of 3 places to 2 places (which can be somewhat concerning when some of the dimensions have 1-mil precision).  I fixed this by using the .123 override on all dimensions.  I reset some of the dimensions to document default .123 and a third export showed .123 precision on all items (even the ones I had reset).  I tried to export another drawing (in which I had set some dimensions to .1234 precision) and on the first export, it reproduced all of the precisions (including several doc' defaults) properly.


          From the available data, I would guess that as long as at least one dimension has been overridden, the precisions will be reproduced properly.  At the very least, overriding the dimension precision will yield a proper reproduction of the same dimension's precision in the .DWG file.


          I'm not familiar with the dimension styles, are they shown in the left sidebar with all of the other dimension properties/options?


          -Will R.

          [Mech. Eng. Intern/Solidworks Monkey]

          Albuquerque, NM

            • Re: SW 2010 export to AutoCAD dwg dimension precision number of decimal places changes
              David Beard

              The issue was that the first SW dwg copied & pasted into the Acad dwg  defined dimension styles named SLDDIMSTYLE0, etc. in the Acad dwg and the second SW dwg pasted dimensions (which also had dimension styles named SLDDIMSTYLE0) would assume the characteristics of those of the first SW pasted dwg. 


              Other things that happened were that notes such as assembly baloon numbers seemed to be changing when the second SW dwg was pasted into the Acad dwg.  This was because the SW dwg assembly balloons were blocks named SW_NOTE1, etc. and the second SW dwg being pasted contained notes with identical block names.  The problem first appeared when the vendor pasted two or more SW generated dwgs into one Acad dwg.  This case requires more clean up steps, such as renaming blocks and dimension styles or exploding and purging the blocks named SW_NOTE1, etc. from the first SW dwg before subsequent SW dwgs are pasted into the Acad dwg.


              Things are simpler if you stick to one Acad dwg per SW dwg, I'd recommend that.


              The dimension style names can be seen in the Acad properties manager (sidebar) under the Misc section, also in the Acad dimension style manager.  If you try to change the dimension style name, however, all the dimension overrides for the dimension are lost.