17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2015 1:34 PM by Ralf Hoffmann

    Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012

    Gary Stamper

      What is the best way to create an artwork for silkscreening purposes in Solid Works? I am a very new user and am having difficulty creating these.

        • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
          Anna Wood

          Do you have an example of what you are trying to create?

           

          Cheers,

           

          Anna

          • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
            Jerry Steiger

            Gary,

             

            SolidWorks sucks as a way of creating artwork for silkscreening. They call it SOLID works for a reason. It is a pretty good solid modeler, a mediocre 2D drafting tool, and a terrible graphics tool. It is best to create your artwork in a tool made for the job, like Corel or Adobe make. If you want to show the artwork on a SolidWorks part, then use the rendering ability. If you have to show the artwork on a drawing of the part, I would first try to convince people that a rendered solid model view was OK. If that doesn't fly, then you will have to bring a sketch into the part and use Split Line to scribe the artwork onto the face. With any luck you can get the lines imported into a sketch, say from .dxf files. With no luck, you will have to bring in a sketch picture and trace SolidWorks lines, arcs, and splines over the picture.

             

            Jerry Steiger

            • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
              Barry Kiefer

              I use a drawing to create my artworks. I insert the part on one layer and create the artwork on a separate layer.  Then I turn off the part layer, leaving only the artwork showing on the drawing. I then create a PDF file to send out as the artwork.  The PDF file can be opened in Adobe Illustrator to create the silkscreen.

               

              Barry Kiefer

              • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                Dan Riffell

                Is this what you're looking for?  I generally don't do silkscreens, but the process should be the same.  I create my artwork as a part.  Generally a series of sketches since SolidWorks tends to eff up when the sketches have too many relations.  Also, you might want to try to avoid splines since some vendor software has problems converting splines into tool paths.  After the part looks the way I want it to look I create a drawing and save it as a .dxf, .dwg or whatever 2D format the vendor needs to make the cut.

                 

                Not sure if this is what you were asking or not.

                Welsh Dragon.jpg

                • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                  John Burrill

                  When you say silkscreen artwork, are you talking about graphics or electronics like a PCB silkscreen?

                  • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                    Russell Saari

                    profile-image-display.png

                    I actually created a silk screen printer, and to make a silkscreen image I just create what I want and export it to Adobe Illustrator. Solidworks for some reason has great capabilities with Illustrator

                    • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                      Neil Thompson

                      We have been fighting this from day one, too.  Our silkscreen needs are pretty basic - we do mostly sheet metal panels with text, a few lines, and our logo.  These are easy to create in a sketch and extrude by say .005", then color the extrusion black.  Looks great in the model and drawing.  The problem with AI output is that it converts to raster and the image becomes jagged.  DXF converts to vector, but my silkscreener would much prefer the text remain as text (editable).

                       

                      Does anyone know how to output from SW into something "normal" people use that preserves the vector and text data?

                        • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                          Jeff Holliday

                          I just tried it - if I save it as .ai from the model, it does indeed convert to raster. If I save the .ai from the drawing, it does come in as a vector file, although the curves get created as a series of small segments.

                          • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                            John Burrill

                            Neil, if you extrude sketch text you're not going to get editable text.  that's the upshot of it.  If you're silkscreener wants some artistic flexibility, then I suggest exporting your flat pattern or drawing views to illustrator and let him remove the text graphics and replace them.  Illustrator has a lot more options for controlling the appearance and spacing of text than Solidworks.  Solidworks is not desktop-publishing software and sometimes the ink and paint guys need to be reminded of what it is they're hired to do.  As a matter of fact, I recommend letting the illustrator people do the logo work.  They can export it to PNG and you can insert it into your part as a decal.  Looks really good and doesn't screw up the topology of your model.mpz-12 box-0001.png

                          • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                            Neil Thompson

                            Agreed, doing the job twice is costly and error prone.  Plus, means buying (and learning) additional expensive software to supplement the original expensive software (SW) that should be able to do the job.

                             

                            Here is my silkscreener's response to testing some files I output from SW:

                            AI file from SLDPRT opens as an image that I can't use at all.

                            AI file from SLDDRW opens as vector with jagged edges.  I need to delete the outlines so that the text is not so chunky looking.  This only makes the text look even more jagged.  Also when I select the text and fill with true black the cut-outs fill in also.  They are connected somehow.  AI doesn't show them as grouped but they respond like they are.  The black it imports isn't a true black and the film won't print out dark enough to rinse entirely from the screen.

                             

                             

                            The biggest challenge seems to be getting smooth edges on text.  Accuracy is also critical since our text needs to accurately placed next to connectors, switches, indicators, etc.

                            This seams like a simple request - SW output a file format that the silkscreener does not have to rebuild in another software.

                            • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                              Daniel Gilliam

                              I use Corel to create my silkscreen. I export a dxf of my part and bring that into Corel and create my artwork from there. I can then export from Corel a dxf and insert and do a split line on my part or decal. I send an ai, corel, and pdf to my silkscreen house so they can play with it however they like. For simple text I sometimes just use the note feature in Solidworks and then export as dxf to Corel and work backwards from there. The only thing I don't like about doing the silkscreen at the last part is when it is in an assembly and you have parts mated to that face the mates will get jacked up because the "face" is now different.

                              • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                                Ralf Hoffmann

                                I guess this problem still exists?

                                I do have the same issue in 2014.


                                I would like that my screen / label printer guys just use whatever I create in SW so I know the text with all its properties is correct (position, height, spacing, etc).

                                • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                                  Mike Pogue

                                  If the work is simple, I recommend you extrude the artwork into the part, then create a view for the artwork and hatch it. Hide the geometry that is not part of the artwork, but add registration features to the view. Keep in mind that anything in the view will show up on the part. So ensure registration features are in holes or off the part.

                                   

                                  If the artwork is complex, I recommend you do not add the artwork to solidworks, but create a separate artwork drawing in the native program, including the necessary registration features, and simply indicate where the artwork should be silk-screened using notes and dotted lines.

                                    • Re: Creating Silkscreen Artworks in SolidWorks 2012
                                      Ralf Hoffmann

                                      Actually the screen printer is fine with our DXF file I guess. They never complained and the text always has the same size as whatever we put on our parts.

                                      The companies that do our polyester labels, etc. do ask for either vector files (still playing with the option in SW to export vector in pdf (dxf doesn't seem to work). The main reason is that if they replace our text (displayed as lines) with truetype fonts the spacing between the letters doesn't match up and is always different for every letter (just place a note that matches size and font of text you put on a part and see the difference). This seems like an unnecessary step if they could just copy all the text of the same color to create their layers (or however that works non that end).

                                       

                                      Adding the notes to the drawing and then hiding it from the parts seems also silly.

                                      Mainly what I want (and I saw a lot of forums about it) is that they want to create a part (that stand for a label) so we can render it and move text around so it matches the nature of the product and then just make a drawing from it or somehow export it so the label maker can easily create labels without recreating the whole label from scratch which wastes lots of time and money at this point.