This may be Drew’s biggest update in years. We made over 50 improvements, many of them related to automatic dimensions.
In this update, we have improved three of these. We made them more robust because any software labeled as smart or auto quickly becomes dumb when one condition is slightly off. Remember AutoBalloon?
First off, we now ignore angles smaller than 1 degree and angles larger than 89 degrees to avoid adding angle dimensions in weird places.
We also ignore very short lines now, and we fixed a bug that made the software think a point was on a line while it wasn’t.
Adding outer dimensions to arcs is hard. As a user, it’s easy to see when you should change the min/max setting for a dimension. You can just try a few options. It’s harder for computers.
With this update, we have improved our algorithm so it can figure out when to use the minimum or maximum setting for each side of the dimension.
By default, we add three outer dimensions to a body, plus a thickness dimension when the body is sheet metal. We even look for the best view to add this dimension to.
But when the body has no bends, one of the outer dimensions is the same as the thickness. We already had a method to avoid adding the same dimension twice, but we have now made this method smarter and more robust.
Drew can recognize a dozen or so basic shapes and add dimensions accordingly. Here, we add an outer diameter and a thickness when we find a pipe:
With this update, we improved our algorithm for detecting shapes so it better recognizes a pipe with a cutout.
Drew is slowly becoming a batch tool. We started as an add-in to create one drawing at a time, but we have since added batch importing STEP files and batch creating drawings. All to help companies that make a lot of drawings.
In our continuous push to make our software more intuitive, we wanted to add a progress bar for these batch jobs to keep you informed. But as you are probably aware, SOLIDWORKS can easily become unresponsive during long-running tasks.
So even if we could add a progress bar, it would hardly ever update because SOLIDWORKS is busy adding sheets or creating drawings. So we made our own, separate progress bar application that runs outside SOLIDWORKS. It feels like overkill, but it works.
From now on, you can see how many sheets (or drawings) we will be creating and you can even cancel those long-running jobs 😀
Our AutoFit algorithm is pretty good at fitting all views, tables, notes and blocks onto the sheet, while working around the title block. But sometimes, you just want a bit more control.
So we added a button to lock the sheet scale. Lock the scale and AutoFit will no longer try to zoom in or zoom out to make all views fit onto the sheet. If we can fit everything, we’ll do so. If not, we’ll show you a helpful message.
If you want to import lots of files and/or create drawings for them, the batch tools in Drew will save your hours every week.
Our batch import tool lets you select a folder, after which you can see:
You can import one file at a time or create one drawing at a time. But you can also run this tool with up to ten models at once.
In this update, we grouped the settings so they are easier to use. We also added options to save every new drawing (with the same name as the model) and if it has been saved, to close it automatically.
Of course, we added the same options to our batch tool for assembly component drawings:
Drew could already add a sheet per unique body and add a 1:1 flat pattern sheet for every sheet metal body. And you could use the name of the parent cut list folder for the sheet name.
We have now added sources for the sheet names and we’ve expanded these options to include flat pattern sheets. So now you can choose from:
We fixed a bunch of bugs in this update. These are the ones you may have noticed:
If you find a bug, just let us know and we’ll most likely fix it with the next update!
We are already working on the next update:
If you haven’t done so, go ahead and try out Drew for free 🙂