Create a copy of sheets for each model configuration.
Start 10 new drawings with one click.
This update for Drew has it all.
Our goal with Drew is to automate all repetitive drawing tasks down to one click.
So we built two new batch tools that really help you with that.
But focusing only on new features is not a great strategy.
That’s why we also made 30 improvements to the existing functionality. We included the most noticeable ones.
Say you have a part with twenty configurations.
And you would like to detail each one on its own drawing sheet.
You can copy and paste each sheet and then update the configuration of all views. But that’s boring and a waste of time.
Drew now does it for you. Faster and with fewer errors.
All you need to do is select the sheet(s) you want to copy, pick a naming scheme and hit go.
Drew then finds all configurations, copies the sheets and updates the sheet name and view configurations.
We even run AutoFit on each new sheet when we recognize the views. So you don’t even have to worry about dragging around views.
We kept saying no. But customers kept asking.
So we built a tool to start a batch of new drawings.
You can find it here, at the bottom of our handy list of assembly components:
When this is done, you can easily make changes to the drawings by adding views, dimensions and other details.
You can find more about the Component Drawings tool in our Knowledge Base.
SOLIDWORKS lets you exclude items from the cut list.
You need this when you model welds (or other helper bodies) that don’t need to be manufactured.
Drew could already create a sheet for each body or weldment body.
What’s new is that Drew now also ignores bodies that are excluded from the cut list. These bodies do not get their own sheet.
The second improvement is that we now add body sheets in the same order as the cut list.
Now when you manually reorder these folders in your model, Drew uses the same order.
Be aware though: SOLIDWORKS automatically creates an <As Machined> top-level configuration and an <As Welded> derived configuration. Here’s how to turn that off.
Most users only use the <As Machined> configuration, while the cut list only uses the <As Welded> configuration.
So if you think this feature is not working correctly, please make sure the cut list order is the same in both configurations.
I know that most SOLIDWORKS users are wary of any function with Auto in its name, but this one’s cool.
If you start a new drawing with Drew, AutoFit will fit all views, tables and blocks on the sheet. When you then make a change, AutoFit runs again and updates all positions.
No more dragging around views after every change.
AutoFit creates about 8000 possible solutions to place all views.
It then gives all of them a score and picks the best one.
This only takes about 100 milliseconds. It’s awesome to see how powerful computers are these days.
For complex parts and assemblies, this can take a little longer though.
Luckily we found a tiny tweak that instantly makes AutoFit 10-20% faster.
In the graph below, that’s the difference between the purple bar and the yellow bar.
The second big improvement works for models that are not complex, but physically large.
Like models that need a sheet scale of 1:50 or 1:200.
Drew is now able to skip a few steps when finding the best sheet scale. We start at 1:1, then work our way up or down from there.
Since we let SOLIDWORKS update all views after every step, skipping a few steps resulted in a major performance boost.
As can be seen with the green bar in the graph. For a complex, large multibody part, the AutoFit time went from 1830 milliseconds to 1010 ms.
We are continually testing Drew with strange and large models. This month, we ran into a table that took up 80% of the sheet.
Then AutoFit tried to fit all views into the tiny amount of space that was left. Which didn’t really work.
So in this version, we ignore large tables like that. Because you were probably not going to fit all of those views onto the sheet anyway.
We don’t like popups that we have to click away every single time.
So when we have to show you a message, we now use a small, non-intrusive window that disappears after 1.5 seconds.
It’s technically still a popup. Just an acceptable one.
If there is an error or we need you to make changes in the settings, we will still show you a normal popup. That gives you all the time to carefully read and act upon the message.
Our task pane got a bit cluttered over the years.
So we moved all batch-processing tools to a toolbar.
You usually only need these Add/Delete Sheet buttons once per drawing.
The buttons for a single sheet are still in the task pane as well because you need them more often.
Drew uses floating network licenses, so you can take turns on a single license.
We now let you choose whether you want to always check out a license on startup.
When we ask SOLIDWORKS which components are in an assembly, we receive a list with a random order.
Until now, we showed the components in that order.
From now on, we will sort them by name. That way the order will be the same after every refresh.
The assembly itself will always be the top item.
We fixed four bugs this month:
Drew version 2.7 is another great step forward.
Creating a copy per configuration will save you hours of boring copy-paste-edit work.
A nearly 100% performance improvement for AutoFit is good news for everybody.
That’s it for now. Go try it out: