Create drawing for each assembly component + smart blocks

Today we are releasing Drew 1.8.

We added support for blocks, notes and assembly component drawings.

And a boatload of other improvements.

What was new in version 1.7?

Last October we introduced Drew version 1.7.

That version added support for four languages.

It had a new and streamlined getting started wizard.

We also added automatic view rotation for all weldment sheets, so tubes that are designed at 45 degrees will lay flat in the drawing:

solidworks weldment view rotate

Assembly component drawings

Are you sure every part in your assembly has a drawing?

You could verify this by crossing off each drawing within a BOM. That doesn’t sound like fun though.

We had some spare time over the holidays, so we decided to build something extra for Drew.

Now you can make sure every assembly component has a drawing:

SolidWorks assembly drawing

This module allows you to:

  1. Create a drawing for an assembly component (plus button)
  2. View an existing drawing using SolidWorks’ Quick View mode. This is ideal when you just want to have a quick look at the drawing. (eye button)
  3. Edit an existing drawing (pencil button)
  4. Open the part or assembly (double clicking the model name)

We also added some filters to get a relevant view at a glance:

solidworks drawing filters toolbox virtual parts

Filters for showing parts. assemblies, toolbox parts virtual parts, models that need a drawing and models that have a drawing.

Toolbox components are not shown by default. Virtual components are shown, because they might still need a drawing.

This module makes it much easier make sure every model has a drawing. That means no more manual checking, and no more phone calls from annoyed suppliers.

Let us know what you think!

Who is using my license?

Drew works with floating licenses.

This means a user checks out a license when Drew start and returns the license when he is done. This allows multiple SolidWorks users to take turns and share a license.

On request from our users, we added a way to find out who is currently using a floating license. When you are in the license window, just click the Find Users button:

SolidWorks license manager

If your license has changed, because you added a user for example, you can now get the latest license by hitting the reload button:

SolidWorks license refresh

If the license somehow doesn’t work anymore and you can’t figure out why, just hit the Unregister button. Drew will remove the license file from your pc and remove the reference to your pc from our license server, so you can start with a clean slate again.

Blocks, notes and automation

Most engineering companies have a big document about how to create drawings in the company style. We believe that if you can instruct a human how to do it, you can instruct a computer how to do it.

With the Company Styles in Drew, you capture your company’s preferences regarding drawing templates, sheet formats, 3D views and now, blocks and notes.

When you create a drawing, Drew shows all annotations for that Company Style. Just drag a block on a sheet to get started:

SolidWorks block note automatic

We included two cool and smart functions:

1: Preferred position for annotation (blocks + notes)

We added preferred positions because a standard block usually also has a standard position.

Do you always add it to the top left corner? Not a problem.

Always add it to the left of the title block? Drew can do that. Click the annotation and it will be added to its preferred position.

Just make sure you have set up the title block in the sheet format. If you haven’t already, check out how to define a title block.

SolidWorks block note position fix

Annotations within a Company Style

2: Automatically add annotations to a weldment sheet

Do you make a drawing sheet for each weldment body? Than you’re gonna love Drew. Drew can add a sheet per unique body with a single click. That means Drew will add 50 sheets with views for you if you need it, so you can spend your time on a hard problem again.

From now on, Drew can also add blocks or notes to each weldment sheet. If it’s a simple annotation you an attach it to the sheet If it’s a smart block that contains model data, you can link it to a 2D or 3D view.

There, another few clicks saved for each weldment sheet 🙂

Further improvements

As always, we made many smaller improvements as well:

  1. We added sheet scale controls for existing drawings, so you can quickly update the values. Each Company Style can now also contain preferred scales, so our AutoFit algorithm uses these to find the best scale.

    Change sheet scale

    Edit the sheet scale

  2. Added buttons to add and delete a sheet:

    solidworks drawing add sheet

    Click the top buttons to add or delete a sheet

  3. Added support for sheet names that only contain numbers. To use this feature, just leave the sheet name for a Company Style empty.

    SolidWorks sheet name

    Company Style settings for sheet names

  4. We added more ways of preventing crashes, because crashes are terribly frustrating. It’s way too easy to crash SolidWorks using code, so we have to add safeguards wherever possible.
  5. Added loading spinners whenever a task takes more than a second, for example when you check out a license.

Bug fixes

There were some bugs that needed fixing this month. As always, thanks for letting us know that you found one.

  • If you saved the settings file, Drew used to partially overwrite the file, instead of emptying it first.
  • We fixed replacing the Sheet Format when adding a sheet. Drew used the active Company Style, which was not always correct.
  • We removed overlapping text in the License Window
  • Fixed text not showing in Add Sheet Size Window
  • Fixed navigation buttons sometimes showing when they were not supposed to
  • We found a way to show correct sheet scale in the drawing statistics for new drawings

Our strategy for updates

CAD Booster aims to release a new version of Drew every four weeks. This keeps our changes small and it allows our customers to try out new functionality quickly. We also get quick feedback.

For every update, we try to balance four aspects for improving our product:

  1. Add new functionality
  2. Remove bugs
  3. Improve the user interface
  4. Improve our testing methods

We are very happy that we were able to improve Drew on all four aspects again this time.

Summary

In this update to Drew version 1.8, we added more time-saving features so you can focus on the big problems again.

We added blocks, notes and an easy way to check an assembly for component drawings.

We were also able to improve existing features, the user interface and the stability of the product.

Happy drawing!

Try Drew for free for 14 days

Do you want to save time creating drawings in SOLIDWORKS, so you can focus on the big picture again?

You can try out the full version of Drew for 14 days. Click here to get started immediately. Setting it up only takes about a minute.

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