Drew update: AutoFit fits all views on the sheet

Making 2D drawings could be at least 50% faster.

How?

Fewer popups, fewer identical questions, less dragging of views.

The goal of Drew is simple: create a drawing that is as complete as possible with a single click

With every update, we take more repetitive work off your hands.

New version, new AutoFit

Today we are launching Drew version 1.4. We completely rewrote AutoFit and we added a few small features. We also fixed three bugs and improved the language in the user interface.

Two of these features come directly from feedback from our customers. Thanks for sending us your thoughts!

Views that fit the sheet, always and without overlap

Our focus for this update of Drew was on rewriting AutoFit.

AutoFit is our module for fitting all views and tables on a sheet. You only need one click to add or delete a view and AutoFit makes sure the result fits on the sheet. No more dragging views around.

Now that Drew gains more functionality, AutoFit needs to be more flexible. The previous version worked well with a very limited set of inputs, but was quickly becoming too complex when features needed to be added.

The new AutoFit version is faster, consists of fewer lines of code, is more flexible and therefore more future proof. This allows us to quickly add tables and blocks in future updates.

Views will never overlap anymore with the new version. We now also avoid the title block at all cost, but only when you have set it up correctly in the Sheet Format.

slow solidworks drawing automation autofit

With 1 click you start a new drawing according to your company’s specifications

The new AutoFit architecture is also better testable. This allows us to immediately get a notification when an unintended adjustment has taken place.

Further improvements

Changing the main view is a little faster now. Rotating also goes quicker.

Sheet Styles contain all the settings that Drew needs for creating a new drawing automatically. It contains multiple Sheet Sizes for example. Because Sheet Styles and Sheet Sizes sound too similar, we have renamed Sheet Styles Company Styles.

From now on, Company Styles will be sorted alphabetically. Until now they were sorted based on the day they were added, which made little sense.

solidworks drawing template

Bug fixes

We also squashed the following bugs:

  • Margin of a Sheet Size was not being stored in the settings file
  • Wrong submenu was sometimes shown when creating a new drawing
  • Wizard for making Company Styles was sometimes not initialized.

Our development process

We have four goals for every update:

  1. Add or greatly improve a module of Drew
  2. Fix the bugs that we and our customers encountered
  3. Improve the user interface
  4. Improve our testing methods

We found a nice balance between these four goals and we worked on all of them. AutoFit works a lot better, there are fewer bugs, the language of the user interface is improved and our AutoFit code is more testable.

Future work

For the next version we focus on the module for Weldments and Sheet Metal.

Many SolidWorks users create a drawing sheet for each weldment item. Other engineers design a lot of multibody sheet metal parts.

Creating these drawings from SOLIDWORKS models is boring and error-prone. You can easily miss a single body when there are more than a hundred of them. Drew will help you with this.

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