Drew 2.0: drawing automation at its best

You thrive when you are solving problems.

You suffer when you are doing menial jobs.

You’re an engineer.

Oh no. Here come the drawings

We at CAD Booster know that making drawings is not the most fun job in the world.

SOLIDWORKS asks you the same questions over and over again:

Which template, which sheet format, which 3D view, which 2D views, which blocks, which BOM, which cut list, which flat pattern.

It gets old quick.

That is why we created Drew.

The case for drawing automation

We understand that drawings are important though. Now and in the future.

CAD Trends 2018-2019 research by Business Advantage shows that about 70% of engineers use drawings now. 68% says they will use them in five years time.

Drawings are not going anywhere.

drafting drawing 2D in five years future

We also think making drawings lets you find mistakes in your 3D designs. Because, as I wrote when we first released Drew:

Your brain works differently when you create a 2D drawing.

To help you get the most out of your day, we are releasing Drew version 2.0 to the world today.

It’s the best version so far, and it is going to get even better.

Ten features to save you thousands of clicks

It’s been a little over a year when we released Drew for the first time.

Since then we added some great functionality:

  1. (Sub) weldment drawings: Create a sheet with views for each unique weldment body, with 1 click. We even rotate the main view so it always lays flat.
  2. Assembly component drawings: Verify that every part and subassembly (even nested components) has a drawing. Open drawings in Quick View mode or create one when missing.
  3. AutoFit: Create a sheet and nicely position all views, tables, blocks and notes. AutoFit makes sure they all fit. It does this by scoring thousands of options each time you make a change.
  4. Flat patterns: Add a sheet (without a sheet format) with a 1:1 flat pattern for each sheet metal body. With 1 click.
  5. Bill of materials: Drew adds a BOM automatically to the first sheet when your model is an assembly.
  6. Cut list: Added automatically when your model is a weldment part.
  7. Portrait paper sizes: SOLIDWORKS officially only supports A and A4 portrait. Drew supports portrait versions of all standard ANSI and ISO paper sizes.
  8. Blocks and notes: Store annotations within a Company Style, then drag them onto a sheet when required. Or add a block to every weldment sheet automatically.
  9. Balloon checker: Verify that every item in your BOM or cut list has at least one balloon.
  10. Dangling dimensions: Edit your drawing with one click to remove all dangling dimensions, crosshairs and other annotations.

I’m actually surprised by this list myself. It’s such an awesome list of tools.

What’s new in version 2.0

1: The 3D view and main view are now optional. You can toggle them on and off and AutoFit will update the sheet.

drawing automation add views macro

2: Quickly update the main view rotation.

The text box on the left shows the current angle (in degrees). Click the buttons to rotate the view 90 degrees.

rotate SOLIDWORKS view 90 degrees

3: Check which part a balloon is linked to.

We introduced our Balloon Checker in Drew 1.9. We now added a smart tooltip that tries to find the component name and its quantity. That makes it easier to identify component that still need a balloon.

find missing balloons solidworks drawing

Improvements

  1. License reuse: It is so easy to crash SOLIDWORKS from code, it’s not even funny. Sometimes we cause SOLIDWORKS to crash (sorry for that), sometimes it’s someone else’s software. From now on, you will be able to reuse your checked out license after a crash. This double whammy (crash, then license troubles) would make fuming users even more angry, so we found a way to fix it.
  2. Better AutoFit scoring: From now on, AutoFit also takes the distance from a view to a 3D view into account. The result is that views are more evenly spaced across the sheet.
  3. Admin rights when installing: Because SOLIDWORKS add-ins need admin rights to install properly, we now verify that you have admin rights when you start the installer.

Bug fixes

  1. Fixed error when viewing detached drawings.
  2. Fixed bug that caused AutoFit to use the wrong Sheet Size when creating weldment drawings.
  3. Fixed assembly events that got unhooked, which caused the task pane not to update.

What we have planned for drawing automation

Drew supports you in three distinct phases in the life cycle of a drawing:

  1. Create drawings
  2. Edit drawings
  3. Review drawings

Drew is already very good at creating new drawings. So we will focus more on editing and reviewing existing drawings.

Do you have a feature request? Awesome, send it to us via drew@cadbooster.com and you’ll always get a reply.

Boost your team’s productivity for €99

You can try out Drew for free. All features are available and setting up only takes about 2 minutes:

https://cadbooster.com/drew/

Full licenses can be purchased in our shop for only €99 per network license per month.

We also added a bunch of articles to our Knowledge Base and updated all existing articles. So head over there first if you have any questions.

Happy drawing!