Quantity and Balloons in SolidWorks 2010

Adding quantities to balloons is something that many of us do when making assembly drawings in SolidWorks.  This is a very manual and sloppy process which involves adding carefully placed text next to each balloon that points to a part with multiple instances.  Some people use split balloons, but still manually edit each one for the desired affected.

Tobin Sparks and BalloonNote

Along came Tobin Sparks.  Tobin was just starting out in the world of macro and API within SolidWorks.  Tobin was a quick study, learning from the likes of handleman (expert API guy) on Eng-Tips and myself (macro hack).  Tobin saw a need and filled it by creating the BalloonNote macro.  This macro simplified the process of adding quantities to balloons.  The macro does have its quirks, but overall it is very well conceived and executed.

BalloonNote screen shot

For the past eight months, BalloonNote has really been the state of the art when it comes to adding quantities to balloons.  OK, that’s a slight overstatement, but the macro is very cool.

What’s New Announcment at SWW09

Either way, SolidWorks has stepped up.  At SolidWorks World 2009, the What’s New presentation showed off many new abilities planned for SolidWorks 2010.  One of those new functions is the adding of quantities to balloons.  Strangely, there are some eerie similarities between the SW2010 function and Tobin’s macro.  I cannot get into too much detail beyond the announcement itself.  I will say that it will be nice to have the functionality built into SolidWorks.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

2 thoughts on “Quantity and Balloons in SolidWorks 2010”

  1. Thanks Matt for the very nice article. I found the SolidWorks API fairly easy to get into, especially because I am learning some VB.net as well. It also helped to find a place (Eng-Tips) to get really helpful answers to my (dumb) questions. This gave me an outlet to practice what I’ve been learning. This shows that even a macro hack, like me, can do something with the SolidWorks API :-).

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