New inspection symbols added to SolidWorks 2012 symbol library

An unofficial standard has crept into the Drafting field for mechanical drawings.  In an effort to leverage drawings for functions other than defining the specifications for product, many companies are placing Quality Inspection (also known by other names such as Incoming Inspection) instructions on their drawings.  One common method to identify inspection dimensions is to place a “race track” symbol around them.  This is essentially a border with rounded ends.

When I last checked, neither ASME or ISO standards currently support the race track inspection symbol.  This means use of the symbol technically has no meaning unless the drawing has the definition somehow included within it.  This can either be in the form of a reference to a company’s drafting standard or a note within each drawing’s general notes.

If a company chooses to define the symbol in the general notes, they are left with an interesting problem.  How do they describe the symbol so that they can define it.  Although the race track may be easily placed on a dimension in most CAD applications, it is not so easily placed in annotation notes.  They could use a verbose method.

The problem with this?  It doesn’t necessarily get the message across.  What’s a race track border?  Maybe they could say “…DENOTED BY ROUNDED OUTLINE” or “…DENOTED BY OVAL.”  The general problem is the same with any of these options.  The description doesn’t fully communicate what is being defined.

SolidWorks does have a few methods to include a faked symbol in general notes (such as a border around empty spaces, or a sketch block placed under the note).  Now, here’s something you won’t see in the SolidWorks 2012 What’s New document.  With SolidWorks 2012, there is a new heading in Symbol Library called Inspection Symbols.  Depending on company preferences, there are two new symbols that may be included with an annotation note.

Also included in the Inspection Symbol library is a new symbol that may be used for non-dimensional inspection points.

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.

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