What’s new in SolidWorks 2012: Magnetic Lines

Just over a year ago, 3DVIA was showing off something called Magnetic Lines.  In 3DVIA, Magnetic Lines are a documentation aid that allows you to quickly line up any type of objects with each other by attaching them to a common line.  Most notibly, Magnetic Lines can be used to quickly align item balloons on assembly drawings.  Many users asked the question, if it is in 3DVIA, why not have it in SolidWorks.  Well, the SolidWorks team took the request seriously.  Within one year, they introduced Magnetic Lines in SolidWorks

Unlike 3DVIA, SolidWorks’ Magnetic Lines only control item balloons.  (SolidWorks has other tools to align annotation notes and drawing views.)  You can add a Magnetic Line to your drawing with the Magnetic Line command from Annotations toolbar or the Annotations tab in the CommandManager.

This will enable you to draw a line on your drawing with two points, thus forming a Magnetic Line.  You can drag one end of the Magnetic Line through the center of an existing balloon to attach it to the line.  You can also drag a balloon onto a Magnetic Line.  Magnetic Lines are only visible when the command is active, or when a  balloon is selected. 

Once balloons are attached, they can quickly aligned in any direction by dragging one end of the Magnetic Line.  They can also be moved in unison by dragging the Magnetic Line from the middle.

To detact a balloon from a Magnet Line, click on the balloon to drag it off of the line.  In my opinion, just about everything with this new tool is intuitive and easy!  It is a powerful new drawing aid that makes organizing balloons on assembly drawings much easier.

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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