Product Review: Template Wizard (Part 1)

One of the areas where SolidWorks lacks is in the creation and editing of engineering drawings.  Specifically, there is very poor support for drawing templates.  One person has taken a stab at filling this gap in SolidWorks functionality.  Kevin Van Liere of SolidWorks Templates has created Template Wizard.

The goal for Templates Wizard is to make it easy for the end user to create and edit drawing templates.  According to Kevin, SolidWorks Corp. does not acknowledge that their lack of functionality with drawing templates is a problem.  Also not provided by SolidWorks Corp. is a best practices guide for templates during SolidWorks training.  He developed Template Wizard due to these facts and out of pure frustration.

He says that his target is end users, of course.  In particular, new users will find Template Wizard most helpful, though he does feel existing users will benefit as well.  I am inclined to agree, especially at the current list price of {outdated}.  Due to the low price, he stated that some VARs have contacted him about purchasing seats of Template Wizard to provide it to their clients for free as part of an overall package.  For the price, this is likely one of the most accessible professional SolidWorks Add-ins available.

The Add-in creates templates for drawings, models and model assemblies.  It allows the user to create such templates from scratch. In the case of drawing templates, it also allows the user to create a SolidWorks drawing template based on an AutoCAD template.  Additionally, it will edit existing SolidWorks drawing templates to add fields and functions that might be previously lacking.

The focus is on the actual templates themselves.  For example, Template Wizard intentionally does not go deep in to settings, such as centermark sizes.  It does provide general control by the selection of ANSI, ISO, etc.  However, for the most part, it offers the pure experience of creating the template itself.  I think that task is daunting enough without getting into the numerous individual settings available within SolidWorks.

Part 2 of this article will go into the details of Template Wizard, focusing on its work flow and specific functions.  It will include a (hopefully) thorough critique of the Add-in.

For the record, this review is unsolicited by SolidWorks Templates; I contacted SolidWork Templates.  This review is based on a free short term license that was provided to me by SolidWorks Templates solely for the purpose of this review.  That license is revoked upon completion of this review.  No guarantees by me were granted to SolidWorks Templates regarding the outcome of this review.  I did discuss my negative findings with Kevin regarding specific functions prior to release of this review.  All of my findings (positive and negative) will be openly presented in Part 2.

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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