New tool in SolidWorks Drawings called Section View Assist now allows you to create Section Views much quicker without the need for sketches or secondary cutting elements.
With all the drawing improvements in SolidWorks each year, there’s often some small ones that don’t make it into the What’s New file. Last year, I covered several small enhancments in SolidWorks 2012 that weren’t in the What’s New. Well, it’s now time to start covering SolidWorks 2013. I’ll cover some of the bigger enhancements for SolidWorks, but I’m also going to cover some of these hidden gems too.
Section views are made of several elements, including a parent view, a cutting line, labels, and the section view itself. Both ASME and ISO standards have situations where the cutting line is not shown, such as with half sections or when the cut is obvious. Prior to SolidWorks 2013, hiding the cutting line required workarounds. In SolidWorks 2013, there is a very simple command now available.
To hide a section view’s cutting line, RMB click on the either the cutting line or the section view. Select Hide Section Line. That’s it.
Of course, the question now is, how are the cutting lines unhidden once they are hiding? Easy, RMB click on the section view itself and click on Show Cutting Line command.
The cutting line returns to the parent view as though it never went away in the first place.
Orientation Dialog Box
Switching between views in the SolidWorks modelling environment has always been a fairly painless exercise. Press the SPACEBAR and choose your view, or use the Normal to command. The Orientation dialog window has now been improved in SolidWorks 2013. In addition to icongraphic layout, you can now create custom views and save them for reuse in different documents.
To save views for use in other documents, create a new view same as before using the New View button. The view will then appear in the Orientation dialog box between the standard views and the view port buttons. When you highlight that view, a save icon appears. When saved, a globe icon will appear next to new view indicating that it is now available for use in other documents.
Another cool addition to the Orientation interface is the View Selector. To turn on the View Selector, start the Orientation dialog box and click on the View Selector button in the upper right next to the pin. While this button is depressed, the View Selector will automatically engage when you launch the Orientation dialog box.
The View Selector allows you to quickly and visually select your next view orientation of the model between standard views. It provides quick access to the opposite views too (the other side of each standard orientation). That means you can quickly jump to the backside upper isometric view as easily and you can jump to the front view!
SolidWorks had an interesting and small limitation for a long time. If you were editing an annotation note in the graphics area of your drawing (by double-clicking on it), you couldn’t use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out around the document. Sure, you had access to increase and decrease zoom level using other means, but that would be focused on the center of the screen in both directions. As such, linking your note to other annotations on other areas of your drawing usually involved planning one step ahead.
Starting with SolidWorks 2013, the mouse wheel now zooms in and out while you are editing an annotation note in drawings. For example, if you are creating your general drawing notes and wish to add a link to a dimension in a drawing view at the other end of the drawing sheet, you can now simply zoom out with the mouse wheel, move the mouse cursor to the dimension and click it, then use the mouse and wheel to zoom back to focus the screen around the general notes while you are still typing.
Another use may be if your annotation note is not yet set to wordwrap and text is extending off the screen. You can now quickly zoom out to see all of the text and set the note’s bounding box so that it wordwraps, then zoom back in to continue your edits.
This is going to be one of those little things that you won’t even notice when you use it. You’ll prolly won’t think twice about it, acting as though this was the way it has always worked.
Revision clouds is a new annotation type in SolidWorks. The main purpose for revision clouds is to allow you to call attention areas where a revision was made on a drawing. Though revision clouds are not the same as comment clouds in eDrawings, you may also want to use it to highlight comments for redlines, if you wish. Revision clouds are likely the most entertaining annotation, as you can also get artsy and make actual cloud shapes just for the fun of it.
Making a revision cloud is easy. Open up a drawing in SolidWorks 2013, goto the annotations tab on the CommandManager. Nearby Revision Symbol, you’ll find Revision Cloud. The PropertyManager allows you choose cloud type, Rectangle, Ellipse, Irregular Polygon and Freehand. You can also control the maximum size of the cloud puff radius, line type, line thickness and layer. Color can also be controlled via the layer or by using the Line Color tool in the Line Format toolbar. Here’s some examples.
As noted in a previous article, revision cloud is a new annotation in SolidWorks 2013. Well, here’s a little trick not mentioned in the What’s New that you can use on revision clouds once you’ve placed them on your drawing. Highlight the revision cloud and goto Tools pulldown>Sketch Tools>Rotate. The Rotate tool will allow you to rotate your revision cloud annotation.
Rectangular revision cloud just minding its own business.