What’s New in SolidWorks 2014: Ballooning

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

Balloon annotations have been improved in SolidWorks 2014, with several formatting and behavioral enhancements.

Moving the arrow instead of the drawing view

Selection of the geometry within a drawing view tells SolidWorks you want to move the entire drawing view.  Normally, this is a great feature.  However, there is one case that wasn’t supported as a result.  It was not easy to select an arrow which was attached to a vertex of model geometry (because the vertex itself would be selected).  In SolidWorks 2014, when moving the arrow of a balloon to attach it to a different location, select the balloon first, then select the grip at the arrow’s tip.  This will allow you to move the arrow without moving the entire drawing view.

Moving that arrow

Leader attachment with quantites added

When a quantity is added to a balloon, the leader is no longer forced to break around the quantity.  You now have an option under More Properties button in the PropertyManager of the balloon.

To break or not to break, that is the question

Break around qty

No break around qty

Spacing between quantity and its balloon

You now have control of the distance between the quantity and the balloon with the new Distance field in the Quantity group box of the balloon’s PropertyManager.

Quantity spacing


You can now reattach any balloon, including dangling balloons within a stack, to associate them with any component from the same drawing view.


Reattach command



Enhancements to Balloons in SolidWorks 2014, together with the enhancements to ballooning in SolidWorks 2013, have improved and simplified many workflows to allow you to produce quality drawings faster and with less effort.

New stuff in SolidWorks 2014 (not mentioned in “What’s New”): Symbols

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

There are many new symbols that have been introduced in SolidWorks since 2012.

SolidWorks 2012

New category of Inspection Symbols:

  • Inspection Box (empty)
  • Inspection Box (with text)
  • Eye [for those inspection points that are visual and aren’t/can’t be measured with an instrument]

Inspection Symbols
SolidWorks 2013

In addition to new JIS Weld Symbols, these new symbols where added to Modifying Symbols:

  • Rho [used with conics]
  • Delta
  • Center of Mass

Modifying Symbols 
SolidWorks 2014

In addition to 5 new JIS weld Symbols, there are several new symbols included in other areas.

Inspection Symbols:

  • Diamond [alternative for identification of inspection points]

New category View Symbols:

  • View Rotation Clockwise (CW)
  • View Rotation Counterclockwise (CCW)
  • GOST Rotated View
  • GOST Unfold

Modifying Symbols:

  • Translation [including additions to the GD&T interface for compliance with ASME Y14.5-2009]

SW2014 symbols

What’s New in SolidWorks 2014: On-The-Fly Virtual Sharps While Dimensioning

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

SolidWorks 2014 introduces the ability to find and use virtual sharps on the on-the-fly while creating dimensions.

  1. Start any dimension tool.
  2. Right-click on model or sketch geometry
  3. Choose “Find Intersection”.
  4. Left-click on any model or sketch geometry that intersect the first selection.
  5. The Virtual Sharp element is automatically added, the point is automatically applied as a selection for the dimension tool.

See the attached video below (AVI will open, not an embedded video).

 On-The-Fly Virtual Sharps while Dimensioning

On-the-fly Virtual Sharps (AVI video)

Rob Jost gives details of the new Style Spline tool in SolidWorks 2014

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

Rob Jost, of SolidWorks Product Definition team, goes into deep detail about the new Style Spline sketch tool now available in SolidWorks 2014, in a recent article posted on the SolidWorks website.

The new Style Spline actually isn’t something new in the world of CAD. It’s an entity that’s been around for a long time, but is sometimes overlooked. It’s called a Bézier curve.

His very detailed article with a tutorial is found here:  Style Spline: What is it and why is it useful?

New in SolidWorks 2014: Angular Running Dimensions

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

A new type of dimension is now available in SolidWorks called Angular Running which allows you create a set of angle dimensions that originate from a common origin in a style similar to Oridinate Dimensions.  Options are available to meet ISO standards, such as adding a chain (dimension lines with direction arrow), and aligned text.  Options are also available to apply ASME style rules as well, such as horizontal text.  Angular Running Dimensions are added and modified similar to Ordinate and Baseline Dimensions, including the ability to add dimensions to an existing set of Angular Running Dimensions.

Angular Running Dimensions

Horizontal text


Angular Running Dimensions

Aligned text w/ chain


Angular Running Dimensions

Inline text w/ chain


Angular Running Dimension

Horizontal text w/ chain and bidirectionality


What’s new in SolidWorks 2014: BOM saved sorting

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series New in SOLIDWORKS 2014

Tables have seen several improvements in SolidWorks 2014.  One specifically for BOMs is the ability to save sorts.  In previous versions of SolidWorks, sorting BOMs was a one time action.  Each time you wanted to sort a BOM, you re-entered your criteria.  Not any more.  BOMs now have an option that allows you to save your sort by checking the setting called “Save current sort settings” from the Sort dialog.  Sort dialog is now available when you right-click on the BOM and select Sort>Custom Sort….

Save sort settings

Once OK is selected in the dialog, your settings will be stored with the BOM table.  If you make changes to your assembly or the BOM that adds, removes or changes your components, you can reapply your sort at any time by right-clicking on the BOM and selecting Sort>Apply Saved Sort Scheme.

Apply saved sort

Additionally, when Save current sort settings is employed on a BOM, the settings are remembered when that BOM is saved as a BOM template.  This means, on any new drawings, the sort is automatically applied when the BOM template is used to create new BOM!