SolidWorks 2009 makes further inroads into the area of drawing control. In the past, they added sheet formats, revision tables, BOM improvements, and links to model properties. The move to improve drawing control has been slow, often in baby steps. The newest control addition is another such baby step. SolidWorks now allows users to specify title block fields for direct entry. This mean, you just double click on the particular title block fields and fill-in their content quickly without any other functions. This functionality is nice, but given the extensive use of model and/or drawing custom properties to automatically fill in title block fields, I’m not sure how truly useful this new Title Block management really is for most users (at least in its current state). I can imagine this might benefit users who rely heavily on model custom properties, as they may find it useful to not rely on a custom property for the drawing’s Drawn/Date By fields (where the drafter is a different person than the solid model designer).
Using the Title Block Manager
The new functionality is easy to use, and not difficult to set up for an existing title block.
- To set up, open a drawing sheet or template.
- RMB click the sheet format in the FeatureManager.
- Select Define Title Block. This will re-center the view window on the drawing’s lower right (presumably the title block location). A grab-able black rectangle box appears at this corner of the drawing.
- Resize the box to fit roughly around the title block area.
- LMB click on any single-line annotation note that is meant to be filled in manually for each drawing. Each field will highlight blue, and be added to a list in the FeatuerManager pane.
- Select OK.
- Once satisfied with the set up, save as a drawing template.
Then, when in a new drawing, just LMB double-click to activate the field and enter the desired data. As shown here, setting up and using this new functionality to control drawing title blocks is very easy. It may be most useful for those setting up new title blocks; perhaps this is best for those companies upgrading from 2D CAD applications.