Yesterday I caught Great Aunt Eleanor browsing on my computer. I hate it when she does that -she always finds a setting or something I am doing wrong and makes fun of me. Yesterday was no exception. “Why do you have so many SOLIDWORKS drawing templates?” she queried.
I think I have her now, she thinks she is so smart. I explain to her that I need to have a drawing template for each sheet size (A, B, C, D, & E) and I need a template because sometimes I design in metric, sometimes in old people units. (I call inches “old people units” -’cause it gets under her skin a bit). “Five sheet size times two units equals ten files!” I say with a smug look on my face.
“What if you need to make a change to a SOLIDWORKS option, or SOLIDWORKS adds a new option that you want to incorporate into your templates? That’s ten files you need to update, ten times the setup, ten times for you to make a mistake. You should be using sheet formats. They make building your template library easier.” she replied shaking her cane at me, heading back to her computer muttering about mining more gold than some guy named Deathwing.
“Because I don’t want to!” I shout. “Sheet formats are stupid!”
Okay, at this point I had no idea what a sheet format was, but I couldn’t let her know that.
Sheet formats (.slddrt) are actually very cool. They are really a simple file that contain only your titleblock. It is just a sketch with some properties.
Your SOLIDWORKS document settings are stored in the .drwdot file. If you work in metric and imperial you’ll typically need only two of these files, one for each. Create five titleblocks [sheet formats] and you only have seven files to maintain rather than ten. If in the future, you need to make a change to a drawing setting, all you have to do is update the two .drwdot files -the sheet formats are only overlays.
I know this is a little confusing, so let me show you how to do it. First, open your drawing template, delete the sheet format
Go through and set all of the document properties
and save this file as a .drwdot file. Call it something like: “Old People Drawing”
Now, when you want to make a new drawing with your inch settings, Choose the “Old People Drawing” template. Since this template does not have a sheet format, SOLIDWORKS will ask you to choose the sheet format you want to use:
All that is left is to make your sheet format.
Build your sheet format (typically just your titleblock and boarder) with your sketch tools and save it
in the same location where your sheet formats are located:
Make a different sheet format for each drawing size or titleblock and you are good to go! Much easier to manage.
Another point to Great Aunt Eleanor.