Note: If you missed Importing .DWG files into SOLIDWORKS: Part 1, we looked at the beginning process of importing .dwg files into SOLIDWORKS. I covered how to choose only the layers that included the information that we needed and looked at how to center, position, and scale our imported sketch entities into a drawing file.
Working with an imported .dwg file can create some unique obstacles. We no longer have drawings views to manipulate or a part model to reference. Also, you’ve probably experienced SOLIDWORKS performing slowly. This is typical behavior for this file type because each item that is imported will be converted into a sketch entity and with more sketch entities the slower the performance. Patience is key!
Utilizing Blocks in your drawing files can add flexibility to the editing process. When a block is created all the sketch entities that have been selected will now act as a single item. This is great for imported files because now you can quickly rearrange, scale, rotate, or isolate different components of your drawing file.
To locate your Blocks Toolbar you can go to View > Toolbars > Blocks.
The table shown below outlines each icon in the Blocks Toolbar and its function.
Select Make Block from the toolbar and begin the selection process. Keep in mind you want to select entities that you like to group together to act as a single item. Below is an example of how split my imported drawing into blocks. You can give each block a descriptive name by right-clicking on the block and selecting the Rename tree item.
You may click and drag your block to reposition them to allow room for annotations and dimensions or just to make sure things are centered correctly on your drawing sheet.
To quickly create a copy of a Block you may do this by holding the CTRL key while clicking and dragging away from the original block.
Selecting a Block from the graphics window will prompt the properties window for that specific block. Here you can add relations, link the block to the original file, and change size and positioning.
Reuse your Blocks to create multiple drawings from your imported file by saving each Block as a *.sldblk file and insert them into a new drawing file or sheet. To save a Block right-click on the Block> Save Block or use the Save Block option located in the Block toolbar.
After saving each block you may start a new sheet or new drawing file and select Insert Block from the Block Toolbar. Insert Block property window allows you to choose from your saved Blocks and gives you the option to change the scale or rotate the view orientation.
Using Blocks is a quick and easy way to combat the tediousness of editing imported drawing files and a great way to keep things organized.
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.