Anyone familiar with SOLIDWORKS, or 3D CAD in general, knows you can’t easily markup a 3D model or drawing within the software. You still need to print the drawing or model, hand-deliver it to the conference room, shop floor or the friendly checker grinning at you expectantly over the edge of the cubicle. The. Joy.
The new RedLine add-in for SOLIDWORKS from InfinityDRAW changes this, allowing you to digitally redline your parts, assemblies and drawings right inside SOLIDWORKS. The potential time and money this saves alone is huge, not to mention the paper, ink, trips to the pen cabinet and energy of sorting through different redline stacks. It also addresses the lack of redline capability in SolidWorks but goes a long way toward alleviating the miscommunication that inevitably happens with paper redlines.
There are actually two add-ins available –RedLine for SOLIDWORKS and RedLine for SOLIDWORKS PDM. RedLine for SolidWorks allows you to markup models on virtual surfaces or, as you’re used to, on the drawing sheets directly. RedLine for SOLIDWORKS PDM adds the capabilities to SOLIDWORKS PDM to markup eDrawings, SOLIDWORKS or Draftsight files, but also adds real-time redline notification, markup history and digital signoff — perfect for managers, manufacturing and drawing checkers ready and willing to lather your drawing with red.
The markups stay with the SOLIDWORKS file as well and PDF redline reports can be generated with links to the affected files. The markups will also be retained if/when the file is printed. A mouse isn’t the easiest tool for writing or sketching redlines, but can be used. However, this just reinforced the use of touchscreen/stylus combos or Wacom tablet use for CAD.
There are no prices listed for the add-ins, but we’ve reached out to InfinityDRAW for pricing details. You can request more information via the InfinityDRAW website.
Clear, unambiguous communication is absolutely essential in an engineering environment. It’s amazing it took this long for something so integral to the product dev process to show up. Eventually… hopefully, we’ll see more workflow add-ins like this added to the CAD software of the future.