front-top-rightSo, you love your cushy design engineer job, but part, assembly and drawing creation is an assembly line of repetitive horror and the screams are about to come blasting out.

If you’re like me, you love the design process, but starting everything from scratch, especially on similar components uses up a lot of extra time that could be spent supporting co-workers with meaningful conversations on the repercussions of defeating robots with lasers.

Interested in saving time and adding some automation to your part, assembly and drawing creation? Here’s how to create a SolidWorks Part, Assembly and Drawing with one step.

As simple as it gets
You’re about to increase your efficiency. All it takes is a little preparation. Basically, what we’re going to do is make a all-in-one reusable set of files you can start with any project. I’ve made a simple example to get you started.
download-arrow-green1Download the All-in-One Template Pack

Follow these steps to create your own.

number 1Create the part
If the part is a common detailed part, create the main features. Make it as generic as possible to reuse it across different projects. At this point it’s a great idea to add in Custom Properties, dimensions you can use in the drawing, and reference geometry that may need to be used if this part goes into an assembly.

You can also start with a part you’ve already created. Open it make it a little more generic or keep it as is.

number 2Create the assembly
This ise optional if the part doesn’t need an assembly. You would do the same process for the assembly. Add Custom Properties, dimensions for the drawing, and any reference geometry. Of course, assembly usually have some more parts in them, so add those as well.

The nice thing about this? When you reuse the assembly, all the other parts are already mated in and if you make good use of patterns in your parts, you’ll save time having to mate in more parts.

number 3Create the drawing
I would start with your standard company template, add your general notes and any view labels you would typically use. This is one of the most repetitive steps in any project. If you don’t have templates set up for drawing, this would be a good time to do it.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one template either. You can create drawing templates for machined parts, assembly drawings, process specs, etc.

number 4Save all to a single folder
Save these three to a folder and put that folder somewhere easily accessible. Ideally this would be on a network where others can also enjoy the fruits of your labor. Copy out the next step to them in an email and take all the credit for yourself.

number 5Make the magic happen
One Step Part, Assembly and Drawing Creation

  • Open the All-in-One Part, Assembly, Drawing Folder
  • Copy files to a new folder in your {working directory}
  • Open part and make modifications
  • Open assembly and check for correct mates and hardware
  • Open drawing and adjust section views and dimensions. Check general notes and view labels for accuracy.
  • Print drawing for check

Doing this can actually help you prepare other reusable documents. Things like stock material parts, general notes and library components. If there’s something you’re repeating, look for a way to make it more automated and if you’re wondering how it could be done, throw a comment down below!

Do you use template packs like this to speed design?

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.