solidworks tipsI want my drawings to be as clear as possible, but I also want the least amount of views and pages to get the information across. This can be difficult when there are parts weaving in and around each other. So, imagine if you could combine two views together to reduce a bunch of extra sheets and views.

Let me explain, by doing the following, you will be able to reduce the number of views and have a cleaner drawing. It involves using two configurations and two views and placing them on top of each other. The main purpose of this it to make some parts stand out from others. Let’s see how to do it.

Here’s the steps:

  1. Create two configurations in your model.
    I created one for reference parts, the parts I don’t want to stand out, and one for non-reference parts, the parts I want to stand out.
  2. Put a view of each configuration in the drawing
    I saved an isometric view of each that gave me the best orientation and added these two views. Click to Enlarge.
  3. drawing-overlay-01-small.jpgdrawing-overlay-02-small.jpg

  4. Align the views
    Here’s the magic. Right-click on one view and select Alignment, Align Horizontal by Origin. Select the other view to align with. Do that one more time but select Align Vertical by Origin this time. You’ll end up with this. Click to Enlarge.


What else can you do?
Now what is extra, super cool about this is what you can do with the different views. You can change the display of one and get a really nice effect. Or use display states and get something really snazzy looking. Take a look. Click to Enlarge.



This may not be practical for every situation, but if you need to reduce the size of your drawings and bring some clarity to how things work together this may help out a bit. Now, it would just be nice if SolidWorks could add layering as a feature.


Josh is founder and editor at, 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.