Solid Edge

Drawing Production

30 Sep, 2003 By: J. Fred White

Drawing production is the process of formally documenting the design of a part or assembly. Solid Edge gives you a variety of tools to easily document designs during any stage of the drawing production. You can create associative drawing views of 3D parts and assemblies that can be quickly updated when the originating parts or assemblies change. You can also create drawing views that consist of 2D elements drawn from scratch that can quickly be changed without any change to a part or assembly document.

A combination of the methods above gives you the ability to meet the changing demands of your workflow. You can place an associative drawing view that you can update when the model changes. When you want to make changes to the drawing document without changing the model, you can convert the associative drawing view to a 2D element drawing view.

You can make a 2D drawing in Solid Edge using two types of drawing views: part views and draft views. The 2D drawing can contain dimensions and other annotations that describe the size of a part or assembly, the materials used to create it, and other data.

Drawing Production Workflow

The first step in drawing production is composing the drawing. Drawing composition involves setting up a drawing sheet and creating part views or draft views of a selected part or assembly. When you create a part view, Solid Edge applies visible and hidden line styles to part edges. You can change the styles and the way they are applied to the part edges after placing the part view. When you create a draft view, you can use line styles and formats to create a hidden-line display. You can then complete the drawing by adding detail information such as dimensions and annotations.

Figure 1. The Sheet Setup dialog will assist in defining Sheet Sizes, Paper Units, and Background Sheet Information.

The first time you load Solid Edge at your company, you should consider setting standards to apply to the drawings you create in the Draft environment. Although you can change the settings in the Draft environment to meet company requirements each time you create a Draft document, you will be more productive if you set up one or more Draft documents with the standard settings you need. You can then use these documents as templates for all of your drawings, making it easier for all users to conform to company standards.

When setting your drawing standards, consider the following aspects:

  • background sheet graphics for your drawing borders;
  • the projection angle you want;
  • the thread depiction standard you want;
  • the edge display symbology you want for the drawing views;
  • the standard you want for the dimension style;
  • the fonts you want for text on your drawings.

When you use the Document option, the working units for the new document are based on the option you selected when you loaded the software. For example, if you selected the Metric option, the working units will be metric; if you selected the English option, the working units will be English.

As an advantage to you, the graphics for the background sheets already exist in the new document. You can customize these graphics by adding your company logo and any other graphics you want.

Creating Background Sheet Graphics

Most companies use custom graphics for their drawing borders. These graphics can include title block information, zone markings, company logos, and so forth.

If you are creating the graphics from scratch, as shown in Figure 1, you should consider modifying the generic background sheet graphics supplied by the NORMAL.DFT template, since these graphics have been sized correctly for the standard English and metric sheet sizes.

After you have created your graphics for the sheet sizes you use, you can delete the background sheet graphics for the sizes you do not use. Doing this will reduce the size of your standard Draft document.

Drawings and Projections

When you create drawing views that are folded from an existing drawing view, they are created using either first angle or third angle projection. You can set the projection angle you want on the Options dialog box. On the other hand, when you create drawing views that contain threaded features, they are displayed using the ANSI or ISO standard for thread depiction. You can set the thread depiction standard you want on the Options dialog box.

You can set the edge display symbology for visible, hidden, and tangent edges for drawing views, as shown in Figure 2, so they are displayed according to the standards for your company or industry. For example, your company may not show hidden edges on the drawings you create. Also you may use a different line thickness for visible and hidden edges. You can set the Edge Display options you want in the Options dialog box.

Figure 2. Numerous settings--such as Visible, Hidden, and Tangent edge line styles--are available for defining drawing view display symbology in the Options dialog.

Text Management

Solid Edge is delivered with dimension styles for commonly used drawing standards, including ANSI, ISO, and DIN. The Style Type option on the Style dialog box is used to choose the dimension style you want.

After you select the dimension style you want, you can modify the settings within the style to conform to the standards for your company. For example, you can choose the font, font size, working units, and so forth for the dimensions you place. You can also create new styles that are based on one of the existing styles.

For the text you place on drawings, you will want to modify the text style settings to meet your standards. You can also create new text styles for the different types of text you place. For example, you may use a different font for text in the title block than for the text for notes.

By creating additional styles, you can quickly change all the text settings to match your needs. Defining the text styles in your standard Draft document will also ensure that all users place text that meets the standards for your company.


After you have finished creating your standard Draft documents, you should test them to ensure that they meet your standards and then make any modifications that are needed. You should archive a copy in case the originals are accidentally deleted or modified. If you have multiple users at your company, you should place your standard Draft documents in the folder where the other Solid Edge templates are stored.

See you On the Edge next month.

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