Solid Edge

Extending the "Edge" with Solid Edge Draft

31 Mar, 2003 By: J. Fred White

Solid Edge has a powerful set of capabilities in the area of drawing creation. Version 14 extends this capability further with faster drawing view creation, shorter update time, additional tools for drawing production, and extended view types.

Rotated views and broken views are now even quicker to create and update. New functionality for creating automatic bolt-hole circles and dimensioning isometric (pictorial) views has been added. Combined with the new broken-out section views, these enhancements in Solid Edge Draft can dramatically increase productivity.

Faster View Creation and Update

A new drawing architecture introduced in V14 addresses the ever increasing demand for speed by increasing the practical size of assemblies that can be used to create drawing views, improving drawing view update times, and decreasing system memory requirements. What is unique to Solid Edge is the program's ability to define classes of parts and easily control their display in drawing views at placement time. A large machine design may be made up of literally thousands of pieces of hardware, all of which require hidden line calculations when creating a drawing view, even though they are not critical for the overall view. With Solid Edge V14, the users can query for all hardware and turn off their displays before placing the drawing view. This is a huge time saver and a means to realistically create drawings of massive assemblies.

Dynamic Reference Parts

V14 provides dynamic reference-part calculation. In any drawing view, some parts or subassemblies may convey information about the locations or relationships not necessarily critical to the drawing. You can now de-emphasize these components by making them reference parts. Reference parts in Solid Edge are unique in that they are not simple overlays but actually included in special VHL calculations. These VHL calculations ensure that reference parts do not hide real parts in a drawing view. They also ensure that reference parts are hidden by real parts. This type of representation provides the correct display for clear identification. Additionally, custom line styles can be created and applied to the reference parts to ensure the display meets your specific needs, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. These images represent the two different display modes--with the reference parts emphasized or de-emphasized.

3D Dimensions on ISO Views

You can now place a 3D dimension (a dimension that uses the associative model to determine true distance rather than the projected distance on the 2D drawing) in a pictorial view. Currently a linear or radial SmartDimension can be placed as a 3D dimension.

Enhanced Drawing View Annotations

When you need to edit a callout, weld symbol, surface texture symbol, or a feature control frame, you can now display the Properties dialog box by simply double-clicking the annotation.

Bolt-Hole Circle and Center Marks

A new Bolt-Hole Circle command allows you to place a bolt-hole circle annotation, made up of a series of arcs with all the required radial center marks. Center marks can now be placed by two points to orient them on an axis. Prior to V14, placing center marks on an axis required defining an axis first and the center mark second. The new two-point technique significantly reduces the number of steps required.

Other Enhancements

Detail View. Detail views are now constrained to the geometry in the drawing view. If the geometry in the detail envelope moves, the detail envelope also moves.

Drawing Views. You can now fit a drawing view to the active view by clicking the Fit Drawing View command on the shortcut menu.

Broken-Out Section Views. A new Broken-Out Section View command is now available on the Drawing Views toolbar. You can use this command to define regions of a view that you want to break out to display interior features of a part or parts in an assembly.

You define the broken out area by drawing a closed profile that represents the area you want to expose. You can define the extent of its depth using two methods. You can enter an extent value on the ribbon bar or define the extent depth by positioning the cursor over a drawing view that is folded 90 degrees from the source view. You can specify that the broken out region be applied to the drawing view on which the profile is drawn, or any other view. As shown in Figure 2, you can draw the profile on a principal view (A), then specify that the pictorial view contains the broken out region (B).

Figure 2. If you want to examine two perspectives of your model simultaneously, you can define and apply a broken out region to the drawing view on which the profile is drawn or any other drawing view.

Rotated View Enhancements

You can now rotate all selected views, including detail views, in a single step. You can also derive section views and auxiliary views from a rotated view. Cutting planes, auxiliary view planes, and detail envelopes rotate with their respective parent views. The rotation angle can be controlled with a Rotation Angle box on the Drawing View Properties dialog box.

Enhanced Broken Views

The Add Broken View Regions command available in earlier versions of Solid Edge has been renamed to Add Break Lines. You can now specify four different types of break lines: straight, cylindrical, short break, or long break. In previous versions of Solid Edge, you defined a broken view by specifying the regions you wanted to keep. In Version 14, you define the regions you want to remove. You can also use the Add Break Lines command to define break lines in both the vertical and horizontal direction on one drawing view.

Shortcut Keys

You can now zoom and pan in Draft with the following shortcut keys.

  • To zoom out, use CTRL+DOWN ARROW or CTRL+RIGHT ARROW.
  • To zoom in, use CTRL+UP ARROW or CTRL+LEFT ARROW.
  • To pan up, use SHIFT+CTRL+UP ARROW.
  • To pan down, use SHIFT+CTRL+DOWN ARROW.
  • To pan left, use SHIFT+CTRL+LEFT ARROW.
  • To pan right, use SHIFT+CTRL+RIGHT ARROW.

Other noteworthy enhancements include the following:

  • editing a cutting plane line by double-clicking on it;
  • placing angular coordinate dimension;
  • placing angular dimensions at 180 degrees;
  • using the new JIS standard mode for thread display;
  • inserting symbols as geometry by default (rather than associatively).


2D drawings remain a fundamental part of the 3D workflow and are often still the final design deliverable. Using Solid Edge Draft allows you to access tools for drawing layout, detailing, annotation, and dimensioning controls that automatically comply with the mechanical drafting standards you select--whether you are working from a solid part, an assembly model, or a blank drawing sheet.