How Do You Show Dimensions in SolidWorks Drawings?

SolidWorks is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software that allows engineers and designers to create detailed 3D models. One of the essential aspects of creating accurate engineering drawings is displaying dimensions correctly. In this tutorial, we will explore different techniques for showing dimensions in SolidWorks drawings.

1. Basic Dimensioning:
When creating a SolidWorks drawing, you can use the basic dimensioning tool to add dimensions to your model.

To do this, select the “Smart Dimension” tool from the “Annotations” tab or press “D” on your keyboard. Click on the model’s edges or reference points to place dimensions.

Tip: To align dimensions properly, you can use the “Align Leaders” tool located in the “Leaders” group on the “Dimensions” tab.

2. Ordinate Dimensioning:
Ordinate dimensioning is useful when you want to show dimensions relative to a common reference point or baseline.

This method ensures that all dimensions are aligned and easier to read. To use ordinate dimensioning, follow these steps:

  • Select the “Ordinate Dimension” tool from the “Annotations” tab.
  • Click on a reference point or edge.
  • Select other points or edges that you want to dimension.
  • To change the orientation of ordinate dimensions, right-click on any dimension and select “Flip Arrow Direction.”

Tip: You can also control the gap between ordinate dimensions by selecting them and adjusting their properties in the PropertyManager.

3. Chamfer and Fillet Dimensions:
When working with chamfers and fillets in your models, it’s essential to include their dimensions in your drawings for manufacturing purposes. SolidWorks provides specific tools for adding chamfer and fillet dimensions:

  • Select the “Chamfer Dimension” tool from the “Annotations” tab to add chamfer dimensions.
  • Select the edges of the chamfer and specify the dimension in the PropertyManager.
  • To add fillet dimensions, select the “Fillet Dimension” tool and follow similar steps as above.

Tip: You can modify chamfer and fillet dimensions by selecting them and changing their values in the PropertyManager.

4. Hole Callouts:
In engineering drawings, it’s crucial to provide detailed information about holes, including their size, type, and depth. SolidWorks offers a dedicated tool called “Hole Callout” for this purpose:

  • Select the “Hole Callout” tool from the “Annotations” tab or press “C” on your keyboard.
  • Click on a hole’s edge or face to place the callout.
  • In the PropertyManager, specify additional details such as hole size, type, depth, etc.

Tip: To create hole callouts quickly, you can use a pre-defined hole callout format. Customizing these formats is also possible in SolidWorks.

5. Customizing Dimensions:
SolidWorks provides various options for customizing dimensions to meet specific requirements. Here are some customization techniques you can use:

a) Displaying Dual Dimensions:

Sometimes it’s necessary to display dimensions in both metric and imperial units. To enable dual dimensions:

  • Select a dimension or multiple dimensions that you want to display as dual.
  • In the PropertyManager, under ‘Text Format,’ check ‘Dual’ and specify metric/imperial units.

b) Adding Tolerances:

To add tolerances to dimensions, follow these steps:

  • Select a dimension or multiple dimensions.
  • In the PropertyManager, under ‘Tolerances,’ specify the upper and lower tolerance values.

c) Changing Dimension Units:

If you need to change the unit of measurement for a dimension:

  • Select the dimension or dimensions that require units conversion.
  • In the PropertyManager, under ‘Text Format,’ select the desired unit from the drop-down menu.

Showing accurate dimensions in SolidWorks drawings is crucial for effective communication with manufacturers and other stakeholders. By using tools like basic dimensioning, ordinate dimensioning, chamfer and fillet dimensions, hole callouts, and customizing techniques, you can create detailed and informative drawings that adhere to industry standards.

Remember to utilize proper dimensioning practices while ensuring your design intent remains clear. With SolidWorks’s comprehensive set of tools and customization options, you can easily create professional engineering drawings that precisely represent your 3D models.