Solidworks drawing tips & resources

I’m still pretty new to Solidworks, but I am far from new to CAD, having spent the first 20 years of my career using AutoCAD and Inventor.
A year into the transition to Solidworks, I still feel shaky. I don’t want to treat it unfairly, but I’m repeatedly hunting around for the workflows I’m used to, and clumsy picking up the new ones. That’s all on me, but I’d like to improve.

One bias that I keep running up against is that Solidworks seems to be geared toward modelers, not drawers. While I do enjoy making an elegant model, I usually don’t see the point of trying because I am thinking about the eventual drawing that will be produced. I often know that the end product - the drawing - will require very little detail in the model to be an accurate drawing so I don’t model things very finely. This may be peculiar to the area I work in and way I do things. But it often causes the following things to happen:

  • My models are done very quickly
  • My drawings are elaborate
  • My google searches for Solidworks tips I need come up empty/irrelevant
  • My searches of the help files turn up irrelevant things or “I can’t do that Dave”.

I personally think my workflows are much more economic than my coworkers. I regularly finish a complete set of work instructions in 1/2 the time they take. But now my unfamiliarity with Solidworks is slowing me down.

Can anyone recommend blogs or groups that are DRAWING FOCUSED like I am?

Hi @SparWeb

While I am certainly no expert, from my experience (<10 years) using both Inventor and SOLIDWORKS, it is evident there are two approaches as you mentioned. I am quite partial to SOLIDWORKS as I agree with their approach of placing more emphasis on the model based definitions. Furthermore, it seems as though drawings will be retired all together at some point in the future.

As we are all aware, design changes occur, if you are taking half the time as your colleagues to finish your work, I wonder how long it takes to apply changes. Assuming no drastic changes occur, a properly modeled doohicky will take drastically less time to apply a change. Often times, once the change has been applied to the model, the drawing will only require a simple refresh.


I replied to your thread on Eng-tips as well and I think your problem is the fact your not taking the extra time to model it up in great detail. Usually when you model it up in great detail your drawings come together much easier. - please reply to both these threads, as some people have questions to better understand your problem.

Charles - FYI - I know SW is pushing their MDB add-in, but know this, there sort of suggestion of MDB has been around for years and its still not main stream. I don’t know of anyone in our local SW usergroup that has even considered using MDB, so I don’t see drawings going away anytime soon. By the time I retire (if it get too) it might start to be a thing for some mfg, but I don’t see drawings going completely away. I can see that MDB would be OK for parts, but lets see them do it with a large assembly. I don’t see the benefit there.

Hi Charles. Welcome to Simpli.

Thank you both for your comments. If you’ve also been following my “resume” on ET, I hope it helps you understand my point of view.
…Or replaces it with annoyance at my not-too-humble attitude…

I’m not immune to changes or corrections, no matter how good I think I am. I have produced drawings that update like magic after a model update. This has been more likely to happen in Onshape or Inventor rather than Solidworks, however. You have just added another item to my list of drafting skills that I haven’t transitioned to SW, yet.