Creating 3D Product Manufacturing Information

Since SOLIDWORKS 2008, all users have had access to something called DimXpert. This tool brings the ease of use known to SOLIDWORKS users to detailing designs in 3D.

Many of you create 2D drawings, but did you know that these 3D annotation details can be imported to 2D drawings? So, why create 3D Product Manufacturing Information in the first place?

Compare the manufacturing process with traditional 2D drawing creation and the 3D approach of Model Based Definition (MBD).

The answer is clear based on this study that MBD greatly improves the overall process of annotation, machining and inspection. Now we make a larger profit by completing more jobs in less time.

But how do you get started? Let’s fire up SOLIDWORKS and open a part.

Notice the crosshair tab above your FeatureManager Design Tree.

This is your DimXpertManager. As we create the 3D annotations, they will be associated to manufacturing (tolerance) features listed here.

Sample of manufacturing features:

This tab also provides access to tools to automatically create the annotations and create basic dimensions manually.

The CommandManager also provides a tab to access these and other tools for creating annotations.

In most cases, one of the three following processes will get you your part fully defined from a manufacturing approach in 3D.

Give the Auto Dimension Scheme a try. Play around with the manual methods of using Location Dimension, Size Dimension, etc. You’ll be surprised with how much control you have over the Auto Dimension Scheme.

How do you judge the level of definition with your part? Use Show Tolerance Status to give you a color based evaluation if your geometry is fully, under or over constrained.

With all of that said, get your hands dirty and remember that there are tutorials available built into SOLIDWORKS (Help>Tutorials>Design Evaluation>DimXpert Tutorials.

While you’re at it, check out SOLIDWORKS MBD Overview and TolAnalyst Tutorials. These are the next steps in using and publishing 3D Product Manufacturing Information. Lastly, by sure to attend our Launch Events to see how SOLIDWORKS 2017 improves this workflow.

Michael S.
Senior Application Engineer