Creating Drawings for SolidWorks Multi-body Parts

When you have a multi-body part in SolidWorks the question that comes into play at some point is how do I make a drawing for each of the different bodies “parts”. The answer to this is like many items in SolidWorks is open ended and has many different solutions and I am going to run you thru a few of these options.

Option 1 – Insert into New Part

This option creates a new derived part that contains a reference back to the parent part. Each new part contains a single feature named Stock- <parent part name> – n ->.

If you change the geometry of the original part, the new parts also change. The software updates the existing derived parts, preserving parent-child relations.

The items I see that can be a downfall to this method is that you now have an additional part that you need to maintain as well as a part the has no dimensions when you go to create a drawing of the part.

Option 2 – Save Bodies

This works much like Option 1 but does give you a few more items that you can control such as the file name, creating an assembly of all the different solid bodies, and part template choice.

Overall it is up to you which of these options will work best for your application.

Option 3 – Creating Configurations

You can always create a configuration(s) to represent the different bodies and their features.

For our example all we needed to do was create a new configuration called Steel Rule and suppress all of the features that were not related to our “target body”. One warning is you have to make sure that when doing this you check all Parent/Child Relations to make sure when you suppress one feature it does not take out others you do not want suppressed.

The benefit to this is that you now have a configuration you can reference on the drawing or for an assembly later and you have dimensions that you can easily show on your drawing. The downside to this is you have to be aware of changes that you make to the file and managing all of the features.

Option 4 – Select Bodies (Model View)

The last option we have is Select Bodies which allows us to choose which body we want to create a drawing view of. The one item to consider is if your body is not oriented in a standard drawing view you will need to create a new named view to use in the drawing.

The downfall to this method is when inserting dimensions it brings in the dimensions for the entire model and not just the solid body.

I hope this helps everyone as they create different drawings.

Also a special thanks to Ken Zirbel from Fox Valley Tool & Die Inc. for letting my use his models for this example.

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Josh Altergott is Support Manager at Computer Aided Technology, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the CATI Tech Notes blog.

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Josh Altergott
Josh Altergott is Support Manager at Computer Aided Technology, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the CATI Tech Notes blog. http://blog.cati.com/
  • http://profile.typepad.com/raver5974 RaVeR5974

    May I add an option 3bis :
    DisplayStates are lighter than configurations and can be used to create multibody drawings.
    In most cases it require less work, use less memory, and rebuild faster :)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/tadicworks TadicWorks

    An additional option (similar to #4) is adding a “Relative View”. This allows you to isolate a specific body from the part file in the view. It also prompts you to orient the view upon creation so no new named views are required.