Learn About Custom Text Position Feature in SOLIDWORKS MBD

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed many standards and recommendations for defining product manufacturing information. These standards are important to ensure your product is built safely and properly. Often times, these standards are related to the orientation of dimensions and callouts to aid the manufacturer in processing the information as clearly as possible. The only problem is that these specified orientations for dimensions can be frustrating and time consuming for the designer to achieve in a 3D environment.

With SOLIDWORKS Model-Based Definition, annotations and dimensions can be aligned and oriented with ease. Check out NIST’s PMI test cases here.

SOLIDWORKS DimXpert offers a custom text position feature that allows users to orient a dimension to more readable formats. With this new enhancement those poorly oriented dimensions that are seen below can be fixed in an instant.

To find and use this wonderful feature, simply select any DimXpert annotation or callout contained in the SOLIDWORKS environment. Within the DimXpert property manager under the leaders tab, users will find the custom text position options at the bottom.

By default the feature is deselected. Once the box is selected SOLIDWORKS presents the user with three separate options for positioning the dimension.

Option 1: Solid leader, aligned text

Figure 2: Option example 1

Figure 3: Option 1 example 2

This option creates a solid leader that extends underneath the DimXpert annotation. The annotation text and leader are aligned on the same axis.

Option 2: Broken leader horizontal text


Figure 4: Hole callout oriented horizontally according to its assigned annotation view

The annotation is oriented horizontal to the annotation view that it is associated with. In this case it appears to be oriented vertically to the user’s perspective but is actually horizontal to its assigned viewing plane, which can be seen below.

Notice the option boxed in red called “horizontal direction.” Here the user can rotate any annotation view to control how dimensions and callouts are oriented. Simply right click any annotation view in the DimXpert manager and select edit annotation view. The annotation view can be rotated a full 360˚.

Option 3: Broken Leader, Aligned Text

Figure 6: Option 3 example 1

Figure 7: Option 3 example 2

This option is very similar to option one except the leader does not extend underneath the annotation. Both the annotation and the leader will be aligned along the same axis. The custom text position feature is a very valuable tool in aligning DimXpert annotations to fit your needs. Every model is different in its own way and to account for this, SOLIDWORKS MBD needs to be versatile in the way it orients and displays product manufacturing information. With this handy capability, MBD is one step closer to giving users a seamless journey between design and manufacturing. Check out this quick video showing the functionality of custom text positions.


Chris Pagliarini

Chris Pagliarini

Chris Pagliarini is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS. Chris has been a dedicated SOLIDWORKS user for 8+ years with exposure in several areas from research, sheet metal design, Equipment packaging & enclosures, Model-based design, and aerospace & defense design. During his free time he enjoys exploring new technology, golfing, skiing, and fishing.