Creating Custom 3D PDF Templates in SOLIDWORKS MBD

1Sample template
SOLIDWORKS Model Based Definition (MBD) has many predefined templates for both parts and assemblies, but creating custom templates allows more streamlined PDFs that are tailored to the specifications of each product. Using the template editor allows lots of customization options including inserting more tables, changing the paper size and orientation of the template, or adding an image. Customization reduces the need to attach files to the PDF, or send multiple documents along with the PDF.

To begin creating a custom PDF template, open the template editor from the SOLIDWORKS MBD CommandManager.

2-2015 CommandManager
Customize the template by adding new tables and pictures, changing the paper size or moving around existing placeholders. The template editor is a place to change the layout of the PDF. All the data is formatted and organized in SOLIDWORKS and not the template editor.

3Customize template
After customizing, click “Save As” in the top toolbar and browse to change the file location. Saving to the default folder, gives you this error message:

4Saving error
This is because the default folder is for predefined templates made by SOLIDWORKS. Instead, make a new folder to save to your hard drive. Select “Browse” then “Make New Folder”. Once done setting up the file locations, select “OK”.

5Make new folder
Name the custom template and select “Save”.

After creating the custom template, save it and close the template editor.

Remember, it is only possible to change the type of text field from the template editor. To change custom properties, locate the “File Properties” button from the SOLIDWORKS interface next to “Options” and fill in the text fields. They will show up at the top of the PDF.


To make the templates available for publishing to a 3D PDF, select “Options” from the top toolbar and navigate to System Options > File Locations. Under “Show Folders for:,” choose “3D PDF Themes” at the very bottom.

Select the “Add…” button, then browse for and open the new custom templates folder. Select “OK” to close out of the browse dialog box, and “OK” again to close out of “Options”.

When publishing the PDF, the custom templates will populate under “Theme”.

11Publish PDF
For more template editing tips reference the SOLIDWORKS MBD help page. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS MBD, check out the MBD home page.

Camille Saidnawey

Camille Saidnawey

Product Portfolio Management Intern for SOLIDWORKS. I am majoring in mechanical engineering at Tufts University and love elephants and TED talks.
Camille Saidnawey
Camille Saidnawey

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