What’s New 2018 – Smart Extract in SOLIDWORKS Inspection

By Olly Washington, SOLIDWORKS Inspection Specialist

“We don’t create inspection documentation because it takes too long.”

This is an all too common statement that I hear from Engineers, yet many are unaware that create accurate industry standard Inspection Documentation does not have to be a long and laborious process.

“We don’t use SOLIDWORKS so we cannot use SOLIDWORKS Inspection.”

Well, this statement is not true, and this year SOLIDWORKS have made Inspection even more accessible to those using different software. DWGs are now fully supported in the standalone application. Essentially, Inspection documentation is now a 3 step process:

  1. Import a DWG, TIFF, or PDF file
  2. Simply click the characteristics to capture them using the new to 2018 Smart Capture tool
  3. Export to create a ballooned drawing and an Inspection Report.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 Inspection Report

You may be thinking, it’s probably a bit more involved than that, but it actually isn’t. With Smart Capture you can Grab all those pesky but essential tolerance dimensions; Geometric Tolerances; Notes and Document Properties and it automatically builds up your ballooned drawings and an accurate zero error Inspection report.

Zero Error? Absolutely, Yes.

In my days as an Inspector in the F1 industry, I was forever either trying to interpret my Engineer’s dodgy at best, dangerous at worst, inspection documentation. Riddled with errors because the limits were calculated manually, often on the back of an envelope before being carelessly plugged in to Excel. Don’t get me wrong, they were great Engineers, just creating Inspection Documentation was, and still is, a chore, that folk want to get out of as quickly as possible. This is totally understandable as collecting all those tolerances, all those GD&Ts, can literally take hours for one project. Never mind the time added if there was a revision! Surely its far better for Engineer’s to spend their time create those fantastic intricate and novel designs, not spending hours on Inspection reports.

So using the new Smart Capture Capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2018, make capturing each characteristic quick, accurate, and easy, just one click for each characteristic. As the Limits and all the dimension type information is grabbed automatically, one click creates a fully propagated characteristic which is ready for your Inspection Report.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 - Inspection Report


Well, now you can create zero error documentation in just a few clicks of the mouse, from any DWG Drawing, as well as the PDF and TIFF functionality that SOLIDWORKS Inspection already uses. You can even update revisions quickly and easily! Don’t take my word for it, watch this video where I go from a plain relatively informative single sheet DWG to a fully annotated Ballooned drawing and Inspection Report in Under 5 minutes.

NT CADCAM is the UK's most established SOLIDWORKS reseller in England, Scotland and Wales. Offering a fully supported CAD and CAM product portfolio and high levels of expertise internally, makes NT CADCAM unique within the SOLIDWORKS community, giving customers the confidence and assurance they need that their support issues will be dealt with both promptly and efficiently. As a SOLIDWORKS Certified Training Centre, NT CADCAM provides clients with fully certified and accredited trainers who are experienced engineers. NT CADCAM is part of the Solid Solutions Group.