Can you imagine doing your job without the benefits of a top-flight 3D modeler like SolidWorks? I thought not. I am sure you remember the excitement you felt when you learned the power of the tool at your disposal. And the education didn’t stop there, did it? To this day, you enjoy learning new things. That’s why you’re reading the SolidNotes blog, right?
However, here’s something I have long noticed: In my interactions with users, even very experienced ones, a lot of the questions involve seemingly basic procedures. I think it is easy to jump into the deep end and gloss over many such seemingly routine operations. Hence, another topic in my Basics Series: Sketch Dimension Styles.
We are often taught, when adding dimensions in a part sketch environment, to not worry about stylistic options or even exact unit precision or tolerances. That information can come later, on the drawing. That is often sufficient and is not incorrect. However, there are options that let you better tailor your dimensions in the sketch environment and can be instrumental in capturing intent and reducing errors downstream.
Figure 1 shows the Sketch Dimension Property Manager. On the Value tab, we see a Tolerance/Precision node, under which I have selected Symmetric from among the many choices. Below that are pull-down menus that allow me to control the number of place precision of the dimension and its tolerance, and I have entered those tolerances accordingly.
As this is something I plan to do with some frequency, I have chosen the “Add or Update a Style” and entered “3 PL” for a style name in the ensuing dialog box. I now have a named style that I may select to be current or use to change that of an existing dimension. As you might expect, these dimensions will keep these appearances when displayed in your drawing.
And…why, yes! This *is* something I can create and save in my part template! Similarly, this can also be saved as a style (“.sldstl” file format) and opened from another document, such as my drawing template, with the Load Style button.