When you create a new SOLIDWORKS file, do you find yourself making the same changes in the Document Properties each time you start a new part, drawing or assembly, just to get your preferences set up exactly as you like them? If so, this is one of many reasons you may want to create your own custom templates in SOLIDWORKS. For a part file some examples of options may be to show planes, show a certain number of decimal places, or even set Custom Properties. For a drawing, you may want to pull up a certain sheet size, format, or dimensioning standard. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg. You could go as far as making templates for nearly completed models and or drawings if that would be useful to you.
When you decide to make custom templates, the first thing you should do is create a folder that is independent of the SOLIDWORKS install path. This is so all of the templates you make do not get deleted when a particular installation of SOLIDWORKS is uninstalled. I recommend saving to a network folder so others will be able to use your handy templates. The following is an example of my folder structure that falls underneath a folder I’ve created called “SOLIDWORKS Standards” Today’s discussion will center on items saved in my “…networkSOLIDWORKS StandardsTemplates Custom” folder.
Once you have created a folder for your templates, you need to tell SOLIDWORKS where the templates are located. From System Options, choose File Locations, and click Add to select the newly created folder.
After clicking Ok, the New Solid Works document dialog box will display the folder as a selection tab. Any of the templates you save to this folder will display in the area on that particular tab.
Creating the actual templates is simple. You start with a SOLIDWORKS Part, Drawing, or Assembly of your choice (usually an empty file), set the Document Properties as you like and then do a File, Save As, and choose “Save As Type”, and select “xxx Templates”. The xxx will change depending on if you are creating a Part, Assembly, or Drawing Template.
A drawing template can be saved with or without a format. In the example below, the drawing template was created and saved with a b-Size format including standard notes and a revision table. Custom properties were also pre-filled in (DrawnBy, and CompanyName) which automatically populate the title block saving the user repetitive clicks.
One final note, if you always want to use specific templates when you are importing or mirroring parts, etc, it is necessary to point to those specific templates under System Options, Default Templates AND select the radio button that says “Always use these default document templates”.
Your other choice, “Prompt user to select document template” will prompt you each and every time to select your desired template.