SOLIDWORKS: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! Using a Drawing Revision Table

SOLIDWORKS: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! Using a Drawing Revision Table
Posted in: Mechanical Design

Hi everyone and welcome, welcome, welcome again to another blog from me! In this article, I’m going to cover something that is pretty near and dear to me. It’s called a revision table and it’s something that I used to create manually on my drawings. Thankfully, SOLIDWORKS has a great feature to do this for us. I will go over the basics to use revision tables in your own drawings.

The example that I’m going to use is a drawing of a piston head for an RC car that I’m working on. I have some standard views, along with a section view and a couple of detail views.

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Piston Head drawing

 

I’m going to make a change to the part, and I want to make sure it opens up in this isometric view, so I’ll right click on the isometric view and use a function that was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2015, open part in position. That opens the part in the exact orientation that I was looking at in the drawing.

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Select this view
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Open part in position command

 

I want to make these grooves bigger, so I’m going to double click on the feature to expose the dimensions, and then double click on the 0.020 inch dimension to edit it. I’ll change that to 0.030 inches and rebuild it so that the change is applied. Now I’ll switch back to the drawing and I can tell in DETAIL B that the change has been applied.

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Changing the model dimension
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Groove dimension changed

 

This part is already being made, so I need to add in a revision table. In the Annotation command manager, all the way at the end, are the tables. There are a lot of standard tables to use, but the one I want is the revision table so I’ll select that.

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Revision table selected

 

Once I do that, the property manager opens up on the left and I have many options to choose from. A default table template is shown, but this can be customized and saved. If the drawing has an anchor point, I can have the table snap to that with this option. I can also change what symbol I want to use for the flags. The circle is shown, but since I usually use this for item numbers, I’m going to use the triangle. Down at the bottom, I can customize the border and drawing layer of the table.

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Property manager

 

I’m going to hit the green check to place the table into the drawing. Just like other tables in SOLIDWORKS, this table is fully customizable with options that are similar to the ones in Microsoft Excel. These are the columns in the default template, but I can add or delete any by right clicking on a header and hovering over Insert. You don’t need to do that to add a row for a revision, though, just click on the symbol at the bottom left-hand corner. You need to hover over the table after it’s placed to get this symbol.

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Revision table inserted

 

Once a row has been added, the revision is numbered per the table properties and the date is automatically added. The flag note is next to your cursor and ready to be placed down. I will put it next to the changed dimension.

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Revision now added
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Flag note placed next to the changed dimension

 

I can put in any additional flags as needed and just hit Escape on my keyboard to stop placing notes. Now it’s time for me to type in a description, so I’ll double-click in that field and type in, “Changed 0.020” to 0.030”.” Hit the green check to accept the text.

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Revision description added

 

Notice now that there is a B1 in the Zone column. This corresponds to where I put the flag note.

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Zone column

 

If I move the note across the drawing, the zone changes to match. Additionally, if I put in another flag note, all of the locations will be listed.

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Moved flag note

 

On the annotation command manager, click the Revision Symbol button and place down as many more notes as you need.

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Revision symbol command

 

Where is it getting that zone information from, you ask? Great question and to answer that, let’s switch to the Sheet Format (here’s a link to my blog on Sheet Formats in case you need it). Right click in the blank area and select Automatic Border.

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Automatic border selection

 

This brings up the automatic border property manager, and by hitting the next arrow at the top, we can see the zone lines and margins. From the preview, I can see that the borders will interfere with my current template, but that’s okay for now. I’ll hit the green check, and go back to the sheet so that you can see the regions.

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Automatic border preview

 

Now that they are displayed, the flags make sense. To get rid of that, just expand the Sheet format and delete the Border feature.

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Border grid labels
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Select this to delete border

 

After all that, I can add in more revision rows by simply clicking the icon in the lower left of the table just like putting in that first revision. I really hoped you enjoyed this article on adding and modifying your own revision tables. For more information, check out our YouTube channel or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

February 27, 2017
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Comments
David Zimmer
November 7, 2019
How do you get the Revision Table to insert on the correct layer? I have specified the layer I want it to be on in the Document Properties, but it comes in on a different layer.
Richard Klein
May 25, 2021
How can I add a revision symbol for a prior revision? Another engineer had inserted faux revision symbols using regular notes with a triangular border, and I want to replace those with actual revision symbols that will populate the zone column of the revision table.
Vince Farrell
May 28, 2021
Hi Richard, if you right click on the row of the revision table that you want to add the symbol for, select Revisions->Add Symbol. It will insert a symbol with the corresponding revision letter of the row you clicked on. Hope this helps!

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