In an earlier article, I introduced the New Convert to Bodies functionality available in SOLIDWORKS 2017. If you are considering the use of the “Convert to Bodies” functionality be cautious of models that have drawings referenced to them. Below are the details that are worth knowing before you get yourself knee-deep in dangling dimensions.
The “Fine Print” on SOLIDWORKS Convert to Bodies
Be aware that the use of SOLIDWORKS Convert to Bodies can have an impact on dimensions that appear in related drawings during the process of discarding the feature data from your model. The behavior will differ, depending on how the dimensions were created on the drawing. If the “Model Items” tool was used to import the dimensions directly from the model, they will become a set of dangling dimensions you see in the image below.
If the smart dimensions tool was used to create reference dimensions within the drawing, the dimensions on the drawing will remain unaffected.
The checkbox that Saves the Day!
If model dimensions are present on the drawing, a mess of dangling dimensions can be avoided completely. This is done by selecting the checkbox that will preserve your reference geometry and sketches during the conversion of the part to a featureless model.
SOLIDWORKS will prompt you to save the converted model with a new filename in an effort to preserve the original.
During the “Save As” process the related drawing will have the model swapped out for the newly created featureless version. The proper result being that the dimensions on the drawing are not disturbed by the conversion (image below).
Back to the original “dimension”
The super nifty feature of this entire workflow is that you can re-establish the link between the original (Non converted) model and the drawing with ease. Simply use the open dialog to modify the part model that the drawing views are referenced to and the dimensions will “magically” find their original referenced features – this makes the process reversible and reduces the changes of stale annotation data on your drawings if you choose to use the “Convert to Bodies” option.
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