Creating a Checklist for Dangling Dimensions in Drawings using the SOLIDWORKS Design Checker

Article by Ben Crisostomo, CSWE updated April 26, 2019


One of the most common drawing questions that users ask if there is a way to list all the dangling dimensions that are in their SOLIDWORKS drawings. Looking for them on a couple of sheets with simple parts is not so bad, but what happens when you have a complex assembly that spans several sheets?

With SOLIDWORKS Premium, we can utilize the SOLIDWORKS Design Checker to do this. Before we create a design definition using the Design Check builder, please ensure that the User Account Control (UAC) is set to “Never Notify” to avoid script errors. Please check out the article Design Checker & Windows UAC for more details. So now let’s get into how to set up & implement the design checker to look find dangling dimensions in drawings.

Creating a SOLIDWORKS Design Checker Definition

To list all the dimensions, we need to create the criterion for the Design checker.

  1. Go to Tools > Design Checker > Build Checks.
  2. The Solidworks Design Check Builder will open in a new window. Select “Create a New Standards File” as seen in the figure below. Alternatively File > New can be selected.

    SOLIDWORKS Design Check Builder Welcome Dialog Box

    SOLIDWORKS Design Check Builder Welcome Dialog Box

  3. Go to the Drawings Tab and select “Dangling Dimension / Annotation” as seen below. We also have the option to define importance level, as well as the units used & configurations in the Options tab.

    Drawings TAB > Dangling Dimension

    Drawings TAB > Dangling Dimension

  4. Once all the preferences have been defined, go to File > Save, to save the .swstd file. A good practice it to keep your definition is a designated folder so that you do not need to repeatedly add definitions later on.
  5. Make sure to close the Design Check Builder.

Implementing the SOLIDWORKS Design Check Definition

From here we can check the file.

  1. Open the Drawing that you want to check.
  2. Got to Tools > Design Checker > Check Active Document.
  3. You will see a set of options on the right side. Under Standard files, uncheck all the existing options, and select the green plus sign to add your standard.

    Add the New Definition

    Add the New Definition

  4. Once added, you will see the definition in the Standard files list. Select Check Document.

    Select the Added Definition

    Select the Added Definition

  5. After making some changes to this dog house design, the design checker is listing all the dangling dimensions in the drawing. When an item on the list is selected, a zoom is applied to the area where the dangling dimension is located.

    List of SOLIDWORKS Drawing Dangling Dimensions

    List of Dangling Dimensions

You may have noticed that the SOLIDWORKS Design Checker is not limited to just dangling dimensions. There is the ability to check any number of items, from fully defined sketches, to suppressed components, to spelling, and more. Now that you have an idea of the general process, I hope you explore the other options available to you to streamline your product development!

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Ben Crisostomo

Ben is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office