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How to Label SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Etch Marks

Article by James Swackhammer created/updated September 16, 2019

I previously showed you how to create etch marks using existing geometry from Hole Wizard holes. Having redundancies can prevent mistakes and help out manufacturing. This is sort of like the carpentry saying of “measure twice, cut once”. Having a callout of the Hole Wizards holes on the physical part and drawing will reduce the errors.

Name feature on creation

Name feature on creation

When making a complex part I’m a huge advocate for naming the features as you create them. This helps the next person who needs to look, edit or revise the part. There’s an option you can turn on that can help with naming a feature upon creation. In the Options –> System Options –> Feature Manager –> and second from the top Name Feature on Creation. If you don’t like the option you can always slow double click on the feature text and rename.

Note added to sketch

Note added to sketch

One of the only features I don’t usually rename is the Hole Wizard feature. This tends to have most of the information you actually need, minus the quantity of holes in the command. What I want to do is have a callout etch mark on the physical part. When I create the sketch and start adding notes, I can see that the text isn’t exactly what I want. The default and most font types are double line characters. This means that when your laser or HD plasma is etching it’s actually doing double the work.

Sketch Text

Sketch Text

You may want to change this to single line text. This will reduce the time it takes to etch by at least 50%. Although, you can make or download other fonts. SOLIDWORKS does have 1 single line font (commonly known as stick font). It is OLF SimpleSansOC. To change the font of the specific text you must uncheck the Use Document Font box and click on the Font button.

Notes Document Properties

Notes Document Properties

The alternate to changing the font each time is to change this in the options. Travel to Options –> Document Properties –> Annotations –> Notes and in the text box you can change all the notes you bring to the part to be this OLF stick text. If you create a bunch of etch marks each time I would consider updating the template so you don’t have to do this every time.

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James Swackhammer

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

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