Tips and Tricks for Line Drawing in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated October 7, 2022

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Whether you have been using SOLIDWORKS for a long time or are a new designer, you might find that drawing lines for a sketch can become repetitive and time-consuming.

Nonetheless, this blog will present tips and tricks for line drawing in SOLIDWORKS even avid users or professional designers miss. These will allow you to speed up your sketch drawing process, significantly improve your sketch’s efficiency and make your design process much more manageable.

Try the “L” Key!

The line command is the most used when drawing a sketch. However, instead of clicking the line command every time you need to start a new line, you can access this command by pushing the [L] key on your keyboard.

Drawing Lines in SOLIDWORKS – there is more than one way !

Once you have selected the line command, you have three different methods for drawing a line.

  • You can create a continuous array of lines with a click at the beginning and a click at the end of it. The end point of one line will mark the beginning of the next. This process is known as the click-click method. To end the continuous line process, just double-click anywhere on the screen.
  • You can create single unconnected lines by clicking at the beginning of the line, holding down that click, dragging the line to the point you wish the line to end, and then releasing the mouse button. This process is known as the click-drag method.
  • You can sketch a continuous arc after a line without exiting the line command. To achieve this, draw a line using the click-click method, then activate the arc command by hovering over the endpoint of the first line. Once you move away from the endpoint, you create an arc instead of a line.

The geometry of the arc depends on the direction you move your cursor after hovering it over the previous line endpoint. Now, you can create profiles like the one in the picture below without exiting the line command. How cool is that?!

Profile created without exiting line command

Profile created without exiting line command

SOLIDWORKS Line Relations

As a default, SOLIDWORKS is always looking to add relations to your lines to facilitate your sketch’s geometry and keep your design intent. However, there are instances when you want to end your line close to a point or a corner, and SOLIDWORKS automatically creates a relation and attaches your line to these geometries. To prevent SOLIDWORKS from doing this, you can hold down the [Ctrl] key while creating the line which prevents relations from being added to that line.

SOLIDWORKS Grid/Snap

Finally, you can attach your line to the grid by holding down the [Shift] key while creating a line. This will help you complete a line of a specific length depending on your grid’s settings. You can edit your grid’s settings in Options > Document Properties > Grid/Snap.

Grid/Snap Document Properties

Grid/Snap Document Properties

Learn more about Sketching

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Advanced Part Modeling training course live online to learn more about sketching in SOLIDWORKS.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.