When I was in my high school drafting class, my teacher used to have this very fancy red pen he would use to grade our blueprints. He would always jokingly tell us, “When you have a red pen, it makes you all-powerful” as he would scribble markups and grade our work. Now in my career, I have marked up a lot of drawings with that powerful red pen and have also had a lot of red penned markups on my drawings. It’s part of the job when you are creating, and it’s important to be able to communicate changes to drawings and models with your team. In SOLIDWORKS, that magic red pen is now built-in in the Markup tab.
What is SOLIDWORKS markups?
SOLIDWORKS markups were introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2020 and are a great addition to any checkers toolbelt. Before, when you needed to redline something, you might have to print out the drawing on a physical sheet. These could easily be misplaced or destroyed and the important information you spent time adding to the drawings was lost. With Markups, the data is stored right into your drawing, parts, or assembly files.
Markups can be exported as .pdfs, jpg, .bmp, and .tif files so you can still collaborate and send these images and notes to people on your team who may not have access to SOLIDWORKS. They can be added with touch and non-touch devices. If you have a touch screen an extra icon will show for drawing, and if you don’t, you can use your mouse to draw.
If you do not see the Markup tab in your SOLIDWORKS, right click on the CommandManager and under Tabs select Markup. Once added, you should see the Markup option. Starting a Markup allows you to draw lines and add typed notes to your files. You can customize the colors of your mark ups as well to make sure you are showing the detailed information you need.
How do SOLIDWORKS markups work?
These markups are saved in their own folder in your design tree. You can hide them and show them as you need them, and unlike when you redline a piece of paper, these mark ups can be added directly into your 3D model. They can be hidden, and even configured so you can have separate markups attached to separate configurations.
Because these can be done in 3D space, when you are scrolling around your mark ups will disappear. To get back and be able to see them as they were drawing, you can right click on it and select Orient to move your model back into place and make sure you are viewing your markup correctly.
This simple tool or having a virtual red pen is a great way to be able to communicate between team members. As we move into a more paperless world, we don’t have to waste time and paper with printouts or worry about our important notes getting lost on the shop floor.
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