Using Detached Drawings

By Silvio Perez

If you have ever been in a situation where you needed to send Drawings to be reviewed, you probably know that you have to send the referenced part or assembly file for the drawing to successfully open. In those cases, you can use SOLIDWORKS Pack and Go to easily collect off those files for you.

That option is great; but what if you didn’t want to send those referenced files for security purposes? What if the referenced file are really big in file size? What options do we have then?

A really great tool for this is eDrawings. This is a great way to inspect and get an in depth look at what the model looks like and how it works. Although this tool would work great in this scenario, we are limited to what we may want to add to the actual drawing.

For the scenario where you want to send out a drawing without the associated files, we can save the drawing as a Detached Drawing. Inside the drawing, we can do a FILE>SAVE AS and change the file type to Detached Drawing.


Fig. 1: Save as Detached Drawing

Notice that the drawing is still saved as a normal .slddrw file. You can send this out and the end user will be able to do the following operation without needing the actual models:


Fig. 2: Operations available without Model from 2015 Help

As you can see, there are quite a bit of functions we can use while having the drawing in this state. However, there is still some limitations on what you can add to a drawing while in this state. The following functionalities are not available without having the referenced files:


Fig. 3: Operations that require the model from 2015 Help

If there are changes made to the model and the detached drawing is opened, it will prompt a message stating that the drawing is out of date.


Fig. 4: Out of Date Message

In order to have the drawing update the model changes, we will require the file. Once we have the file, we can select the Load File option inside the File>Open dialog box or we can right click on the view and select Load Model.

The detached drawing option is a great way to have a user inspect and add to the drawing while still keeping the communication link to the part modeler. This saves a lot of time and system resources by simplifying what is actually being opened. To see how Detached Drawings work, check out my YouTube video here.      

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