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Within the SolidWorks drawing environment, one of the most powerful tools is the Auto- Dimensioning tool. Let's go ahead and take a look at how that works. Come up here, I've got a model that I want to dimension. I don't want to do all that work myself. Let's go up here, up to the Annotation Toolbar under Smart Dimension. And under here you can see if I click on the regular Smart Dimension, I can choose that. And if I choose this, automatically knows, I have my regular tab here, and next to it is called Auto-dimension. So let's go ahead and choose that next little Toolbar. And I can choose what type of scheme we want to use.
Now in the beginning, when we looked at dimensioning, we looked at both baseline and chain dimensioning schemes or ordinance schemes. So, this other Dimensioning tool can use any of those. Notice, down here under scheme, I can choose. Either chain, baseline or ordinate, your choice. So let's go ahead and choose baseline to get started with, and same thing down here. Then notice this little box, it's pink and one that is purple. Zoom in on my model here, you can see I have one line here that's highlighted in pink, and one that's highlighted in purple. Now you can change those if you need to, you can click on a line and say I want this to be my baseline, and notice that one turns purple, but.
That wouldn't really make a lot of sense, but maybe changing it to this line here, would, so that's what's going to be my line, is my baseline, for that vertical dimension, and the pink one is going to be my baseline for my horizontal dimension. Now, I can also choose, do I want to place those dimensions above the part or below the part. And same thing with the right of the part, or to the left of the part. So I'm going to say I want to make these to the left of the part for my vertical, and on the bottom of my part for my horizontal dimensions, and then zoom down here a bit. You can change the origin if you want to, if you need to. But, as soon as you're ready, go ahead and click on OK, and bam, wow.
What a mess. What it does is it adds all those dimensions. So it did a lot of work for you, it's just not every organized, unfortunately. So what you can do now is a little bit of housecleaning. So you can go in here and start rearranging these dimensions and make them look a little bit cleaner, and so that your dimensions aren't just completely all over the place. And sometimes you might want to delete some of these dimensions, or move them around. So you still need to do some work. It doesn't do everything perfect. It's not like the movies that you just click one click. And everything is perfectly laid out. Same thing over here is I've got a lot of dimensions here from these holes that might not be exactly the way I want to dimension these.
Maybe I want to dimension the last whole so it's not so cluttered down in this area over here. What I want to point out that this does add all those dimensions and a lot of times it's very easy to forget about dimension and just leave it out. Auto-dimension, like I said, doesn't do a perfect job, but it does find all those dimensions for you. It places them on the drawing. Then, it's just your job to kind of arrange those in an order that will make sense. I can move them up here, move them around the drawing, I can, you know, start placing them and making them look a little bit cleaner than they are when there's autoplace.
Obviously the simpler the design, simpler the part, the better of job it does. In this case here, it's a fairly complicated part. So it doesn't know exactly how to do everything perfectly but at least you know that all of those dimensions are on the drawing somewhere. When you're happy with what you have, go ahead an click on OK. Like I said, you can move things around, you can add other views, you can use Auto Dimension again, for other views. When you're happy with it, rearrange everything, you're good to go. Using the Auto Dimension tool can really save you quite a bit a time because it dimensions all the different features. It can also add a lot of junk to the drawing and, you might have to go back an clean up.
But, one way or another it does do a lot a work for you behind the scenes, and that's a great time saver.
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