Drawing templates and formats are complex enough that I cover them in a separate chapter. Chapter 20 Automating Drawings – The Basics discusses the differences between templates and formats and how to use them to your best advantage. This chapter addresses part and assembly templates. CROSS-REF
Depending on your needs, it might be reasonable to have templates for metric and inch part and assembly, templates for steel and aluminum, and templates for sheet metal parts and for weld- ments, if you design these types of parts. If your firm has different customers with different requirements, you might consider using separate templates for those customers. Over time, you will discover the types of templates you need, because you will find yourself making the same changes over and over again.
To create a template, open a document of the appropriate type (part or assembly), and make the settings you wish the template to have; for example, units are one of the most common reasons to make a separate template, but in fact any of the Document Property settings is fair game for a tem- plate, from the dimensioning standard used to image quality settings.
Document Property settings are covered extensively in Appendix B.
Some document specific settings are not contained in the Document Properties dialog box. Still, these settings are saved with the template. Settings that fall into this category are the View menu entity type visibility options and the Tools Sketch Settings options.
Custom Properties are another piece of the template puzzle. If you use or plan to use BOMs (bills of materials), PDM (product data management), or linked notes on drawings, you need to take advantage of the automation options available with custom properties. Setting up custom proper- ties is covered in detail in Chapter 20.
Also, the names of the standard planes are template specific. For example, the standard planes may be named Front, Top, and Side; or XY, XZ, and ZY; or Plane1, Plane2, and Plane3; or North, Plan, and East; or Elevation, Plan, and Side for different uses.
The templates folder is established at Tools Options File Locations Document Templates. This location may be a local directory or a shared network location. Multiple folders may be speci- fied in the list box, each of which corresponds to a tab in the New Document’s Advanced interface.
Once all of the Document Properties, custom properties, and other settings are set to your liking and you are ready to save the file as a template, click File Save As and in Files of Type, select Part Templates. SolidWorks prompts you to save the template in the first folder listed in the File Locations list. You can create assembly templates in the same way, but changing the settings for an assembly document.
You can also create additional tabs on the New SolidWorks Document dialog box can also be cre- ated by making subfolders in the main folder specified in the File Locations area. For example, if your File Locations list for Document Templates looks like Figure 1.10, then your New dialog will look like Figure 1.11.