Customers have asked a few times recently if it’s possible to use their own title block inside of SOLIDWORKS Composer (SWC). The short answer is yes; the long answer (how do I do it) is below.
The first thing we need to do is capture an image of our drawing title block. We can get all fancy and use a vector image for this, but I’m not in a fancy mood today. Instead, I’m just going to screen capture my title block and save it as a jpg. A word of caution: make sure any field you want populated in SWC is empty.
Now I’m going to open SWC and create a new project while giving it a meaningful name.
There is no need to add any files so I’ll simply click “cancel” at the next screen.
One of the first things I like to do is to turn off the Ground and Grid options located on the Render tab. Next I’ll change the Foot color to white (or whatever color you want your “paper” to be on your title block).
Now we want to insert an image using the Image 2D tool (1). Simply open the tool, then drag a rectangle on your paper space. Once done, your screen will look like this (2):
After the image box is inserted, click on the “…” box located in the properties pane under Texture / Map path (3). Once opened, navigate to the title block image that you took earlier.
When your title block is loaded, resize it to fit within your paper space (hint: turn on your “paper outline,” and when you are done scaling the image, it will expand past your SWC “paper”).
Once resized (and still selected), set your properties as shown above (trust me on this), then click on the pull-down for Freeze and select “Freeze” (highlighted as “No Freeze” above).
Now that our border is in place the real fun begins….. What we need to do is insert text boxes for every field we want populated on our Composer title block. To do this, click on the Text 2D button and place your text box in the required location (don’t worry about formatting just yet).
Once I have all the text boxes placed, I go into my Collaboration pane and rename each field accordingly, then I create a selection set containing all of them (give your selection set a snappy name such as “01 – Title Block Information”).
One of the last steps is to adjust the properties of your text boxes. Simply box select all the text boxes and apply the above settings.
Once we finish modifying the properties, we are just about done. All that remains is to save an image of the title block and save the file as a .smg. To do this, open the Views Workshop and make sure your settings match the ones below. Then click on Create to capture the view.
Once you have the view showing in your view pane, save the file as an .smg (use a name that corresponds to your title block, A-Border for example). Then feel free to close out the file as we’re done.
All that’s left to do is put our newly created title block to use. How we do this is simple: open any SWC file and create a few views (for us to play around with), then open the Workshop tab and open Model Browser. Navigate to where you saved the title block (“…” box).
Drag and drop your title block onto the “paper” space, then adjust (zoom) the model accordingly and automagically your title block is now in the view.
Lastly, remember that selection set we made earlier? Open your Collaboration tab, expand that Selection set and fill out each corresponding property.
And yes, you can link metadata from your SOLIDWORKS files to your Composer title block, but we’ll leave that as a topic for another time (ie. ”6” / 0.25HP BENCH GRINDER” as shown above).