Continue to Site

Welcome to 3DCADForums

Join our CAD community forums where over 25,000 users interact to solve day to day problems and share ideas. We encourage you to visit, invite you to participate and look forward to your input and opinions. Acrobat 3D, AutoCAD, Catia, Inventor, IronCAD, Creo, Pro/ENGINEER, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, and others.

No dimensions on drawings


New member
Our mechanical engineering supervisor is suggesting that we discontinue dimensioning 2D drawings in order to speed up the drawing process. His position is that the manufacturer does not look at the 2D drawings since the IGES or STL file they receive contains all of the information they need to make the part. He is suggesting instead that the 2D drawing have only "envelope" dimensions that describe the general configuration of the part. Does anyone out there see any potential problems with this concept of not dimensioning the 2D drawing? I would appreciate any logical response.
Thanks fellow Solidworks drivers.
We have also backed off on creating 2D drawings except for critical dimensions and features that require Geometric Tolerancing. I'm loving it though because I'd much rather be creating Solid Models than dimensioning drawings.

Don't fight it, enjoy it :D
Many companies have been doing this for years now. The German automotive industry formed a work group to work on a standard (VDA 4953) for Simplified CAD Drawings.
Do an internet search for "Limited Dimension Drawings", "Reduced Dimension Drawings" and "VDA 4953"
Dimensioning 2D drawings

I am by profession a Draughtsman. I learned to to draughts by hand and I can even still do it despite the fact that things have become much easier through CAD.

I can understand when people say "what do we need drawings for?" I certainly understand the benifits of utilising 3D data for production means. But what about security. What happens if something happens to your model. How do make sure that you can follow all changes which have been made during the life of a part.

What I have found over the years is, that many people these days are no longer able to read a drawing correctly and this quite often causes problems. So, it's the easy way out just to say, "we don't need drawings any more." To date there is no substitute for drawings in all cases. At present time there are still more than enough smaller supliers who don't have the means to utilise 3D data so you still have to have a draught which has been done correctly.

Perhaps in future times people like me may well become obsolete as there will be no further need for drawings but I think that is still a little far off.
no drawings?

i have to laugh about 'no need for drawings.' :D:D and then i get serious.

almost every work environment i know of requires some type of inspection. i work in the automotive industry. how could i expect a part to pass inspection, if the people in the quality dept don't even know what to inspect?

for statistical processing, for ppap (required) etc. you gotta have a map to get you to the end of the process. you do that with dimensioned drawings.

anyone who tell you differently is either mis-guided or mis-informed.

that's my $.02
I agree with most of what the other users have said. Here is what I have found to work well.

I utilize CAD only data for parts that will be cast or molded. This is for the raw casting or basic molded part only. All the machined dimensions are put on a drawing with all required tolerances for inspection and revision control.

Since the raw cast dimensions are usually only inspected during tooling approval, we do not have a problem with not having a drawing of the cast dimensions. Also, the making of the tooling from the CAD data is so much more accurate that the casting or molding operation that the advantage of going direct to tooling from CAD data, far outweighs any benefit we may get from having a drawing of the raw casting.
Great Idea

I woudl thinkg that with the new abilty to add tolerances to SolidWorks part and assembly files it further supports the mind set of not creating prints. Espically if the parts are jsut going to go on the a LaserCutter of a CNC mill.
Of course there needs to be some from of comunication to describe the tollerances required.

I love the concept.

AL Whatmough
Inspirtech- SolidWorks training

Articles From 3DCAD World