What’s New in SolidWorks 2016: Chapter 7 – DimXpert

DimXpert is a more powerful tool than most people realize, and with the ever-increasing adoption of Model-Based Definition (MBD), more and more SolidWorks users will soon before familiar with it.

Honorable Mentions

Improved Selection Options

DimXpert used to be very “selective” (pun intended) about what entities could be used to define a DimXpert annotation. In 2016, however, DimXpert allows for more types of selections, and intelligently recognizes the type of dimension that is needed.

For example, you may now select edge of any shape to create size or location dimension, as shown below. Note that clicking a curved edge associated with a cylinder applies a diameter dimension to that cylinder.

Previously, you needed to select a face to create these dimensions. Now, you can select either faces or edges.

Additionally, silhouette edges can now be selected to create dimensions, as shown below. Selecting a silhouette edge will create a distance dimension between the two end faces associated with that edge.


DimXpert in Assemblies

Just as you’ve always been able to define dimensions and tolerances in parts, as of SolidWorks 2016, you can now do the same in assemblies, though it seems the SolidWorks MBD module is required for this enhanced functionality.

To reduce confusion, only DimXpert annotations created in the open assembly will be visible. DimXpert dimensions created in parts and subassemblies will not appear in the open assembly.

This enhancement vastly increases the usefulness of DimXpert, and therefore the MBD package as well. You’re now able to define tolerances on component placement and clearance within the 3D model, rather than the 2D drawing.

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