Monday, October 29, 2012

Add a logo to a SolidWorks drawing... the smart way!

The capability to add a logo image into a SolidWorks drawing template has been around for some time, and is certainly a recommended method toward presenting a professional drawing.  However, you may want to take a few minutes to reconsider whether the standard method of inserting a logo graphics file is really the best method. 

Granted, it is relatively easy to insert a JPG or PNG file into a drawing sheet format by means of using the Insert > Picture command, but these types of graphics files do not translate very well when a SolidWorks drawing is saved into DXF or DWG format.  Oftentimes, the logo image relocates to an obviously unintended area of the drawing, and the file size becomes noticeably larger.

So what are the alternatives to inserting a logo graphics file?  Well, if a company logo utilizes a common font, then simply inserting an Annotation in the proper font should work seamlessly.  But when a company logo is unique or includes a colored graphics image then a little pre-work may be necessary.  In this scenario, you will want to use various SolidWorks Sketch and Block tools to transform the original logo image into a SolidWorks Block.

The Block can then be filled-in by applying Area Hatch/Fill, and selecting the Solid option in the Area Hatch/Fill - Properties.  You may notice that the fill color is black, and yes... as Henry Ford is credited and paraphrased as saying, "You can have any color as long as it's black."

Depending on the logo block design, you may have several regions to fill.  Therefore, just apply the Area Hatch/Fill command individually to each of the regions or areas, as desired.

Once the Block has been sized and saved in its final form, it can then be easily inserted into a drawing sheet template.  The obvious advantages will become apparent:
  • the block will translate easily when the drawing is saved into DXF or DWG format
  • the file size of SolidWorks, DXF, or DWG drawings will remain very reasonable making file management and the sharing of files much more efficient
  • the need for color toner when printing drawings will have been reduced or eliminated
So there are definite benefits by simply taking the time to convert a logo into a Block.  The result is a stable SolidWorks drawing template, far better than excitedly rushing to insert a logo image and then overlooking the ramifications of having done so.