Zones on 2D drawings are useful for identifying locations on a drawing. It is very much like a street address, taking you right to where you need to go. Zones are located on the boundary of the drawing border with A,B,C… located on one axis and 1,2,3…located on the other. Once locations are activated, they are formatted like A2, C5, D3 and so on. SOLIDWORKS 2015 makes it easy to create intelligent zones. These zone location addresses can be used in annotation notes and balloons to identify which zones they are in. Let’s take a look how this is done.
Setting Up Zones in a Drawing
Zones are defined on the sheet format of a drawing. In a drawing, access the sheet format by right-clicking any blank area of a drawing and click Edit Sheet Format. As with most tools in SOLIDWORKS, you can access this in multiple ways; right-click sheet icon on FeatureManager and Edit drop-down menu both will also allow access to Edit Sheet Format.
Once you are editing the sheet format, you will need to establish your zone lines. Right-click the Sheet Format Icon in the FeatureManager and select properties.
Under the zone parameters tab, you can set the number of rows and columns using the sheet region with margins or sheet size. Once established, they just need to be turned on by going to View–> Zone Lines.
You will notice it does not create the Zone identifier notes on the sheet format. These will need to be created on the sheet format. In 2015, we will be able to use our Zone settings to create intelligent notes. First add a note, then in the Note PropertyManager, under text format, click Add Zone.
In the Add Zone dialog you can link to Zone, Zone Column or Zone Row.
Here is an example of a completed Drawing with Drawing Zones lines and Zone identifiers on the Sheet Format.
Using Zones in Notes and Annotation
In SOLIDWORKS 2015, you can utilize these intelligent zone locations in Notes, as you saw when we created the Zone identifiers for the sheet format. Another example of where this is handy is the ability to place location labels on detail, section and auxiliary views to provide the sheet and zone locations for the parent view.
From the section view, select Insert–>Annotations–>Location Label and place a label within the section.
Repeat on the parent view and select the section line.
This is one of many enhancements to 2015 which make it easy to justify your upgrade.