Improve drafting, part 3: Reuse drawing objects

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Improve drafting in NX CAD

I personally find the name “Custom drafting symbols” a little misleading. I think it refers to a much wider variety of objects than actual symbols. Personally, I prefer defining it as “reuse library in drafting”, since you can define almost every kind of drafting object. Based on my support cases I have noticed that users are not familiar with full scope of that powerful tool.

Scope of drafting symbols

In brief, the following capabilities are available:

  • Reuse of sketches, including addition of fillings, crosshatches, dimensions
  • Reuse of tables and annotations
  • Possibility to define existing DXF/DWG as symbol
  • Creation of drop-down lists with value, meaning that you select or enter value when symbol is placed
  • Rotation, scaling, mirroring symbols after placement
  • Possibility to break the symbol and define it in-place

Creating a custom symbol inside NX

When in drafting module:

  • Draw geometry of the symbol
  • Choose Insert, Symbol, Define custom symbol
  • Select objects for symbol
  • Set folder and name for the symbol
  • Define anchor
  • Define text attributes (appear if there is annotation selected)

reuse drawing features

  • For editing the symbol right-click and choose Edit
  • To save choose Finish custom symbol edit (this starts definition of user defined fields)

Importing DXF/DWG

When in drafting choose:

  • File, Import, AutoCAD Block
  • Set path to DXF/DWG
  • Set Include Model Space ON
  • Define the folder and press Import

Setting user defined fields

When finishing custom symbol edit or saving a custom symbol, each annotation in the symbol would be listed in Text attributes list. There you can set the way it behaves when symbol is placed. For example “Mandatory” means that text would not change, “Controlled” would make a pre-defined list of values.

reuse drawing features

When symbol is placed

After placement you can:

  • Scale and rotate the symbol
  • Select variable content
  • Smash the symbol and edit it

reuse drawing features

 

Video

 

Conclusion

Similar to modeling, reuse of features in drafting can save time and help to avoid mistakes.

Did you have any specific use for custom symbols?

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