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Saturday, February 10, 2018

SolidWorks: Autotrace a Sketch Picture

Very useful function, but many do not know about its existence.

SOLIDWORKS AutoTrace
 AutoTrace sketch


Solidworks help
Sketch Picture includes the following capabilities:


  • Insert pictures (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .wmf, .png, .psd) on a sketch plane.
  • Use pictures as an underlay for creating 2D sketches.
  • Convert raster data to vector data using Autotrace.

A sketch picture is inserted with its (0, 0) coordinate at the sketch origin
If you insert a sketch picture of a .tiff file, the resolution is limited to 4096 x 4096. Files that exceed this limit are cut in half until both dimensions meet the limit. For example, if you insert a .tiff file that is 5000 x 3000, the file is reduced to 2500 x 1500.


Autotrace is an add-in that allows you to trace and convert images such as .jpegs and .bitmaps into sketch geometry. This add-in works best with high-contrast images.
  • Source image should be hi-resolution, with a minimum of 300dpi. 
  • Line art should be pen on paper, with precise contours and high contrast.
  • Colors should be as uniform as possible within the area you select.
A sketch picture is inserted with its (0, 0) coordinate at the sketch origin:

The second page of the Sketch Picture PropertyManager is only available if Autotrace is enabled as an add-in. Click Tools > Add-Ins and select Autotrace in the dialog box.

Compatibility with Autotrace
  • You can use still image formats such as .bmp, .gif, or .jpg, but not animated formats such as animated gif or .avi files. 
  • You can apply Autotrace to part or assembly files (*.sldprt and *.sldasm), but not to drawing files (*.slddrw).


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