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Saturday, February 10, 2018

SolidWorks: Autotrace a Sketch Picture

Useful function, but many do not know about  its existence in Solidworks.

 AutoTrace sketch


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 will is inserted with its (0, 0) coordinate at the sketch origin.

You  can insert a sketch image of a .tiff file, with max resolution 4096 x 4096. Files that exceed this limit are divide in half until minimum dimensions meet the limit. For example If you insert a .tiff file that is 6000 x 4000, the file is reduced to 300 x 2000.

Autotrace is an add-in that enable you to convert images such as .jpegs and .bitmaps into sketch geometry. This add-in trace best with high-contrast images.
  • Source image should be high resolution, with a larger 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.

If Autotrace is enabled as an add-in, the next page of the Sketch Picture PropertyManager is  available. Click Tools > Add-Ins and select Autotrace in the dialog box.

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

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