How to Create Detached Drawings in SOLIDWORKS

One of the benefits of designing in SOLIDWORKS is the associativity between parts, assemblies and drawings. In the video above, we see how any changes done to a single part will affect your assemblies and drawings where that particular part is used. We’ll take a look at how you can make changes to your SOLIDWORKS drawing without provoking a change in the other elements, by creating “Detached Drawings.”

Let’s review.

Before creating a detached drawing, we must make sure the model is fully up to date. To do this, you can perform a forced regeneration by pressing the “Ctrl” and “Q” keys on your keyboard simultaneously, to rebuild all the features on the model. Switch to the part you wish to work on, and repeat the forced regeneration step there as well.

Next, create a backup of your drawing by going to “File,” “Save as” and select the “Save as copy and continue” option. Be sure to select “Detached Drawing.” This saves the file as a detached drawing. Click “Save.”

Detached drawings are indicated by a broken link icon in the feature tree. If you make any changes to your model, your detached drawing will still open but will not depict the most up to date model information. This is because the drawing is detached from the model.

To load the updated model to your drawing, right click a view containing the model and select “Load Model.” The model data will uploaded into memory and the drawing will be up to date, while still remaining detached from the model.

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About Author

Sam Sanchez is an Applications Engineer with SolidProfessor and a CSWP. Sanchez is an alumni of UC San Diego, and in her free time enjoys 3D printing and hanging out with her dog Ruby. You can see more training videos on a wide range of CAD, CAM & BIM topics at