Solidworks 2016 is here with all its new bells and whistles. One area with a surprising amount of new features and updates is DimXpert.

Here is the list of what to look for

  • Basic Dimensions
  • Datums
  • Datum Reference Frames
  • DimXpert in Assemblies
  • DimXpert Updates
  • Face Edge Selection
  • Horizontal and Vertical Reference and DimXpert Dimensions
  • Silhouette Edge Selection

If you are new to DimXpert or want a refresher take a look at my two-parter taking a “deep-dive” into the toolset.


If you are using Solidworks MBD, you can now use DimXpert in Assemblies. Which is too bad for those of us not using MBD.


Basic Dimensions can now be created (manually) using the new Basic Dimension feature. Like the other dimension tools, create basic dimensions by selecting faces or features. After placing the dimension use the PropertyManager to adjust the properties (as required).

SWx2016 - DimXpert - BasicDim

In previous versions, you could only select faces to create dimensions. Within 2016 edges are selectable, including silhouette edges. This is a great addition, especially when working with turned parts.

SWx2016 - DimXpert - PickEdge

As you are placing dimensions move the mouse and “snap” horizontal and vertical dimensions, the same as you do when creating sketches or working on drawings. The right-mouse click locks the dimension into the current orientation.

A “nice” addition is hole notes automatically snap to the top face for Counterbore and Countersink holes.


The “R” no longer appears when you apply a Datum to a hole or radius. The “R” will also be stripped when you open existing documents with 2016.

Datums and Feature Control Frames now automatically snap horizontal on orthographic views.

Datums representing the width between faces now have options: Change annotation view, change annotation plane (via drag handles), flip dimension lines inside / outside, and easily toggle diameter to linear.

See the new features in action!


Feature Image Mega Man Statue” by Gage Skidmore