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Drawing Revision Automation


Good Afternoon,


I have recently taken on the task of trying to automate the population of some information on our prints.

They are currently NOT user friendly. I do not have any history on why they are set up as they are due to

the departure of our cad admin. I am not sure if I should rebuild everything from the ground up or try to

improve them. Currently the data on the prints that auto populates is drawing number, title and revision.

Users must always type in drawn by, checked by, and project engineer and the date. In addition when

ever a revision is made, we copy the initial revision history block, paste and then edit that!

I am thinking it was done that way for a reason but I have no idea why.


The block I attached is "dumb" it is all manually entered text and is also NOT tabular. They are all lines with

text blocks. I have been attempting to achieve two things. First is to make the REV, and DATE auto populate,

and second is a way to use the "increment revision" command to add another tabular note below that

will also auto populate.


Is this possible? I have searched and read a number of posts on here but am still not sure which is the best

direction to go and if it's achievable or not.


Thanks in advance for any help.


Re: Drawing Revision Automation

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

Teamcenter or native mode?


What do you mean by "auto-populate"?  (to me, that means you are using attributes, and the note text points at the attributes)

Note for all of this -

You can auto-populate the first revision's "block" (e.g. by pointing to attributes), but...

Note you can't do that for the second revision's block (or...perhaps I should say - at the 2nd revision, the data in the first revision's block has to be "frozen", so the attributes can be correct for the 2nd revision's block)


Or are you saying you want to auto-populate the text (notes) WITHOUT using attributes.


This is not a particularly trivial task without thinking it thru.


I would write an API program that sets the data & draws the lines, but without using attributes.

If you name the lines that currently exist, it should be easy to find the lowest existing line & draw "down" from there.


 Edit: Added picture:Rev Block.JPG


Ken Akerboom Sr CAx Systems Engr, Moog, Inc.
Production: NX10.0.3.5 MP16/TC11.2
I'd rather be e-steamed than e-diseaseled

Re: Drawing Revision Automation


Hi Ken,

Thank you for your reply.

Let me expand some to explain my challenge and that may help narrow down what I am attempting to do.


I have a "wild west" environment here with 30 cad users and I am trying to set up some new templates and

standards so we can hopefully have some continuity between our groups. In order to make this happen,

unfortunately the process will need to be extremely user friendly and better than the current or they simply

won't use it.


Our current templates (reference new pictures added) were only lines drawn with text added in the fields

you can click on and edit. To make a new revision you need to click everything, lines and text then copy-->

paste--> then move those entities by selecting point to point --> then edit all the text.


The solutions I have found to date on this are to change this lines and text to a tabular note and make it part

of the title block. Users get promped to fill in the information and it's easily editable. The down side is

adding a next revision. I have made a new tabular note that can be added to the print but it does not

snap into location below the initial release so it is not convenient. It also cannot be move by a point to

point. It can only be "free" dragged into location.


Most of the users here have some years if not many using SolidWorks and would like a revisioning scheme

like it used, where they can do a add revision and it populates another bock to fill in.


I am not entrenched enough in NX yet to know if this is even possible, what I need is an easy solution where

I can either dock in place a new tabular note or somehow add another row of tables to fill in.


Does that make sense?


Thanks for your help!



Re: Drawing Revision Automation

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

Basically, I have the same situation here (without the Solidworks complication).

We are in Teamcenter.


I am also trying to move to a new "titleblock" based solution (from a "bunch of lines and notes with no associativity").

But I also ran into the issue with the need to add another row to the revision block.

Note this (for us) only applies to sheet 1.  All the other sheet revision blocks have ONLY the current revision letter, and say "refer to sheet 1" in  the description field (makes them MUCH simpler :-)


For legacy programs, I have an API program program to add a revision.  The title block lines are attributed, so it can figure out the last horizontal line to copy, and all the vertical lines to extend, automatically.  It then places the notes, so the user can edit them.

For the new "titleblock" borders, I ended up leaving the rev block as a tabular note (so revisions could be added easily).  I have (another) API program to fill them out (adds a row to the tab note & sets everything up)


I also have another API program that runs when users resize a sheet, to move the rev block to the proper place.



Ken Akerboom Sr CAx Systems Engr, Moog, Inc.
Production: NX10.0.3.5 MP16/TC11.2
I'd rather be e-steamed than e-diseaseled

Re: Drawing Revision Automation



Thanks for your insight, help and replies.

It sounds like we are doing pretty much the exact same thing.

I am firmly at noob status for API but can do macros pretty well.

perhaps I can acheive something similar with lines and text.

I might give that a shot.


For what it's worth, I am one of those who has used several CAD packages in the past.

NX I have 2 years under my belt now. Everyone we hire in here seems to be SolidWorks

users trying to get up to speed with NX so I hear a ton of complaining. I also used

SolidWorks as a primary for 14 years. I can say, yes SolidWorks is "user friendly" but

it also was a resource nightmare for PC's and crashes so much there is an auto save-

recover built into it. I find NX to be light on resources and very stable even though

it requires you to click and solve a bit more than SolidWorks.


Thanks again,





Re: Drawing Revision Automation

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

If you can change the format a bit to get the ECN and date on a single line, it would be fairly easy to use a tabular note and let the user add a new row for each revision. I think the revision table would need to be separate from the title block definition in this case, but that can be overcome.

Re: Drawing Revision Automation


I did consider that and I agree it's easy to just add a new row but change is

very difficult here.... I may give it another shot though!

Re: Drawing Revision Automation


So I have a partial solution that is working, I created revision blocks that are tabular notes and

for the most part drop in place and snap to the revision above.


I had the rev and date auto populating but found that even if I lock the cells after placement,

and un check auto update they will still change and auto update at the next revision so

I end up with the current date and two rev 2's if you will.


Is there something I am missing on the lock cells and auto update options?