Watermark Drawings in SolidWorks
In this tutorial, I will teach you how to add your own custom watermark to you drawings in SolidWorks. This can be done on an individual drawing, or drawing templates can be setup so that this is automatically applied to every sheet. This will required third party image editing software. For a very powerful free program, I recommend paint.net which I will be using here. I will be walking you through all of the steps in paint.net and SolidWorks.
Step 1: Creating Your Watermark
Before we do anything in SolidWorks, we need to create our watermark image. I will be demonstrating this in Paint.NET.
- Open Paint.NET or your image editing software of choice.
- Load or create your desired image.
In order for our watermark to lay on our print without interfering with the readability of any information, we will want to make it translucent. The translucent level you choose will depend on the colors in your image.
- In Paint.NET, hover over the "Layers" toolbar and go all the way down to "Layer Properties". Click it.
- Use the "Opacity" slider or type in a value to the right. Because of my image colors, 75 is a good value to start for mine.
NOTE: This may take a few tries to get the translucency just right. I'll cover that later.
- Go to "File", "Save as..." and save this translucent copy of your image. I recommend the .PNG format to preserve image fidelity.
- You will be prompted with a "Save Configuration" window. There is no need to adjust anything here, so just click "OK".
You can now close Paint.NET or what ever image editing program you are using. You may want to leave it open just in case you need to come back to make changes. Your choice.
Step 2: Adding Your Watermark to a Drawing
We are now going to open up SolidWorks and start a new drawing. You do not need a part file to creating a drawing.
- Select the sheet format you'd like to use.
- Once your sheet is loaded, right-click and select "Edit Sheet Format".
Your Title Block sketch and notes should now be active.
- Click the "Insert" menu at the top of SolidWorks and then click "Picture..."
- Navigate to your saved image and open it.
Your image will appear in the lower left corner, but will not be translucent. Do not worry about this.
- In the menu on the left, you will see a setting called "Transparency". Select "From file".
- Your image should now be displayed at the proper translucency level you selected in your editing software.
- You can now use the handles around the image to resize it as you please.
- Click and drag in the middle of the image to position it where you'd like.
As long as the image is active in SolidWorks, you can use the menu to make scaling and orientation adjustments. I'm going to tilt my image at an angle to fill up the sheet as much as possible.
- Stretch your image to the desired size, then enter an angle in the dialogue box to the left.
- Continue to stretch your image and adjust the angle value until you are satisfied.
Here's what mine looks like:
Finish editing the image and it will become inactive.
NOTE: You are still editing the sheet format at this point, so you have two options:
- Close out of editing the sheet format and proceed to make your drawing. This will only watermark this drawing and no future drawings.
- With edit sheet format still active, go to "File", Save Sheet Format..." Save the .slddrt file wherever you store you SolidWorks configuration files. This will now be a saved format with the watermark embedded for any future drawings.
Below, you can see that after I saved my sheet format, it now previews with my new watermark:
And this is my final result:
NOTE: if you do not like the resulting translucency of your watermark, you will need to open the image file back up in your image editing software, make an opacity adjustment, and save it. Then you'll need to edit your sheet format in SolidWorks again to delete the old image and insert the new one with your desired translucency.
I recommend laying out an actual drawing on the sheet right away to test how it looks. If the watermark is too strong, it will make your drawing hard to read. As for my example above, I would go back and decrease the opacity on my image, since it presents too strongly and makes reading the dimensions and object lines difficult.
I hope this was helpful and useful!