Automate your Inspection process



SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard

SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional





For companies that create inspection documents, SOLIDWORKS® Inspection automates the ballooning of

engineering drawings and 3D files with Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI).


Inspection includes two programs:

  1. Inspection in SolidWorks as an Add-in: In the drawing will SW add balloons and measurement and tolerance date automatically or manually. Export PDF with balloon and Excel sheet. Also make balloons in 3D (require Inspection Professional). Or export it to Inspection Project.


  1. Inspection Standalone: load a PDF or DWG drawing and let the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Read the measurement and add balloons. Export as PDF with balloons and Excel sheet with data. Load an Inspection Project from SW and work more with it here.


It is a separate license number.

To export it to 3D PDF, you will need a MBD license. SOLIDWORKS MBD Standard.


SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard

 SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard streamlines the creation of inspection documentation. SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard consists of a standalone application and an embedded SOLIDWORKS add-in that enables users to leverage their legacy 2D data regardless of whether they have SOLIDWORKS Drawings files, PDF, TIFF, DXF, or DWG files. SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard is for designers, quality engineers, technicians, and inspectors who are responsible for creating industry-standard inspection documents.

With SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard, users can:

  • Use the standalone application or the SOLIDWORKS add-in to quickly balloon and create inspection reports regardless of the existing CAD system.
  • Work with 2D data such as SOLIDWORKS drawing files, PDF, TIFF, DXF or DWG files. • Automatically balloon inspection dimensions specified by the designer or mechanical engineer. • Create custom OCR dictionaries. • Improve OCR readings using ExtractionXpert.
  • Calculate the proportion of defects authorized using Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) tables.
  • Manually or automatically extract characteristics from drawings.
  • Extract multiple characteristics at once using Smart Extract.
  • Define and use multiple tolerance tables.
  • Customize balloon appearance using presets.
  • Instantly export finished ballooned drawings as PDFs.
  • Export inspection reports to Microsoft® Excel® using standard templates.
  • Customize Excel templates using the template editor to follow company or industry standards.
  • Manage inspection projects and related documents using SOLIDWORKS PDM.
  • Export inspection data directly to quality systems such as Verisurf, QualityXpert and Net-Inspect, and to databases using CSV or XML output formats.



SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional

SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional extends SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard’s capabilities by allowing users to almost automatically enter measured values into an inspection project. Each characteristic’s value can be entered manually, with the use of a digital caliper or by importing Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) results. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional also enables users to work directly with 3D CAD data, streamlining their workflows even more as part of a company-wide, drawing-free strategy.

SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional is for quality engineers, technicians, and inspectors who are responsible for inspecting parts, recording measurements, and operating or programming inspection equipment, including calipers, CMM, and optical measuring devices.

With SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional, users can also:

  • Enter measured values for each characteristic directly into the project either manually or by using a digital caliper.
  • Import CMM results (PC-DMIS, Calypso, Faro CAM2, and others).
  • Highlight dimensions in green, red, or yellow to instantly see which dimensions are in tolerance, out of tolerance, or marginally within tolerance based on the values entered.
  • Automatically verify results.
  • Export color-coded ballooned drawings and inspection reports to improve clarity.
  • Export ballooned 3D model as 3D PDF or eDrawings® file.

Green measurement is inside tolerance, red is outside tolerance.




How long time does it take to make templates?

It is not so much you need to do with the template. It follows some templates with SolidWorks. It is more like an Excel-sheet where you put on colons. And you can put on Properties from part or drawing if you wish. It takes some time to learn to do this, but you do a lot with a template within an hour.

The Template is not measurement machine specific. It is more related to the type of part that is inspected and the type of Project. It might be specific demands to the report regarding information’s of company etc.



How do we test if a measurement machine can “talk” with Inspection, by exchanging files?

To test if a measurement machine can “talk” with Inspection, you need the file from the measurement machine. The best is to make an Inspection project first and let the machine measure on this one. By then will Inspection recognize more of the result.

On SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional: go to Home > Options > General > Add-ins > Measurements Input and CMM Data Import.


Next, open your completed Inspection project and look for the CMM Data Import tab on the right of the screen. Click the tab and pin it open.


Click ‘Add Files’ and open the file exported from your CMM. SOLIDWORKS Inspection can open files from almost any CMM program, including PC-DMIS, Calypso, Faro and more. Templates are provided to map measurements from your CMM source to the Inspection project.


Once the file is added, use the ‘Auto Assign’ button to have Inspection attempt to map all the measurements in the CMM file to the Inspection project. You can choose one or more categories for Inspection to use, including Item #, Type, Nominal, Plus Tolerance, and Minus Tolerance.


If a characteristic on the drawing is gray colored, the Auto Assign was not able to make a match and you will need to map those manually.

See more info about this:



Can you export to JPG / PNG instead of Excel?

You cannot export to JPG / PNG directly. You can export to PDF or Excel or XML or to several quality companies as



-Quality Xpert



More information about Inspection:

First Article Inspection FAI:




Inspection is integrated with PDM.

This requires some adjustment in the PDF to work as the link above. So, it might not the best to go all the way in. SolidWorks save the Inspection project in the file. So, this is already in the PDM. The PDF with inspections mark should also get a revision control. The excel sheet is revision depended. The tolerances might be changed in the next revision.

The result from the excel sheet is different. You might produce a hundred Excel files from one part from the production. All these files might be collected electronic and be handled statistic too see the trend in the production to be able to detect a possible fault. This might not be suitable for the PDM?




The table for tolerances is built into Inspection. It can be edit or be extended:

C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023\SOLIDWORKS Inspection\PDF\iso286_holefits.xml
C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2023\SOLIDWORKS Inspection\PDF\iso286_shaftfits.xml

Typical table:
<Grades ID="H7">

    <NominalValueRanges NominalUpper="3" NominalLower="0" />

    <NominalValueRanges NominalUpper="6" NominalLower="3" />


    <Deviations UpperDeviation="10" LowerDeviation="0" />

    <Deviations UpperDeviation="12" LowerDeviation="0" />


H7 is tolerances for Holes (f10 is for shaft)

Holes with Ø 0 to 3mm has a tolerance at 0,010mm to 0,000mm

"10" is 10/1000 parts of a mm.


There are also tables for:



How to use:


ANSI B4.1 IT4     Linear 0-0,12” Tolerance +0,00012 -0,00012”

ANSI B4.1 IT5     Linear 0-0,12” Tolerance +0,00015 -0,00015”

ANSI B4.1 IT6     Linear 0-0,12” Tolerance +0,00025 -0,00025”

ANSI B4.1 IT7     Linear 0-0,12” Tolerance +0,00040 -0,00040”

Default                Do not have tolerances by range

ISO 2768-c           (Coarse) Linear 0,5-3 Tolerance +0,2 -0,2

ISO 2768-f           (Fine) Linear 0,5-3 Tolerance +0,05 -0,05

ISO 2768-m         (Medium) Linear 0,5-3 Tolerance +0,1 -0,1

ISO 2768-v          (Very coarse) Linear 0,5-3 Tolerance +0,5 -0,5   


- - - Author: Jan Egil Baever - - -

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