What is a Drawing Model?

Users follow various workflows for drawing composition. Some of those workflows are described below. In the Simple 2D case, model graphics as well as annotations and line work are all drawn in a 2D model. The same model is printed. In the Typical 2D case, model graphics are drawn in a separate model so that they can be shared across multiple sheets.

For the purpose of this blog, we will think of model graphics as one group of entities, annotations and line work as a second group of entities, and the final sheet with its title block, and any special annotations like tables pertaining to a specific sheet as a third group of entities. There is an inherent hierarchy in this set up, that is illustrated in the Typical 3D workflow. Model graphics are created in the Design model. They are then attached as reference in the Drawing model so that annotations and line work can be overlaid on them. The contents of the Design and Drawing model are then collectively attached as reference in the Sheet model, where the title block is overlaid on them. Drawing model provides an intermediate space to hold annotations and line work that are central to several sheets.


Drawing model is an unbounded 2D white space that contains a reference attachment of a saved view of the design model. It is a container for centralizing annotations that need to be shared across multiple sheets. A good example of this is a large hospital. Having the full floor plan viewable in a drawing model is very useful because you can place common notes and dimensions in it. You can then create smaller, clipped saved views of the floor plan and place them on multiple sheets. All those sheets will automatically display the common notes and dimensions.

Drawing model is implemented as a sub-type of design model type for backwards compatibility. If you open it in an older version, it shows up as a design model.

It is worth noting that the Create Dynamic View dialog creates a drawing model automatically for every dynamic view, and then attaches it on a sheet.

Properties of Drawing Model

  • Is a 2D model
  • Is unbounded (no sheet boundary)
  • Has a unique background color of Grey
  • Supports annotation scale
  • Do not place drawing titles in drawing model
  • Saved views of design model should be attached to drawing model at full scale (1:1)
  • Project Explorer lists all drawing models as a group

 More blogs coming up, so be there...