Dimensionally-defined sketch program?

I’ve started to realize that I’m much better at drawing/sketching when using Solidworks than I am when doing it freehand or in something like Photoshop. Something about drawing a basic shape and then defining it dimensionally just meshes with me really well. Is there any artistic-minded software that supports Solidworks-style dimensional sketching? I’d love to be able to draw posters, banners, etc. using dimensioned lines rather than redrawing lines 20 times to get it right. I know I could probably do some ghetto combination of exporting in Solidworks, but I’d rather just use something that’s meant to work that way.


Look into exporting from Solidworks since you know the software already. I export paths to Illustrator from Pro/E by saving them as .dxf files and it works OK, but you may need to connect some paths together in Illustrator to make shapes.

I’ve exported packaging dielines from SW to Illustrator for graphics layout. This worked great because the design tables allowed quick changes to calculated dimensions. Its not a realistic dieline as paper folds/bends differently but for the graphics dpt…perfect. I just can’t do this quickly in Illustrator.
The opposite is true too. Importing Illustrator to SW is now much easier. Setting up Illustrator templates with guides, grids and even frequently used radii’ed(?) boxes has saved me a ton of time. Basic X/Y changes can be made but specific dimensions are not always available. You could look into scripting to help.
I try to work natively in a family of software. This keeps many of the small details intact and allows easier UI carry-over. Deciding on workflow is a tough thing (efficiency vs. cost vs. expected outcome) and you’ll probably bounce between many apps.