Roll call! Who’s connected to the cloud? Come July, connecting to the cloud will be more accessible than ever. I’m sure you’ve heard, starting in July every new seat of SOLIDWORKS Subscription purchased will include Cloud Services. This will provide organizations of all sizes a slew of beneficial solutions at a lower price than previously offered.
The offer will include Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS, 3DSwymer, and Collaborative Industry Innovator roles that connect your data to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform, enabling you to store, access, share, and collaborate on data, conveniently and securely on the cloud.
While Cloud Services has a lot to offer, today I want to focus on five of the top data management features for organizing and storing your data with Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS. Read on to learn more.
- File Preparation Assistant– clean up data before you save it and avoid errors downstream.
The File Preparation Assistant is one of my favorite tools for cleaning up your data before you save it to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. With this tool, you can fix trailing space issues in the file name, identify duplicates, and merge or delete them, find missing file references, and find missing configurations, among other file inconsistencies so you can ensure you have healthier data.
This is a great tool for to use anytime you want to save data to the platform or when you need to migrate large amounts of legacy data using the Batch Save to 3DEXPERIENCE feature.
You can easily access the File Preparation Assistant right from SOLIDWORKS from the Tools menu or from the Batch Save to 3DEXPERIENCE dialog.
Read my last blog here to learn more about the File Preparation Assistant and the data checks it can perform.
- Save Data to 3DEXPERIENCE Platform – store data centrally and make it accessible for all.
One of the pain points customers tell me about is wanting to have data in one place. Most of us are used to managing data on the local PC, right? One of the benefits of connecting your data to the cloud within Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS is the ability to save it on the platform so it’s in one place and can be easily located and shared.
Saving it on the platform makes it easier to access and manage and makes it accessible to all platform users in your company, from any device. When your data is on the platform you can view, share annotate, discuss, and manage designs from anywhere, at any time through a web browser.
You can save data directly from your SOLIDWORKS session or in the MySession panel. You can also do it from the batch save option under Tools on the top menu bar.
What’s nice about doing a batch save is that it saves in small increments so you can still work on your assembly as the save happens in the background. If you get errors during a batch save, you can fix them as you go, and the process will pick up where it left off. Also, recently we added the asynchronous save option so you can enable that when you are working with large assemblies to save on the fly. Read this blog to see the difference and benefits of each.
- Organize Data with Bookmarks in the Bookmark Editor – organize your data on the fly.
With bookmarks on the platform, the days of hassling with various folders for multiple projects and product lines on our local desktop are over. Easily create a bookmark on the fly when saving data to the platform using the Bookmark Editor. You can access the Bookmark Editor with a simple right click and select “Create a new bookmark” or right click to create a new folder with bookmark. You can also add bookmarks from the Batch Save dialog or the MySession pane.
In the Batch Save dialog you can save an entire folder structure at once, so you don’t have to save them individually or recreate them on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
What’s great about bookmarks is that they help you organize your files in 3DSpace where they are stored. You can also add them to your Collaborative Space, a working environment you can create to collaborate on the platform.
But that’s not all in addition bookmarks also include the following features/capabilities:
- Maturity transitions
- Replace by revision
- Control file access- ability to lock/unlock files
- Information button- add file properties like material, part number, custom attributes, etc.
- Compare revisions
- Find relations
- Add existing content from the platform and organize it
- Lifecycle operations –manage your data conveniently as you design.
With Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS you can totally take advantage of data management capabilities right from the Feature Manager Tree, including the ability to view and change the lifecycle status, replace files with revisions, and save data to the platform.
The lifecycle commands can also be accessed from the MySession pane. I love the fact that you can perform all lifecycle operations without leaving your SOLIDWORKS session. You can also unpin the MySession pane if you want to use the full space to work on and view your design.
- Revision Management – reuse files and track the revision history.
I’m sure you all can relate as we are constantly making revisions/changes to our designs, right? And every time you go to save your design with changes you have the option to create a new revision of the design. The platform helps you manage your revisions so you can more easily reuse your designs. I cannot stress the importance of having a proper revision scheme implemented company-wide on how revisions are dealt with.
There are various ways you can meet these goals with options like “Replace current revision automatically when creating a new revision” when you save. You can also right click on the file to create a new revision. This ensures you’re always in sync and working on the current revision.
You can trace the entire history of revisions in the Collaborative Lifecyle app.
Another really cool feature is the revision table mapping option that updates and tracks your SOLIDWORKS drawing revision and maps your drawing revision table as soon as a new revision is created on the platform, so you do not have to manually do that.
You can enable that feature in the Document Properties tab in the Systems Options dialog by selecting “3DEXPERIENCE driven Revision Table” under Type.
New revisions get synced to your SOLIDWORKS drawing so you are always working on the latest drawing, and it is also helpful when sharing data downstream with the manufacturing team.
That’s a glimpse of some of some of the data management capabilities available now. I will be covering more in future blogs, including the collaboration capabilities. And stay tuned, the latest release of Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS is coming in July!