At 3DEXPERIENCE World this year in one of my sessions, I asked attendees how they were sharing data and the majority said through PDFs and email. Surprised? Maybe, maybe not.
What if I told you could collaborate with ANYONE and share 3D models right from SOLIDWORKS even if they don’t have SOLIDWORKS or the 3DEXPERIENCE platform? Well now you can if you have Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS available with Cloud Services.
Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS is a role that connects your SOLIDWORKS data to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform so you can leverage its cloud-based collaboration and data management capabilities. It has many great features for collaboration, including the new Share and Markup capabilities, which I’ll discuss briefly below, in addition to other top collaboration capabilities you can and should be taking advantage of.
- Share and Markup – collaborate with ANYONE from within SOLIDWORKS.
Easily share your designs with anyone without ever leaving SOLIDWORKS, whether they are internal or external to your organization— even if they do not have SOLIDWORKS or the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The Share and Markup feature is a great option to help you easily collaborate with all your partners, including suppliers, manufacturers, and/or marketing and sales staff, for example.
Just hit the “Share a File” command right on your toolbar and choose the format you want to share your design as, such as 3DXML, PDF, or STEP. Enter the recipient’s name and send the file by hitting the Share button. The recipient can conveniently access the file from a browser by creating a 3DEXPERIENCE ID, if they don’t have one, and comment on and mark up the design.
When they send it back to you will get a notification in SOLIDWORKS and you can easily go through the markups and comments attached to your design. The share and markup capabilities were introduced this July and you can read this insightful blog from my colleague Sal to learn more on how the functionality works, so you and your partners can start reaping the benefits.
- Map Custom Attributes – display important attributes for better communication and avoid rework or delays.
You can easily map custom attributes for physical products and drawings and manage them on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform using apps available to you in Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS, such as the Bookmark Editor, Product Structure Explorer, and Engineering Release. The physical product attributes mapped to SOLIDWORKS will appear on the Configuration Specific Properties tab.
You can define attributes to be displayed on the title block, parts list, or drawing. This is helpful when collaborating as you can display the maturity state, revision and who modified it, released by, and release status of the design phase so your teammates can easily see the status of the model.
- Balloon Numbers/Find Number – streamline your design to manufacturing workflow and guarantee the accurate display of SOLIDWORKS component references in applications on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
You can map the SOLIDWORKS component reference value to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as “Find Number” under the Instance tab of an object’s Information Panel. This helps you find relevant information, identify components that correspond to a specific item on the bill of materials (BOM), and can also be used to highlight features on the engineering drawing like fasteners, holes, or other critical dimensions.
It’s important to note that “find number” references, also known in the industry as balloon numbers, and values, are visible only after the object has been saved to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
To summarize, this functionality makes it possible to save a drawing with balloon numbers from SOLIDWORKS and have those numbers automatically captured and displayed in downstream applications, such as Product Structure Explorer or the Bookmark Editor.
- Derive Output Manage and Bulk Download – save time when sharing large assemblies with external partners.
From MySession or the Product Structure Explorer app you can download derived outputs for an assembly and create a Zip file instead of downloading content individually.
You can also configure it to generate a PDF file of a SOLIDWORKS drawing when you save it to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, or during a maturity state transition. This associated PDF file can be viewed from the Derived Output tab of the drawing in ENOVIA apps or in the My Session task pane. The Derived Output tab gives you the option to download the PDF file to the local Windows file system.
Normally if you wanted to share multiple PDF drawings with an external stakeholder from 3DDrive each PDF would have to be downloaded one by one. For those of you who have hundreds of drawings associated with a product this would be incredibly time consuming.
To alleviate this, you can use the Bulk download option under the Derived Outputs tab in the Information Panel to include PDFs of the drawings associated with a product.
Note, Derived Outputs must be enabled by a platform manager in the Admin Console before you can take advantage of this feature.
- 3DSwym Community – share designs, including 3D models, and gain insight from other SOLIDWORKS users.
3DSwym is a great hub for staying up to date on SOLIDWORKS news and sharing with and seeking information from your peers and SOLIDWORKS product managers. Got a quick question? Throw it out to the community. Want to collaborate on a 3D model with your teammates? 3DSWym has you covered. Want to show off a design? Do it, who knows maybe you’ll inspires someone.
The best part is you can access 3DSwym right from SOLIDWORKS, and there are both internal and external sharing options as you can create your own private community.
Expand Your Toolset with Browser-based Design Roles
As your needs grow you can expand your toolset with other offerings from the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio with purpose-built tools, including the SOLIDWORKS browser-based design roles, such as 3D Sculptor for subdivision modeling for complex shapes and geometry and 3D Creator for parametric design.
The future generation of engineering is about flexibility and mobility which is why we have created an end-to-end suite of robust mechanical design, shape, sheet metal, structure and definition tools that are 100 percent browser-based. These solutions are fully compatible with Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS and I strongly recommend you check them out. You can get your hands on many of these roles in the SOLIDWORKS Cloud Offer for a rocking deal.
Also, if you’re new to Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS check out the Welcome App when you log- in for helpful tutorials and other resources to help you to get started.
To learn more about some of the features I highlighted above watch my presentation from 3DEXPERIENCE World here. Note to access the presentation you can use your 3DEXPEREINCE ID or set one up for free.
See what else is new in my last blog, and stay tuned for fall updates coming soon!