How SOLIDWORKS Treehouse Saved My Life – Twice!

The first time I witnessed SOLIDWORKS Treehouse was in the end of 2014, at the SOLIDWORKS 2015 Launch Event. Attendees were really excited about it, and it seemed to be an amazing tool; however, it was not love at first sight, at least not for me.

At this time, I was a draftsman that only had worked with small and pre-visible projects. I knew how many parts each project would have and their relationships to one another. I used to be the only SOLIDWORKS user at the company. Simply: Treehouse wasn’t needed to help me with the low level of complexity I had to deal with.

Not at that time, anyway. But of course, life goes on and drastically changes our plans. A few years after that event, the game changed and I moved to another company. In this new environment, we had many SOLIDWORKS users and, with a large environment, came bigger challenges.

Almost right way, they put me on a huge and confusing project. Due to the volume of people working there, the amount of information was totally confusing. There would be a ton of previous and canceled versions put together with current ones, which caused many file location errors on the assemblies.

My mission was to understand it all – to make the file relationships work, and generate drawings for almost 350 parts in 2 months! Yeah, it was hard work. I took a pen and some paper and tried to plan what I had to do.

Some paper sheets later, I couldn’t progress enough. The paper space was not enough for me and I always had to change the hierarchy. Pen and paper diagrams just wouldn’t suffice. It was at this point I recalled something, however, that would do more than suffice.

SOLIDWORKS Treehouse: Time to fly!

SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, it became clear to me, was always the solution to the program I just hadn’t encountered yet!

With SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, you can export the project structure – for small, medium, and/or large assemblies – for viewing/sending in Excel format

I put my pens and papers aside and started to plan a new project hierarchy: The highest level for the general assembly, the level below for important divisions like the Cooling System and the Structure, plus a proto coding system respecting the hierarchy, and it was done!

SOLIDWORKS Treehouse made me organize the project in a easy way. I didn’t link to any part; I just did a “ghost tree” with all the things at their right place. This was really easy to do via drag-and-drop, as the short sample video below shows.

It was an incredible success. The team was able to understand where to work, and where to locate files, the assembles were corrected, the puzzle was solved, and the drawings could be done before the deadline! THANK YOU, TREEHOUSE!

More Treehouse successes

Almost 2 years ago, I faced another challenge. I had the opportunity to work on in R&D at my company, substituting a very competent professional. The problem I was faced with this time was more of an inherent one within the realm of research.

In a research project, there is no answer at the end of the book. You need to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing what you’ll be designing next week. Each new part is a different discovery. The pains and pleasures of this process rise at the same proportion.

Once again, Treehouse became my compass. During the research project, new modules had to be added to the prototype and Treehouse helped me to:

  •          Find the assembly hierarchy
  •          Plan modifications
  •          Organize different parts with the same function

… and much more. This helped us to increase our performance, as both new colleagues and non-SOLIDWORKS users were able to understand better the scope of the project we were working on. I hope that this text can help you to improve your knowledge of use cases with Treehouse, and the value it can bring.

Bruno Caixa

Bruno Caixa is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE) and a member of the SOLIDWORKS Champions Program. A passionate user and Educator of SOLIDWORKS, Bruno has over 10 years of experience working in many industries as a Draftsman and CAD Administrator. He works as an R&D Engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at PUC-Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Latest posts by Bruno Caixa (see all)