Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS Users

Written by Kai Inge Midtgård Rokstad, MSc. Business Consultant – CAD / FEA / PLM

It can be challenging to adopt new tools and a new way of working, especially if you struggle to see the similarities and differences between the way you worked in the past and the way you might work in the future. However, we hope to be able to make your life easier by comparing the core desktop products for SOLIDWORKS with the corresponding functionality of cloud-apps from 3DEXPERIENCE.

In this blog we take a closer look at the differences between the classical Treehouse tool when compared with Product Structure Editor on 3DEXPERIENCE.

The main aim for these tools is to assist the user with modification of assembly-structure. They each do this by presenting the end user with a graphical overview of the entire assembly hierarchy. Both tools are great for defining a new complex assembly, modifying an existing one, or creating a variant of a substructure. Often – though the needs and situation remain the same – there are some different ways of doing things. So, let’s get a better understanding of the main differences between the two tools.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

(Image courtesy of: https://media.mehrnews.com/d/2019/07/21/4/3185382.jpg)

 

What is SOLIDWORKS Treehouse?

This desktop application was introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2015. This is a standalone application which comes with the standard license, and comes with some of the SOLIDWORKS Tools, such as RX, Task Scheduler etc. This means that all users will have this installed already. If you’re not sure, just search for, “Treehouse” in your start menu.

Below you can see the interface for the application with display on both graphical- and table-view. As we can see from the table view we can easily see the custom properties either for configuration or part specific. It is also easy to make modifications to these as needed.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Core features:

  • Visualize and rearrange Assemblies, Parts and Drawings
  • Drag existing files into the assembly with the graphical interface
  • Create Configurations and modify custom properties

Strengths:

  • Export to SOLIDWORKS Documents and Automatically Create Files
  • Modify custom properties from a table directly, or, via Excel
  • Integration possible with PDM Professional

 

What is ENOVIA Product Structure Editor?

This web-application comes with the 3D Product Architect role and is part of the ENOVIA portfolio. When starting the app, two windows will appear. One displaying the assembly-components (either in list or graphical mode), and the other one is a model-view where the up-to-date model will be shown.

The screenshots below show the general interface in both table- and graphical view. For the table view we can easily modify the information shown, and pull in information directly from the entire PLM system as needed. In addition to this we can directly perform additional operations for Collaboration, Configuration, Lifecycle and more.

In the graphical view we can also make modification to hide thumbnails and change the orientation of the hierarchy either way we would like. In the graphical mode we can perform positioning of components and other view operations like sectioning, measure, hide/show etc. The Product Structure Editor supports perform volume-queries and metadata filtering and more.

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Treehouse vs. Product Structure Editor for SOLIDWORKS users

Core features:

  • Visualize the assembly hierarchy either in table or graphical view
  • Add existing files and assemblies or create new from template
  • Integrated up to date 3D-View of the Assembly

Strengths:

  • Directly perform additional PLM-operations like: Lifecycle, reservation/checkout, ownership, checkout/reservation
  • Direct placing/mating of added components
  • Mix models from various sources to build a complete Multi-CAD assembly

 

Comparison

As mentioned above, these two products both have good qualities for the same task: administering product structures. And, when comparing directly, we see that all the capabilities of Treehouse area available with Product Structure Editor.

In addition, Product Structure Editor also have quite a few additional features. Among these is the support for multi-CAD assembly, and the ability to perform PLM operations directly – to make sure the lifecycle, revision, etc., are correct.

The Treehouse tool is a separate application which integrates with SOLIDWORKS or PDM. However, Product Structure Editor is available in-browser, and can be accessed from any device – even when native CAD-tools are not installed at all.

The integrated mode view of the assembly provides great features to rearrange or place your components where they need to be, even without opening files from the native CAD-tool. Relevant components are easily identified from the graphical view, which greatly enhances the capabilities of the tool when dealing with assembly modifications.

For situations where you’re investigating or navigating, rather than modifying, the Product Structure Viewer has a familiar interface. This tool can be opened directly from the 3DEXPERIENCE tab inside of the SOLIDWORKS application.

In Our Experience…

If you’re a frequent user of SOLIDWORKS, we highly encourage you to take a look at Treehouse. The best thing is you already have it installed! As the initial use case, you’ll find the graphical view to be a great way to both communicate and discuss about complex assemblies.

But, if you’re already familiar with Treehouse and are looking for some extended capabilities, then using the Product Architect role, or 3DEXPERIENCE, should be a natural progression.

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