Friday, 19 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Track your Project Data with File Versions

Managing Project data seems to be difficult when there are too many project files and many Versions for individual project file. Versions are nothing but a milestone in our Project that can be retrieved anytime  for reference and reuse. While working towards the completion of our Project there are many stages where we improvise the Project or add an additional data to move our project a step closer to completion. Project Files can be saved separately in each of these stages as Versions so that we can have complete tract of our project data and reuse the older data whenever required. But improper version management often leads to troubles like,
  • Maintaining filename for Version copies of Project file.
  • Identifying the required file in cluster of similar files.
  • Risk of deleting mandatory versions while removing duplicate files.
  • Tracking the modifications in the individual version file while auditing the project. 
  • Recovering the appropriate version files for reusing the same in another project.
To eliminate these troubles, SOLIDWORKS PDM provides an excellent Automated File Version Management and Control System. SOLIDWORKS PDM consists of three Servers namely – Archive Server, Database Server and License Server. Archive Server is where all the raw data gets stored and Database Server posses the Metadata of respective files. The Client systems uses a Local Vault View where we can see the completely organized data in proper folder structure from Archive Server and Database Server combined. Versions are created whenever we Check Out a file from Vault and again Check In the same file. SOLIDWORKS PDM automatically saves all the versions of a project file as separate files in its Archive Server and a version number is maintained for each version file in the Database Server.

During Check In, the check in dialogue box enlists the files and its references we are checking in to the PDM Vault. Each Check In increases the version number of the file and each version can have a comment which records the purpose of the version created. The version number can be preserved from increasing by enabling the check box Overwrite Latest Version. In case if we do not want to check in the file with all the changes we made after saving the file so many times we can use “Undo Check Out” option which erases the file in the local cache and provides the earlier created versions available without any changes made.

The Versions can be monitored and retrieved using the tools available in PDM local view. Here the Version tab shows us which version of the file we are having in our local cache in the format Available version/Latest Version (for example 2/3 denotes available version is 2 whereas latest version is 3). After Selecting appropriate file use “Get Latest Version” option in the toolbar to get the last saved version of the selected file. In order to retrieve older versions, use the created versions list that is available in the “Get Version” option of “Actions” dropdown menu. Here the Versions will be listed with version number and Version Comment we gave while checking in the file for making it easier to get the required version easily. The BOM will also get generated automatically for individual versions. 

In case, if we want to audit the project work “History” option in the toolbar can be used. This option will show a dialogue box that contains complete track of the project file. It lists outs all the major events of a project like Versions created and Workflow states changed along with date & time, User’s name who made the event, Comments we give while Checking in and changing workflow state. Here the different Version files can be compared by selecting the appropriate versions and clicking “Compare”. If we want to undo the changes made in the project up to a particular version, we can select the required version and click the “Rollback” button which rewinds the project to that Version. Any version can be saved as an individual file by selecting the version form the list and clicking the “Save” Button.

We may wonder what happens what if all my version file consumes a lot of unwanted space over a period of time. SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator tool provides an automatic clean up tool “Cold Storage for erasing or moving the unwanted version file from the Archive Server. Once the Cold Storage is set, the older version files will be automatically moved\erased once the number of versions reaches the limit of our choice. Also, versions with Revision can be stopped from moving to cold storage. This process can be scheduled at regular time period like the system idle times so that this does not affect the performance of the server.

Friday, 12 June 2020


Solidworks configurations allow designers to maintain the different version of part and assembly in a single document. Three method for creating configurations:

Using configuration table
Design table

The fact is that capability is already available in SOLIDWORKS. In this article, we will see, how to use the configuration publisher to create the configuration. Once completing the assembly or model, this allows us to select the configuration we assemble using the same model attributes.To work with configuration Publisher, Microsoft Excel must be installed on our system.
The follow the below steps in making the configuration Publisher. After creating desired configuration in part model, right click on the component name in configuration manger and select the configuration Publisher as shown below.
When we click the Configuration Publisher, the below Pop-up will be shown. If you didn't create a design table, the Configuration Publisher will auto-create the design table. Click "Yes" to confirm auto create windows as shown below.

The configuration Publisher box will pop-up, showing the different properties that can be used to filter through the configurations. That can be dimensions, materials,suppression states & control the attributes, etc.
You can drag these controls from the left of the configuration publisher panel to middle edit tab, while the edit tab is selected. The process is the same for the Property Tab Builder
After editing is completed, the SW Preview tab will allow the user to view how the Configuration Publisher will display when initiated. When satisfied with the results, make sure to click for Apply for the changes.
The configuration can still be chosen directly, if desired. When the part/assembly is inserted, the configuration can be chosen from the dropdown bar instead of sorting by properties as shown above.
As the parameters are chosen, the part is updated in the graphics area. It helps the user have a visual of which part is being selected before it is chosen. If the chosen configuration needs to be changed and the user can utilize the Configuration Publisher to choose it. For that,right click on Part or Assembly to the Feature manager design tree and then choose configuration part or assembly from the in-context toolbar as shown in the above image.


Create configurations and share them by automatically uploading your designs to 3D Content Central.It reduces the extra time needed to identify the proper configuration
You can easily edit the parameters of a part/assembly using excel.