Are there any good features/tools/add-ins for creating a list of parts for an outside vendor to fabricate, with as much automation as possible? Named BOMs come pretty close to what I'm looking for, but we don't necessarily order all parts of an assembly at once, and sometimes we order parts from different assemblies at the same time. The solution we're considering is creating an Excel document, with the Solidworks parts to order pasted as references, and listed on the excel document using some kind of customization. This will:
Allow us to list all the parts we want to order, and only those
Give us a document listing the parts ordered and necessary metadata
Allow us to route that document through an approval workflow
Allow us to use the Copy Tree feature to save off all the referenced parts so we can easily send them outside our organization
However, there are some downsides to this, including the less-than-ideal user-interface for hunting down and pasting all our files as references to the Excel document, and also the difficulty in keeping the file list in the Excel document up-to-date/in-sync (as far as I know, automating this would require customization). Does anybody know of a better way to do this, preferably with a quick implementation time, that will give us the features listed above?