definitely make a revision on a 3D model even if I'm not changing the gometry itself (e.g. change the value of a tolerance or just changing an annotation like surface finish symbol).
I would rely on a PDM to manage revisions, then the revision property would be each time updated and would appear as a note in the 3D PDF title block.
If I'm not wrong, in 2016 MBD has API's. therefore one could create a workflow in SOLIDWORKS PDM in order to publish again the 3D PDF everytime part is subject to revision.
Any change made causes a change in the revision just like you mention.
We use EPDM for our model files (tracks revisions) and use the custom property of the model revision to display on the 3D PDF.
At this point in time we want to have control of publishing the 3D PDF. In the future we may change this.
In Agile (our PLM system) we store the 3D PDF in here so purchasing and others can have access to it.
I am looking more at whether or not to show revision history in the model and whether the signatures should be static in the custom properties or added each time the 3D PDF is published.
Thank you for your input
I've found the API method that controls publishing:
The issue now is the signature: how can you make sure someone has ACTUALLY opened the 3D PDF before approving it. Maybe you could write a custom application in PDM that would do this check ?
Thank you Alex.
The 3D Title Block , reading custom properties from the model.
So far, I am not 100% satisfied with the 3DPDF functionality. I like the eDrawings potential more.
We don't have a traditional looking title block. For us, it just causes grief with people wanting to treat the 3D PDF just like a drawing and saying the 3D PDF is the master. We still use customer properties to complete the part number/drawing number as well as description. Most likely we will be doing the same with the signatures. A thought was to force those that sign off the updates through Agile to actually have them have to open the 3D PDF to fill in their initials. Otherwise some will just approve it in the PLM and never open the 3D PDF and look at it.
I have always like eDrawings... my manager though didn't care for it, but since he saw the newer functionality (over the last 5 years) he is re-thinking his opposition to it.
Thanks for your input.
In our case, we use SAP to manage the lifecycle of our designs. The 3D PDF is updated with the new revision level and the PDF is stored on the Document Information Record (analogous to a data card in EPDM) and the change/release process is managed in SAP. Once we adopted this process, we no longer kept revision history on the drawings, only updating the rev block with the new revision level.
So, for us, it's essentially the same process in MBD as it was with drawings.
Thanks for the comments.
We are doing the same in Agile (for sign off and 3D PDF storage) and EPDM (for file/model revision history). Seeing that we are in the early stages of MBD implementation I wanted to be sure and look at options while we make the change over.
When I reviewed the ANSI/ASME standards we had available, everything was pointing to keeping revision history on a drawing. Granted they didn't mention MBD as the are outdated. We are working of getting current standards. So this had me thinking that we needed history on MBD files. Another thing that leads me that way is having worked closely with suppliers, earlier in my career, that they preferred to have an idea of what changed. This helped in quoting for NRE and part pricing.
At this time it looks like we are going to only list the last change notice (we have 3 different types) in the Model above the notes.
Casey, I've started working on an MBD project and I came across the same issue, how to manage revisions ?
This particular customer has a revision table in his drawings and some letters on dimensions corresponding to revisions. I think he will still be interested into keeping revision history.
The only way I could find to replicate this was inserting a general table with all revisions, and putting balloons.
I think MBD should have a native function that would allow you to embed a revision table in your 3d part and put revision balloons.
Based on your experience, what would you do to keep track of revision history over time ? Should this info be stored in the part or in the PDM ?
Do they use some sort of vaulting? If so, it should keep their past revisions available. If they don't, the really should consider doing so.
The next question is, are they using a program to Validate their STEP file to their CAD Master? If they are, then the might be able to use this to create a revision report. This is what we are trying. What we do is compare the new CAD Master to the previous and generate a report. If done without PMI, it gives us a graphically representation of what change. If someone then wants to look deeper into the change they can go into our PLM system and review the write up and look at any mark-ups that may be in there. This report gets added to the change request in the PLM system.
As a side note, It is my desire to have the supplier use the latest supplied STEP file. I would think it would be in the suppliers best interest to have a revision tracking scheme as well as a way to compare files for changes. To some degree I believe this might be a requirement of one of the standards (ISO 9000?).
Please let me know if this helps.
Thank you Casey,
what you suggested makes a lot of sense, and I think that the new SOLIDWORKS 2017 functionality - compare PMI - would help a lot in this sense.
I think that when a company has completely transitioned to a Industry 4.0 model this would be the ideal situation.
In this case I'm talking about a company that is just starting to transition to MBD, and this is the scenario:
- they have a PDM system (not PLM) but not all company departments use PDM
- some parts are made internally, while others are manufactured externally
- production doesn't have access to PDM
- very often revisions are applied to tolerances, not to geometry, therefore they would need a way to indicate in documents what changed in that annotation
- suppliers are lazy
"They have always built the part that way", they have experience in manufacturing it that way, and it would be easier for them to just know what changed by looking at annotations in a drawing so that they will plan some actions to accomodate the change. If they get the latest revision they have to plan manufacturing from scratch.
- Design department's customers are often the workshop that manufacture the part.
Every workshop (internal or external) that works on that part sometimes will add new manufacturing information to that design based on their experience and manufacturing plans on that part.
Without a PDM at workshop all of that information is gathered with calls, emails, annotations on paper drawings, and finally designers will add all of that information to that design once there's final issue.
This would imply that in order to get to the next level, everybody should have a PDM to eliminate all of that information scattering. That's quite difficult, probably the ideal solution would really be having a platform like 3DExperience where everybody would add and share information.
In the meantime, in the transition phase I will have to propose a solution like:
- using a general table as a revision table
- using flag notes in a 3D view to manage revisons
-The compare software I am speaking of is a third party software (there are at least 2 available). The Compare function ins 2017, in my opinion, isn't up to par, it still needs work.
-The company just starting into MBD should have the same need to compare their CAD file to their STEP file, if they are providing 3d files to their suppliers.
-Use of a PDM system (even if it is SOLIDWORKS Workgroup) is just smart business. Plus at least some level of PDM comes with SOLIDWORKS Pro (maybe even standard).
-Access can be granted to Production even if it is a single login for many users, although I would think all they would need would be a "Read Only" login.
-If the approach of "We have always done it that way" is left to prevail, they will never incorporate an MBD approach.
-Are the 'workshops' using CNC machines and CAM software? they should be reading in the native file or STEP file to create their tools paths. If they do, then they can use the *new/revised* file and just copy their tooling setups over from the previous revision. This will show them where the differences are if they are physical changes. Tolerance changes might not show.
-For mark up of 3D enabled PDF's, use the "Add 3D Comment tool" in Adobe Reader
-MBD when used with DimXpert and STEP AP242 will carry the PMI without worry for the '3D Experience"
-If you are a reseller, there is a document that was recently shared with me that you should have access to. It explains the MBD process and concepts in detail, not necessarily in relation to SOLIDWORKS, but as a complete MBD approach at certain levels. This would be very helpful to you.
For the transition, I was going to suggest what you have stated
"General table and flag notes" just be careful not to get locked in on this.
I hope this helps.