4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2016 8:42 AM by

    Part/drawing File Naming Best Practices

    Jody Smith

      This is not a Solidworks specific issue and I am not sure how this will be answered so that someone can get points. I'm trying to explain to my current engineering group why it isn't a good idea to have the revision in the file name and I just can't seem to get through to anyone why this is not a good idea. This is the only place that I have worked that does this. We currently use  a manual document/revision control process but sometime in the next year will transition to an electronic PDM system of some type and I have been a key proponent of this switch. They always reply with "How do you know you are looking at the latest/correct revision?" I was always taught that the version that everyone has access to/can view IS the latest revision. Whenever I see a file name with a revision on it, it means that it is an older revision that has been archived. Also in other businesses when we went to implement a PDM system (SmarTeam, Team Center, Enterprise, Whatever) it was always advised by the PDM representative to NOT put the revision in the part/drawing/file name. Am I the odd bird on this train of thought? Do I have a valid argument? I need some bullet points or nightmare scenarios or something to give as examples as to why this is not a good idea, or I need to be proven wrong so that I can suck it up and move on after 5 years of trying to beat them into submission. Don't even get me stared on the "smart" numbering system that we use. I have given up on that argument. Again, I know this is not Solidworks specific, but as I have focused on and only primarily used SW for my entire career (15 years) and am not a member to any other CAD forums I am using this forum. Also I understand  that there are many scenarios (do part and drawing get revised together or not? etc.). I'm not going to put this in any specific category as I want input form CAD admin, users, Engineers and anyone willing to chime in. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Part/drawing File Naming Best Practices
          Peter Brinkhuis

          I try to rename my SolidWorks files as little as possible. Changing file names can result in broken references with assemblies and drawings when not done correctly. I never add a revision to parts, drawings or assembly file names. Only export files can have a revision in their file name, because the contents can't change.


          Revisions are always tricky when working with files, Onshape doesn't have this problem because it doesn't work with files. A PDM system should handle all of the revision issues without the need for file name changes.

          • Re: Part/drawing File Naming Best Practices
            Steve Calvert

            Always a good topic to start off the day with...


            You are the right side, IMHO, and as Peter says, renaming the file is usually not a good idea/practice.


            I've been through Team Center (Unigraphics Manager), Intralink and am now on Smarteam (since 2006) and none of those used the revision in the file name (that the normal user sees).




            Steve C

            • Re: Part/drawing File Naming Best Practices
              Bjorn Hulman

              Couldn't agree more Jody,

              rev suffix on live files are not in anyway ideal. I'd recommend if someone were to want a history of the parts / assems, to do pack and go's at certain milestones. Custom properties were made for data like revisions, where you can change them, and utilise the data more effectively.



              I also dislike when drawings are separated into different folders from the rest of the cad data. If you click make drawing from part/assem and a drawing already exists in the same folder, SW nicely prompts you to ask whether you'd like to open it. Not so if it's another layer down in an over-cooked hierarchy (IMO).

              • Re: Part/drawing File Naming Best Practices

                You are right in that it is not a good practice. File references can get messed up as mentioned. I like to think of it in an 'old school way' - hand drawn technical drawings have revision tables and usually you'd keep the latest in a drawer and the 'old issue' would be taken out of that drawer and put in the archives. If you wanted to find it you'd head to the archives, there would be zero chance anyone would pick up and use an old issue/revision of a drawing. Electronically (PDM) it works the same way - the current versions live in the current location, older versions are 'hidden away' in the depths of the system and can only be retrieved with the correct permissions. I see the 3D part as the master file, but it can only hold so much information, so the drawing and 3D always get updated together - it's just easier to look at a revision table and see what the changes have been, rather than start comparing rev. 1 and rev. 2 of a 3D part. Another thing  - not everyone in an organisation knows what a revision system is and why it is important, to anyone outside a design office there is no indication of which is the newest file just by naming things part_1.sldpart and part_2.sldprt - Is '2' the latest, or is one the 'primary' version OR are they two different parts with no revision. We would have a problem if we had 2 revisions available in our vault since when a part/drawing is archived a PDF file is automatically generated and this links into our purchasing system. We would have a folder full of the same part drawing but the old drawing would still be linked up as it would not have been overwritten...and no one would notice it unless you put more man hours into managing that kind of thing.