20 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2008 3:16 PM by lenny bucholz

    Data exchange with shop floor

    Paul McGarr
      We have two seats of Solidworks Professional. I have a problem that I am unable to find a solution for and I am hoping some of you have a similar problem and better yet, a solution...

      It seems inevitable that I sometimes miss a dimension on a drawing, or fail to export a parasolid for use in the shop. Sometimes someone needs to access a model and verify a dimension, and othertimes someone needs a model for CNC machining. Sometimes they are able to snag a floating license, open SolidWorks, get what they need and close SolidWorks. Other times, much more often than not, the two floating licenses are in use. When that's the case, they come to me and I give them what they need.

      Do I really need to purchase another seat just for these two purposes? Is there a program that will give them the ability to convert a SolidWorks file to a parasolid or step file other than solidworks? Maybe there is a super-limited version of SolidWorks available?

      What is everybody else doing? Am I missing something obvious?
        • Data exchange with shop floor
          Todd Engle
          eDrawing will allow them to measure Parts, Assemblies and Drawings.

          It will also allow then to export a STL.
            • Data exchange with shop floor
              Paul McGarr
              If I remember correctly, Edrawings Pro comes with each seat of SolidWorks Pro. This means I have two licenses available. We have two floating licences, so if two of us are using Solidworks, will a third person be able to use Edrawings? If so, that will be perfect.

              I will have to try this Tuesday when I get back to work.

              EDIT: I though you wrote X_T. STL will not cut it. Crap.
                • Data exchange with shop floor
                  Devon Sowell
                  Hello Paul-

                  Each seat of SolidWorks also comes with 3 seats of DWGEditor.

                  If drawings were saved as .dwg, the shop could also use DWGEditor to view, measure, dimension and print the drawing.

                  It adds another step to the process, (Save As .dwg), I just wanted to mention it.
                    • Data exchange with shop floor
                      Tony Hayes
                      Paul,

                      Edrawings is free to download from the SolidWorks website.
                        • Data exchange with shop floor
                          Paul McGarr

                          Tony Hayes wrote:

                           

                          Paul,

                          Edrawings is free to download from the SolidWorks website.

                          If I am not mistaken, Edrawings will not measure or allow save as X_T. I think EDrawings Pro will, and that one license is included with each seat. I might be thinking of something else though...working from memory on this one.
                            • Data exchange with shop floor
                              Tony Hayes
                              I am sure you can measure with the free download but I think you are right about saving as a X_T.
                                • Data exchange with shop floor
                                  Paul McGarr
                                  Ok. I'm back at work and I tried EDrawings PRO and it doesn't work. I can open the file and measure, but not save as parasolid or other useable format.

                                  So, back to square one. Any other suggestions?
                                    • Data exchange with shop floor
                                      Jeff Hamilton
                                      This is probably skirting the boundaries of the intent of legal licensing, but each seat of Solidworks purchased comes with a home use license. (You have to ask for it.) It's intended for tutorial purposes and those times when you just have to work at home.
                                      I would talk with your VAR and see if this is a possible option, provided the home use license is only accessed briefly and periodically.
                                      Solidworks is usually pretty good about working with you.
                                        • Data exchange with shop floor
                                          Paul McGarr
                                          Jeff,

                                          That's a great idea except for the fact that I am already using the home use licenses at home. I use one, and the owner of the company has one on his laptop in case he needs to look at something.

                                          Looks like I am kind of screwed. We're actually going to have to buy a seat of SolidWorks jsut for this? I am going to hear about that when I ask for it.

                                          I just emailed my VAR for pricing on a stripped down seat.
                                            • Data exchange with shop floor
                                              Roberto Torres
                                              I'm in the same boat as you Paul. I'm wandering if there are any third party progams out there that can maybe do translations to the file file format needed with out having to use SW to do it. Even if it costs a little bit of money, it's still cheaper than buying a seat of SW.
                                                • Data exchange with shop floor
                                                  Mark Johnston
                                                  One other (nearly free) solution is to just write a small macro that saves the current file into whatever your preferred format(s) is, along with the native SW file, every time you click on the 'Save' button.

                                                  We have similar situation for saving Parasolid & PDF files for shop use, and the hassle/confusion it caused when people simple forgot to perform that little detail.

                                                  Since implementing the macro, no one even has to think about it anymore. The file are just always there, and we're guaranteed that the converted files are always current to the native file.

                                                  I will check with the powers that be, and if I can I will post the macro we're using...
                                                    • Data exchange with shop floor
                                                      Paul McGarr
                                                      Mark, that would be awesome. If there was a macro that would save a X_T file when I save a part, or a PDF file when I save a drawing I would be forever grateful to get my hands on it.

                                                      That solution is not only acceptable, but in my case, prefered. I could also imagine having the macro append the revision to the saved filenames. That would be perfect. The only drawback I can think of would be the increased file save time. For me, that would be worth it just knowing that everything I work on is available for everybody to access regardless of platform.

                                                      Thanks for taking the time to check it out. I look forward to your response.
                                                        • Data exchange with shop floor
                                                          Dale Dunn
                                                          I only export (models, pdf, dwg, etc.) when releasing a new revision. Exporting every time would be very time consuming. If you have SW Pro, then I believe you can use task scheduler to do all your exporting while you do something else.
                                                            • Data exchange with shop floor
                                                              Mark Johnston
                                                              Sorry for the delay, I had to strip out some company specific things from the macro.

                                                              Attached is the macro I spoke of. It is intended to be started with the /m option when starting SW, where it runs in the background monitoring the Save function. When you click 'save' it will ask you if you want to also save PDF/X_T version of the file. if yes, it will save those copies in addition to normal save. if no, it closes and goes back to monitoring. I have set-up 2 shortcuts for SW. One with & one wthout the macro call.

                                                              The copies are saved in same directory as orginal file. The copies will also have the same name as the original, appended with _PRT, _ASM, _DWG depending on what kind of file the original was. All if this is easyly modifiable in the code.

                                                              There will be a message displayed in lower-right of screen when macro is running.

                                                              Enjoy.

                                                              If the upload dosen't work, send me a message at mark-at-sphvere-dot-com, and I'll send it to you directly.
                                                                • Data exchange with shop floor
                                                                  Paul McGarr
                                                                  Mark,

                                                                  Apparently the upload didn't work so I'm off to send you an email but I wanted to thank you publicly for this. I see this as a perfect solution, especially becasue you are prompted, and therefore can say no if you are working on large files, etc.

                                                                  Thanks again Mark.

                                                                  Edit: I've attached the file that Mark offered in case anybody else wants it.
                                      • Data exchange with shop floor
                                        lenny bucholz

                                        Paul McGarr wrote:

                                         

                                        We have two seats of Solidworks Professional. I have a problem that I am unable to find a solution for and I am hoping some of you have a similar problem and better yet, a solution...



                                        It seems inevitable that I sometimes miss a dimension on a drawing, or fail to export a parasolid for use in the shop. Sometimes someone needs to access a model and verify a dimension, and othertimes someone needs a model for CNC machining. Sometimes they are able to snag a floating license, open SolidWorks, get what they need and close SolidWorks. Other times, much more often than not, the two floating licenses are in use. When that's the case, they come to me and I give them what they need.



                                        Do I really need to purchase another seat just for these two purposes? Is there a program that will give them the ability to convert a SolidWorks file to a parasolid or step file other than solidworks? Maybe there is a super-limited version of SolidWorks available?



                                        What is everybody else doing? Am I missing something obvious?

                                        What cam package are you using?

                                        i ask because most of the current packages read SW file right into them. as in file open which means no translating to another format.

                                        if you have an older cam that needs iges,sat, step, parasolids you may want to up grade to the latest build! some of them even know if the SW file has changed and ask if you want to regen the tool path.

                                        i've been a machinist/model maker for 20+yrs and have used SW and Surfcam, along with some others doning the samething you are asking. go to the SW site and look for cam suppliers.

                                        lenny

                                        = yrs and
                                          • Data exchange with shop floor
                                            Luke Malpass
                                            If you are wanting to view the solidworks files just use SW Viewer (be aware if you have altered a part in SW and not opened, updated and saved any associated drawings then when you view the drawing in SW Viewer it will show the old dimensions!), and as for exporting the file to different formats you should not really do it on each save as mentioned it will be very time consuming, you should just create the export files on a new release. You can use BatchProcess to mass export any assembly and all sub-components, or any list of files to over 28 formats including parasolids, steps, pdf, jpg etc... so that should cover both needs.