Whenever I enter variable values onto a drawing data card I also have to enter the same value onto the model data card. Is there a way in PDM workflow to map the value on the drawing data card to the model data card?
I don't think your going to have much luck with that one. Workflows don't have much in the way of functionality when working with configurations and drawing sheets. Maybe others have some novel ideas.
In our system, a custom add-in detects a drawing being checked in and copies the properties across from the model. So, the drawing data cards is always in-sync with its model and title block.
I may have to work on a custom add-in myself if I want to sync drawing and model data card variables or continue with the tedious task of entering manually. This can be cumbersome if there are configurations.
I would have thought that SolidWorks would map the drawing and model data card variables to each other if they have the same data card. Perhaps an enhancement request?
If memory serves me, you may have some success copying model properties into the '@' configuration of the drawing card as mentioned by Jeremy, but your not going to get all the 'sheet' level data card tabs pulling from their corresponding model views.
All very poorly designed and so the only way I found to have a drawing card mimic its model data is to copy those properties across with custom code. In our system the model drives the drawing (and MRP data) and not the drawing. It appears your drawings may drive your ERP system.
Our drawings drive the change process and currently we do have data manually entered fields on the drawing data card that is not a property within the CAD files. I did watch a SolidWorks World 2017 presentation by Steve Ostrovsky on how to use XML with documents which looked interesting. I am thinking maybe store variables from the drawing data card in XML and somehow map to the same variables on the solid model data card.
there is a specific combination of settings in the variable mappings that will make the model properties be copied to the drawing when ever the drawing is saved. (it includes using the same PDM variable for the property in the model as in the drawing, and having them in both datacards - there may be more requirements, but you definitely would need both of these.)
but I know of no way (out of the box) to go from the drawing to the model.
Some of the variables that I have on the data card include information related to engineering change numbers. We use a separate PLM and ERP system and these numbers are entered on the data card.. We use PDM to manage data files. I have been reading up on XML. Perhaps there is a way to use XML data to map between the drawing and model data card.
Have the variables populate the model data card. In the variables, create the custom property so it goes to all of the solidworks extensions.
I have it set up so that we only change the model data card. Then that gets driven to the drawing data card, which is read only.
This is exactly what we do.
Question. Can you pull all your model properties into your drawing cards with native PDM functionality, or do you have customizations that help populate the drawing (sheet) data cards? Do you work with multiple configurations in models and multiple sheets in a drawing?
Always curious how others do it.
Question. Can you pull all your model properties into your drawing cards with native PDM functionality, or do you have customizations that help populate the drawing (sheet) data cards?
It pulls everything in automatically.
Do you work with multiple configurations in models and multiple sheets in a drawing?
Configurations - no (easier this way....aka some things go over people's heads.)
Multiple sheets - Yes
I will try this technique. I am not sure if it will fullfill all my requirements but if it works as advertised it will increase my slillset and adding to my skillset is a good thing.
I think this is restating what others have said above, but this is how our 'Description' variable is set up, and it is automatically copied from the model property to the drawing property as you describe:
There is some background on this in these articles: Drawing Property Links (Part 1)
Thanks Elizabeth. Have you used version free variables?
that is a bit of a tangent - version free variable CANNOT be linked to customer properties - not sure how you think this is related to your original question...
Agreed - yes, I have used them, but not for this.
If I am going to research variable mapping from the drawing data card to the model variable card using XML and possibly a XSL style sheet then I was curious if a version free variable would work for this purpose.
I'm curious as to why you want the drawing to map to the model, instead of the other way around. We've trained our users to always enter the properties that they want to appear on the drawing into the models properties, and it's been successful. It also happens to be helpful as a mid-step to MBD, if that's something your organization is interested in.
Agreed Elisabeth. This is how I also train my clients.
Believe in The Q!
I am OK with the metadata the is mapped from the drawing and model to the data card. Our CAD team manually enters PLM and ERP data on the drawing data card. Our model data cards do not have this information unless it is manually entered a second time. Mapping from the drawing data card to the model data card will keep both data cards in sync without having to manually enter variables twice.
We use multiple PLM and ERP systems from different business units and PDM currently is not linked to any PLM or ERP system.
Totally agree the information shouldn't be entered twice. But if you enter it once, on the model, you can configure PDM to automatically have it show on the drawing (and the drawing datacard), without entering it a second time. I'm not sure it's possible to have it go in the opposite direction (drawing to model).
PLM and ERP tracking numbers generally are not created until after the design work is completed and approved. CAD models are not checked back out this late in the flow process but now I am wondering if I can push metadata values through the CAD files to map variables to each other without checking out CAD files.
if you want it in the custom properties (of the drawing or model or any file) the file will need to be checked out.
if it just needs to be on the datacard (i.e. NOT shown on the drawing). you can use version free variables, and the file does not need to be checked out.
Good suggestion. I recommend the same. If configured properly with your process Bobby Penland, the version free variables can also serve as the framework to link to the ERP/PLM later when you get this process flow through your value stream more fully developed. We currently write add-ins and data card popup programs to act as viewport/portals into the ERP/PLM system to show engineering the status of the parts in the ERP/PLM system so they can make more informed decisions during change orders, BOM row deletions, inventory disposition, etc.
The version free variables also act like a Google search because they can be easily updated, saved, and searched similar to using Google. Just use the version free variables like keywords on the datacard and search like a soft link. One client used them because they had 100 years of mylars/vellums in flat file drawers and needed to link newer CAD drawings to the physical file cabinet & drawer number. Pay an intern to add a version free variable to the data card references which flat file and drawer number the referenced vellum & mylars are in and voila! 100 years of searchable drawings linked to 21st century CAD drawings.
Hope this helps,
I appreciate all the input from this forum.
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