18 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2018 9:28 PM by Solid Air

    How do you access your models remotely?

    Brad Walker

      My company just hired me (engineer) to begin creating models/print for all of our product. Currently, all models are being stored on my desktop at work (plenty of storage space). I realize this is bad practice, and I am working on a fix. I was wondering what every one's thoughts were on file storage? Keep in mind I also have a work set-up at home that I will need to be able to access the models from.

       

      TIA,

      BW

        • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
          Glenn Schroeder

          All of ours are on a network drive, where they're accessible to all users.  It's backed up every morning at 7:00am.

          • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
            Wayne Schafer

            We do the same method here as Glenn stated above.  But if you work from home your IT dept will have to give you access to the network when you are offsite.  Most IT departments are not happy about doing that.

              • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                Brad Walker

                My old job did it that way as well. We had access to everything through VPN. However, I don't think my current manager sees the benefit in purchasing an on-site server. Is there a way to create such a drive on a local machine and back it up to a cloud service? (Sorry, I admittedly don't know as much about IT as I should)

                  • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                    Derek Parks

                    This really depends on how many Engineers etc. need access to the files. If you are the only one working on them then maybe a laptop with a external backup is the easiest option.

                    If several people need to access the files I would just get a PC tower to act as my "server" holding all the files and IT could give you access to only those drives via VPN. Then this PC could be connected to a backup drive that backs up every day, cloud or hardware.

                      • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                        Brad Walker

                        I am the only one needing access to the files and this is a small company with limited network security. I've been using Pack and Go and will continue to do so when I can foresee the work I need to do. I'm mainly needed access to my tower at work in case I forget to bring something home or something comes up. Sounds like the best option is going to be connect to my work computer from home via VPN.

                         

                        And really secondarily I'm working on the most efficient way for us to back up files. I would like to install SW PDM, but it's costly to do and the "how to" manual is intense. Will probably end up just using one of the cloud systems like dropbox.

                          • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                            Andrew Schaffer

                            My company keeps everything on the server, which, if needed, can be accessed via VPN. But like others said, large assemblies are a pain to open and work with due to their file size. Other thing we use is a FTP site to transfer files between the company and suppliers. We mainly utilize this to send Pack and Go data to machine shops, as well as to our international mother company. Sometimes, I'll throw the data on their in my folder to open elsewhere to work on pieces, and re-upload the file for when I'm back in the office.

                    • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                      Bjorn Hulman

                      I've had good feedback from people using Dropbox Business.

                        • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                          Dan Golthing

                          just about any cloud service will work.  I use several to handle all my data and not have to pay $100/yr to dropbox.

                           

                          Google drive gives me a TON of space.  Also there's MEGA that gives a bunch of space, but I'm not sure how secure that is.

                           

                          I have a OneDrive account at work through a Windows Office subscription that has a terabyte.

                           

                          Dropbox and those types of easy to use cloud accounts are great to work with clients and they also keep backups of your data.

                           

                          I had one client that shared some of my files I did for them with a third party on Dropbox.  The third party didn't understand the concept so after they retrieved the files they deleted them all!!!   fortunately Dropbox had the option to restore them!  For a minute there, I was pretty freaked out.

                        • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                          Derek Parks

                          I access my files through Solidworks PDM which is located on my office network using VPN when away from the office. This would of course also work if you had a network you could get VPN access to even without using Solidworks PDM.

                          I will follow that with if I know I am going to need a specific model a head of time I will pack and go it onto a USB to take home with me. Depending on your home internet speed opening large assemblies via VPN is a nightmare.

                          Depending on size of your company and amount of models a simple external hard drive set up may be a solution as well so long as you remember to keep all your files current on the drives. This would not be my choice but you have to do what you have to do.

                           

                          Cheers,

                          Derek

                          • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                            ömür tokman

                            The company I work with keeps the data on a server (within the company). And three times a week, two different removable disks are backup. One is stored in the company and the other is stored outside the company.(To protect against theft)

                            • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                              Matt Peneguy

                              I would suggest PDM Standard (it's free if you have SW Professional). But, you want to work with the files at home and that would be a big mess trying to manage files in and out of the vault as far as I understand it.  And I'm not sure if PDM Standard works with VPN.  One of the big selling points for PDM Pro is to be able to work offsite.  So, I'm with Glenn Schroeder and Wayne Schafer.  I am not familiar with Dropbox Business.  But, it sounds like it could work.  Definitely check that out, too.

                              Let us know what you come up with.

                              • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                Steven Mills

                                Local servers on a Local Area Network are great. However problems happen when you start involving the greater internet. Bandwidth is a big issue with CAD data. Place I use to work at tried to set up a LAN in one building where the data is stored, then give access to the factory several miles away. Assemblies that could be loaded in 10 secs on the LAN, were taking an hour to be loaded at the factory.

                                 

                                They ended up preferring to look at just the PDFs of the drawings, and e-drawing copies of models if/when they needed them. Or only getting a copy of database changes every day or two instead of trying to get the very latest data.

                                • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                  James Riddell

                                  We/I do not use PDM so we work on files locally (no design, just FEA) then we transfer the folders complete to the network. We use a generic format to keep reports/pictures, imported geometry, and rebuilt models for analysis. If the design changes we'll move the old to an 'OBS' folder and build fresh. The only danger is to current work if something happens to local machine but it seems to work well for me and my co-worker that does the same thing.

                                  • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                    Jim Steinmeyer

                                    In the past I worked at a place where like Omar the "server" was one of the PC's and the other 3 "engineers" just accessed to it on the network. We had 3 external drives that we rotated backing up the CAD data to on a weekly basis and then stored them off site. You can now get Terabyte drives in the $100 range so storage is cheap.

                                    Yes Dropbox will easily allow you to backup to the cloud. And I believe the unmentionable Google has that capability as well of course there will be a monthly fee with both of them.

                                    • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                      Neville Williams

                                      DropBox has worked for me. I'm self employed but like you I'm the only one doing CAD. If the job involves me working on site and I get a query on previous job, I can easily access info SWX files and open them no problem.

                                      I have my common parts folder , templates  etc in a Custom Files directory also on DropBox, so opening files up from anywhere and modifying is no problem.

                                      • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                        Roland Schwarz

                                        Dropbox, Citrix, MS Sharefile all work fine. All allow for local sync so you don't have to load or save via internet.

                                        • Re: How do you access your models remotely?
                                          Solid Air

                                          Our files are in SW PDM so all I need do is VPN in, connect to the vault and I can work on them.  Can be slow.  So I have a computer at work I can remote into and do my work, much faster because I am only transmitting video.

                                           

                                          Previously I used you method of pack and go to a zip file.  After working from home I would pack and go to a zip file then only replaced changed files at home.  I did this successfully for many years...

                                           

                                          Get a laptop and local license of SW and you will not have this problem.