8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 2, 2010 1:50 PM by Jay Johnson

    Maintaining Revision levels

    Jay Johnson

      How do you guys maintain revision levels using SolidWorks? Do you modify your part and drawing, then rename it using the letter of your revision? Just looking ahead at when it's time to start making changes to our drawing.

        • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
          Scott McFadden


          We use PDM workgroup that is setup to maintain the revision levels automatically.

          PDM also populates the drawings with the most up to date revision level as well.

          • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
            Charles Culp

            Yes, that is how we do it, but it is a down right horrible way to do it. I don't suggest it at all (but we are stuck for now).


            Here are two better ways:

            1. The best option is to run a PDM system. Even if you only use it for this purpose.


            2. Always keep the current revision up-to-date in the drawing/assembly/part file of that name. When you make a revision, first save off the obsoleted file into an archive folder as a copy, then continue working on that original file. The reason for this is so assemblies/drawings always pull the most current files.

              • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                Jay Johnson

                Where I work we save the old files to an archive destination. We only have SW Standard so no PDM to keep revisions. My problem is that we save our drawings in this format.


                G YXXXXs1a.sldprt



                G = General Drawing

                Y = Drawing Sheet Size (1,2,3 = A,B,C)

                XXXX = Sequential Drawing Numbers

                S = "Sheet"

                1 = Sheet Number

                a = Revision Number


                My issues are this:

                1. You can put mutiple sheets on one drawing in SolidWorks. So I don't need an "S1" in my file name anymore.

                2. I use the auto fill-in feature in SW so I don't have to edit sheet all the time to change things. If I use a revision letter in my filename, it messes up my custom auto-fill.

                3. Do I need to create new models when revisions are needed or just add a configuration.


                I am just not sure how I want to handle revisions. It's not just a drawing "Sheet" anymore, like in autocad. Now it's a Drawing Sheet and a Model. How do you maintain the references between the two.


                The more I try to ask the right question, the more confused I seem to be getting. Sorry.....

                  • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                    Daniel Melendez

                    Hi Jay I understand fully your dilemma. I too am faced with the same decision, although we have PDM work group it's still not in use. Fortunately we just started using SolidWorks and nothing in SolidWorks has to be revised yet. They're still revising the Autocad versions until we get SWx full blown and up and running for everyone and not just me.


                    So I'm guessing from your statement that Standard SWx license doesn't come with PDM work group?


                    Yeah it would terrible if you changed the name of the file especially the model every time you did a new revision because now every assy model that has the revised part model will no longer be able to locate the new revised part because a) it'll be looking for file part xxx.sldprt and not xxxRevA.sldprt.


                    Plus most companies use .pdf, or .tif's or even autocad copies of the most current revision for release because of thier static nature. If that's the case then simply keep the archived static file for old revision reference and simply update the SolidWorks revised part without changing the name. Of course in you custom properties you'd want to put the correct revision letter there so that the drawing will show the current revision in the titleblock.


                    As a go between I think the configuration idea sounds okay but if you have a part model with multiple configurations you'd probably have to use a derived configuration for the revised edition.


                    I would set up so that you have the option to go to a PDM system later, things always change and so do managers minds. Thanks, Daniel

                      • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                        Jay Johnson

                        I feel fortunate that we got SolidWorks. But I received no training and have no idea how to manage our drawings...other than the old way. I didn' t know you could save a SolidWorks .slddrw file as "Detached Drawing" with no reference to the model. I was under the impression you had to maintain teh relationships between drwings and madels all the time. It was only when a supplier asked me for a drawing in that form factor.

                      • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                        Scott McFadden


                        Let me ask you this question.  Do you want to maintain old revisions as revisions change?


                        It sounds like you are very close.

                        What I would do is ditch the sheet number in the file name if you are going to have multiple sheets in one drawing file.

                        Some companies like the one I work for don't like to do that so that is why I say that.

                        at the end of your file name place your revision (i.e. GYXXXX_A) with the "A" being your revision with
                        the "_" as just a seperator.  Infact you could even ditch the under score and just put a space there.


                        I don't know how many there are in your department, but there is going to have to be some policing and some

                        control over this to maintain consistency.


                        Also, if you use custom properties, where you place your drawing number, have a specific property

                        for users to fill in that is typed in.  Unfortunately it is going to have to be this way until you get a

                        PDM type ssystem that can control your revisions.


                        Regardless you are going to need a storage location with one or two people only having R/W

                        privelages to those folders.


                        I hope this makes sense and starts you down the road to clearer revision control.

                        Good luck.

                          • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                            Jay Johnson

                            As revisions change, I would like to maintain the old ones. As far as SolidWorks drawing go, I am the only one who is working with it. The other engineers still use autocad and will give me their undetailed drawings to finish, assign a number and store, etc. At least that isn't an issue. I can pretty much do what I want as long as I get approval.

                              • Re: Maintaining Revision levels
                                Daniel Melendez

                                Hi Jay that sounds good but with SolidWorks it's always good to do some forward thinking. So unless you need an immediate answer, it'll be better for you later, less headache and maybe even for others who come in behind you and others who will be using SolidWorks in the future along side you. The more upfront research you do on the matter the better decision you'll be able to make for now and future useage. Thanks, Daniel