7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2011 8:15 AM by Nate Eizenhoefer

    Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...

    Nate Eizenhoefer

      Hello, I'm one of 4, in a company that just invested in Solidworks, and not one of us are users of it until now.

      We are trying to get out of our "old ways" of doing things and finding a good system of approving prints and organizing our drawings.

       

      I have a few questions hopefully that can be answered or some opinions on. First, we used a program "Quick CAD" and this program just let us draw up 2D prints, we used a File system of "NEW DRAWINGS" and "APPROVED PRINTS" When we completed a drawing, we would put it in the APPROVED PRINTS folder, then delete the one out of new drawings. When ever we would release a drawing we would print it on paper, stamp it with controlled, or reference only etc. Our issue now is, we don't want to "move" all these new files from SOLIDWORKS pdf, drawing files, assembly files, part files, we want to have them "approved" still, but not mistaken as not done, or thought to be completed. We get a lot of random projects that get tabled, and we may not always finish something all the time so this is a common issue we work with. I was wondering if anyone has a simple way of keeping documents / files of approved drawings / 3d assemblies etc that are done, or not done without having to move all the files around. I just want to keep them all in one place, the ones that are approved we will save as a PDF in the approved prints folder is my only idea, I'm just thinking if their is a better way that would help.

      IF you have any questions on this, I can defiantly look into giving more information. WE don't have a PDM system, it's not very organized, we have a small very non intuitive inventory program that keeps track of everything. So, we can't really go the VAULT way, we will eventually move into something new and get organized, but as of now we need a new system or a good way of managing these files currently without screwing up everything a year or two from now wishing we knew this little thing that might be good to know or have done in the first place.

       

      My second question is, I looked in tutorials and tried finding a way of creating a "Stamp" like block, but with little success. We always would print our approved prints, stamp them with "Controlled" thus, meaning this drawing is offical and it is released. I'm wondering what is a good process or something we can do differently in this area, or if their is a good way of creating this "stamp" like block. We now can just save as "PDF" or use "PRINT TO PDF" but, I'm unaware of how to get this "controlled" stamp on the drawing before hand. I could easily put a text like "controlled" on the print, but I'm wondering if their is a way to make it like a actual stamp.

       

      Thanks for your time,

      Nate

        • Re: Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...
          Glenn Schroeder

          Here we have a folder on the network drive for each project, which contains other information besides drafting.  Inside this folder there is a Drafting Folder, with sub-folders for Parts, Sub-Assemblies, Drawings, etc.  When a drawing is approved I make a pdf, include the date in the name of the pdf, and save it to the Drawings sub-folder.  I copy this pdf to the project folder where anyone can see it.  If changes are made to a drawing I make a new pdf (again including the date in the name), save it to the Drawings sub-folder with the earlier pdf, and replace the earlier pdf in the project folder with the new one.  That way anyone can easily see the most recent set of prints when they first go to the project folder, and I maintain a history of versions in the sub-folder.

          • Re: Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...
            Michael Nelson

            Create your part templates with some custom properties like shown in the attached pic. Then create your drawing templates to include these custom properties. Then when you approve your part your drawing will automatically update with the correct approvals. Also, I'm sure there is a way to create a macro to insert a jpeg of your approval stamp automatically when the correct conditions are true when you save as PDF and what folder to automatically save the file in.Custom Property.PNG

              • Re: Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...
                Nate Eizenhoefer

                I like the idea of having these properties stating that this is approved or not, but how would it affect the drawing / assemblies / parts?

                Also, how would someone who doesn't have access to the program solidworks pull up this menu, if thats possible? We do a lot of Casting's and when we actually start having solid model's, we would like to send an "approved 3d model" to the vendor, so that they don't have to go off a 2D print, thus meaning we would like an approved file, or something to for sure lock it from being changed etc.

                 

                I just think I'm going down a big rabbit hole full of questions not really sure where to go or what to do for a solid base plane for the new system. But, I would really like to find out how other places work on keeping things organized without the PDM system, etc..

                  • Re: Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...
                    Michael Nelson

                    That properties table is part/assembly specific. So when you (or the other 3 people using SW at your company) approve a part/assembly then that will drive links in your drawing (see picture) to automatically fill in. When you want to send parts to your vendor then you will want to send an x_t or iges file along with the approved drawings. You want to send the x_t or iges because they are "dumb" solids and won't allow your vendor to change anything. The file name of the solid file will have to correspond with the revision # on the drawing. You will also want to make a note on the drawing as to what solid file the drawing is referencing. This will make sure the vendor uses the correct solid file if there are any revisions done. You will have to manually control the properties in the part file along with saving the solid file of your part. drawing properties.PNG

                      • Re: Need some Guidance or Idea's on the process of controlling documents...
                        Nate Eizenhoefer

                        In response, we like to keep file names the same number. Thus we have a drawing number system. I think their maybe a need to add revision or, something of some sort in the future to the file names. Like you mentioned sending files with revisions in the title. Would you put the note, in the "notes" area in the drawing saying reference the "solid file"?

                         

                        I'm just really trying to find a good solid way of organizing files and keeping them from needing to be moved, was mentioned its not a good practice moving files around out of SolidWorks. It gets pretty easy to find a way of laziness and things can easily get lost or need to be redone. We need a good system in controlling these files that are on our server, witch can easily be grabbed by our purchasing etc.. My reasoning is we need something for him to know "this file is good, im ok to use it" right away without having to come to us etc.

                         

                        Thanks everyone so far, I just want a bunch of ideas to think about to get some solid organization on this.