I am trying to determine the best way to deal with making revisions to a set of drawings. Sorry for the long description and the buried questions within, but any feedback would be great.
In my work environment we keep all previous drawings, so any revised drawings get a new drawing based on the previous set. A revision letter is added as well as a description and date. Pretty standard practice I would imagine. For file names we have a Product number, a series number (part, fabrication, etc.) and a revision letter. So a drawing name might read something like PD-2157-300A. We have actually started to add a short description to the file name since it is so hard to know what every number series means. We do keep a log that can be referred to but that can often feel like a lot of extra effort is required.
Formally all drawing was done in 2D in a different CAD package. Single drawing sheets were created as needed and placed in their respective folders. They we not parametrically linked to each other and files were easily renamed. If one or two aspect of a design needed revising just those sheets affected would be updated and a new revision letter added. This seemed to work well for things at the time.
Since I came on board we are slowly moving up to 3D in SolidWorks. Currently, when an older design, based on former 2D drawing (in dxf or dwg format) needs revising, I just continue with the 2D drawing and make the changes. I usually do this in TurboCAD because it works very similar to what software the drawings were initially created in. Even the various drawing styles come right along so it is easy to duplicate what was already there. It is quite fast. I have experimented opening the older 2D files in SolidWorks and find that there is just too much additional work required to make it worth the effort, but that is a whole different story.
All new designs are created in SolidWorks in 3D and a series of drawings is created from that. I have been trying to maintain the same filing system as before (as I am required to) but I have some questions about file saving since everything done on a SW 3D model reflects, or is connected, to everything else (i.e. the drawings, the tables, BOM and so forth). This is something that I have been appreciating greatly. When a revision is required I have been using the Pack & Go to create a new model/drawings set (so using the number from above it would get packed and saved as PD-2157-300B). My assumption has been that using Pack & Go breaks the connection to the former and one can make changes in the new set without worrying that the previous will change as well. Is this correct? Is this how you do it? What if only a couple sheets from the series get changed? Do you add a new revision number to each page anyway? Can you describe how you approach and/or maintain your files and revisions.
Lastly, with these large drawing sets based on the SW 3D model, how do you distribute specific drawings to different individuals or agencies for manufacture of individual components (say injection molded parts or aluminum extrusions)? What about drawings for those in the shop that are running the manufacturing show (employees)? Do you just print portions or do you give them a full set of drawings. Currently, with the older files we have been saving as individual sheets in dxf, dwg and PDF format. It seems so much extra work but that is how it has been. Now with the new drawings in SolidWorks I am not sure what the best approach is. They still want drawings in dxf, dwg and PDF, and I have been throwing in an eDrawing now so they can get the full benefit of the 3D experience. But....not everyone is supposed to get all sheets or the full 3D model as some go to independents for individual part manufacturing (as stated above - injection molding, extrusions, etc.). One does not want to give these guys all drawings. Can you describe how you approach and/or maintain this aspect of file preservation and file sharing.
One last question. Do you keep incremental saves of models as you build? If so, how do you do it?
I know that this is asking a lot from those on the forum, but your insights would be very welcome. I would like to get some of this firmed up in my mind so I can quit wondering if I am going about this wrong.