7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2012 3:13 PM by John Burrill

    Consulting: Native Files

    Tim Cochrane

      Looking for some advice:


      I have been doing a few consulting design jobs. I'm hesitant to give the customers the native solidworks data. I don't care about the pdfs of drawings or dumb solids. What I do not want going out is all of my custom templates and design data that you do not see in the drawings.






        • Re: Consulting: Native Files
          Scott McFadden


          If you are sending out pdf's or formats of such and dumb solids the templates are not going along for the ride.


          If you give them original drawing files and model files then they are exposed to the custom properties and settings which come with the original templates, but again not the genuine original templates that are used to start these files types creation.

          If you are thinking that by sending these original files that the template files go along for the ride then no. 


          What exactly are you concerned about them getting?  Custom property settings, options settings, design tables, blocks or symbols?

          FYI, the blocks and symbols are embedded into the original drawing files along with favorites that are used on that specific drawing file.

          I hope this helps you to some degree.

            • Re: Consulting: Native Files
              Tim Cochrane

              Thanks Scott,


              That answers my questions...re templates...etc.



              I was hoping to just get an idea what others do.


                • Re: Consulting: Native Files
                  Scott McFadden

                  No problem.  I know we always sent out either e-drawings, pdf's for drawings

                  and iges or step files for part models.  When it came to assembly models it was sometimes saving those as part files.

                    • Re: Consulting: Native Files
                      Dor Yacobi

                      Hi Tim. and scott


                      I think the real question is:

                      what was the deal? agreement?

                      from my experience, we usually have to give all the files. (including calculation, analysis etc.)

                      if you look on it from the customers side.

                      1. he may need to do some changes, and don't want to send the work out side.

                      2. you probably made a lot of calculation, he may need them for further use. (you only consoled him).

                      3. he probably doesn't really need your template, each company have there own set of templates. (they will replaces them)

                      3. custom setting, are not relay relevant since every one have is own favorite, and they doesn't give any advantage. for him.

                        • Re: Consulting: Native Files
                          Roland Schwarz

                          Dor is 100% on track.  What was your agreement or understanding?  How specific are your deliverable?  Apparently, not specific enough.


                          Outside of that, If this is conceptual work, e.g. ID or artwork, I would expect to keep the native files (much like a photographer keeps his negatives).  If this is engineering, I would expect to deliver the full SW plus calcs, layouts, etc.


                          p.s. You overrate the importance of your templates.

                          • Re: Consulting: Native Files
                            Scott McFadden


                            I agree with you.  I all depends on the contract and agreement you have between you and the customer.

                            You have to give them what is agreed upon.  Nothing more, nothing less.

                    • Re: Consulting: Native Files
                      John Burrill

                      The agreement is paramount and it's really important to have an explicit arrangement because where people get into grief with these things is in the 'assumed agreement'. 

                      Your client might assume that you are doing work-for-hire: therefore all ancillary data, calculations and tools developed to complete the work are paid for in your hourly rate and their property. 

                      You might assume that you're being paid to furnish fnished work according to specs, and that how you accomplish that task, the tools you use and the like are trade secrets.

                      There are some practical viewpoints in this matter to consider as well.

                      From the clients side, being furnished only interchange formats means a lot of additional work for configuration managment.  If you give them a step file of a part to replace a component in a SW assembly, the customer has to manually mate the new version back into the original; they have to populate their metadata on the part so that they can report on it in their PLM/ERP systems and if they want their own borders, proprietary notes or simple design changes, they're forced to go back to you.  Meanwhile, you retain the intelligence and design intent of their part making it incredibly easy for you to modify it sufficiently that you could sell it to a competitor without violating their patents.

                      Now that might sound like enlightened self-interest, but throttling your client's productivity doesn't make for happy clients.  Even as a consultant, you share in their success and failure.

                      From your perspective, working with interchange files means you have 1 additional set of files to manage.  If they rev the part themselves by sucking the step file into AutoCAD and modify it and generate new PDF's from a DXF template, the next time they want you to rev the part, you're you'll have to go back to the solidworks model, incorporate teh equivalent of their minor ECO, verify that the results are geometrically identical and then make your changes.  BTW, there's no history in AutoCAD's lofting and no standard hole-types.  And then you have to repopulate the configuration management data, update your Solidworks templates from their PDF.  When you think it through, it starts to sound like you can turn the tables on yourself.   The easiest, most direct design iteration will come from you and your customer using the same CAD format.

                      OK, there's a practical argument to be made for interchange formats. They're geometrically stable, not susceptable to acciental changes, they're light, they rebuild fast and are CAD version neutral.  PDF's have the advantage of being very reliable and portable.  In some circumstance, I prefer an interchange format over a native CAD file-especially for off-the-shelf items.  Furthermore, since export formats don't contain proprietary information, manufacturing or analysis data or software serial numbers or atleast, I have p[lausible deniability.   I generally don't have to worry about someone else's malfeasance or confidential information coming back to bite me.  The other day I opened an assembly from our finish office and all of the components had little graduation hat icons next to them-had to start over and remodel the parts from physical samples because I had forknowledge that the parts were modelled in violation of the EULA.

                      So there are advantages to negotiating either approach with your clients, but you can't assume which viewpoint they'll take.

                      Stuff to think about.