You need to collaborate on CAD data;
we have tools to connect SolidWorks to the cloud.
Of course, one important factor when it comes to 3DEXPERIENCE is the ability to connect it to SolidWorks. To do this, you will have to install an add-in (which is done through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform). The add-in will then appear as a tab in Task Pane within SolidWorks and clicking the “Connect” button will connect the current SolidWorks session to 3DEXPERIENCE.
You’re then prompted to log in using your credentials for 3DEXPERIENCE and thereafter you must choose to which collaborative space (i.e. to which vault) you want to connect. As you can read in this blog post, it’s possible to set up multiple collaborative spaces, hence you must choose to which one you want to connect.
When connected you can open the SolidWorks file(s) you want to add to the vault. Adding files is a two-step process: First the files must be copied to the local cache, then they can be saved to the vault in the cloud. If a file does not exist in the local cache, you get a red warning in the status column.
To add the files to the local cache, simply right-click on the top assembly and select “Save”. This will prompt a dialogue box in which the files are copied to the local cache and subsequently saved to the cloud storage.
Once the files have been copied to the local cache, the warning in the status column is replaced by an orange floppy disk indicating that the files are not yet saved to the vault in the cloud.
At this stage, another dialogue box should appear (if it doesn’t, right-click on the top assembly again and select “Save”) in which you can click “Save” to save the selected files to the vault in the cloud.
When saving the files, it’s a good idea to add a bookmark to them to make it easier to find the files later. Bookmarks are basically tags that you can organize and you can read more about them in this blog post.
To add a bookmark to one or more files, right-click on the top assembly and select “Save”. At the upper right corner of the dialogue box that appears, there’s an icon resembling a bookmark. When you click on it, yet another dialogue box appears in which you can select which bookmark you want to add, either to all files or to the files you previously selected in the save-dialogue.
If you have created sub-categories of the bookmarks, you can double click on the main category in order to access the sub-categories.
When you’ve found the bookmark you want to add to the files, simply select it by clicking on it once and then select either “Apply to selected” if you in the previous save-dialogue selected one or more files or click “Apply to all” if you want all files to have the same bookmark.
The bookmark dialogue will then close down and you’re back at the save-dialogue in which you can see that which bookmark each file will get once you click “Save”.
When adding bookmarks to files you can easily find the files you’re looking for, both on 3DEXPERIENCE and from SolidWorks.
By opening the bookmark editor within SolidWorks (by clicking the arrow pointing downwards in the blue ribbon at the top and selecting “more apps and roles”) you can browse to the bookmark which is associated to the files and simply drag-n-drop them into SolidWorks to open the files.
As you probably have noted when right clicking on any of the files in Task Pane, you have a number of different options besides “Save”. Some you ought to know of are “Reserve”/”Unreserve”, “Maturity” and “Revision”.
Reserve / Unreserve
When you’re opening files from the vault, they are by default opened as read-only, i.e. you can’t make any changes to them. If you want to make changes you must reserve the file. A file that is reserved can’t be modified by someone else until the person having it reserved has released (“unreserved”) it. You can see that a file is reserved by it having a green key next to it.
Naturally, when you’ve made changes to a file it’s appropriate to also increase the revision of the file in order to keep track of changes and to ensure that all other assemblies containing the file gets updated with the new file so all models are up to date. To increase the revision, you can either right-click and select “New revision” or directly in the save-dialogue check “New revision”.
Maturity is used to control whether a file is still under work or whether it is finished. When you add a new file to the vault, its maturity is by default set to “In work”. To change this, you can right-click on the file(s) you want to change maturity for and either select “Freeze” to set it in a state where the manager must approve the file or send it directly to “Released”. Note that these transitions can be modified to some extent.