Posts with tag: ‘PLM’

Intelligent Numbering: What’s the Great Part Number Debate?

What's in a part number? That which we call a part by any other number should assemble as easily? Every company struggles with defining part numbers. Should you use an intelligent numbering system that embeds important identifying information or go with easy-to-mange generic numbers? Choosing between these opposing methodologies might seem intimidating; solid arguments exist for either approach. Crowning a winner is not going to be constructive, but understanding how the underlying issues affect your company certainly will be.

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GrabCAD Workbench Makes File Management Easy for SolidWorks Users

When we launched our Workbench for PC app in November of last year, the response was overwhelming.  Now that there was an easy way to sync desktop files with cloud projects, thousands of users signed up to manage their CAD files in Workbench.  Customers like Hemosonics and Hogtunes have been able to get their entire CAD libraries under control and fully organized - finally there was a PDM solution that fit their needs.  But easy access to files was only part of the challenge.  To make Workbench the best PDM solution for small and mid-sized businesses, we needed to integrate it to their CAD systems.

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Signs you may need a PDM system

Many small and mid-sized companies struggle with the question of when and how to invest in CAD file management.  They muddle along with manual (or no) processes and put off the decision as long as they can.  It’s not obvious when to make the investment to solve this problem. We’re here to help.


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CAD in the Cloud? What you really want is cloud-based PDM!

There has been a lot of talk lately about “CAD in the cloud” - but I think there is an important distinction to make when discussing this. Are you talking about actual CAD design in the cloud, or referring to leveraging file storage and management on the cloud (while your CAD system still resides on your desktop)?  I think many of the people who talk about “CAD in the cloud” actually want “CAD files in the cloud” or “PDM in the cloud”.  Let me tell you why.

CAD cloud

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PDM is a technology of the past, CPD is the future

If you have more than one engineer in your company then you’ve had to figure out a way to manage CAD files. If you have a lot of engineers you’ve probably looked at tools like Product Data Management (PDM) or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems. And chances are when you looked at these solutions, you noticed too many problems.


Specifically, PDM and PLM don’t work the way you do. We think there’s a better way, and we’re calling it “Collaborative Product Development” (CPD).

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Why GrabCAD created a next-generation release process

When you share design information outside your own team, you try to make the exchange with your partners smooth. But we know that's easier said than done - wrong versions get sent, you rely on screenshots, communications get lost and so on. That's why we created a new way for you to collaborate with customers, suppliers and manufacturers.

workbench partner space

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Does Workbench support standard part libraries and templates?


Many companies have their own parts libraries or templates that allow designers to use a single component in multiple designs without having to re-create it in each assembly file. This can save hours or days of work per project. Workbench can manage these common components, keeping them updated for all team members in all projects. The steps below show one example of how to implement a standard parts library in Workbench.

1.  Create a project called Common Library Components within Workbench alongside your existing design Projects as shown below:

2.  Create a folder on your PC called “Common Library Components”.
3.  Copy and organize all your common components to the newly created folder in step 2.
4.  Launch Workbench for PC and add the “Common Library Components” project by clicking “+”.
5.  Connect your “Common Library Components” project to the local folder created in step 2 by clicking “Link to folder”.
6.  Now you can use the CAD system's built-in ability to add search paths for each library project.

a.  For example, in SolidWorks, you set it up in Tools > Options... > File Locations.
b.  Select “Referenced Documents” from the “Show folders for:” pulldown.
c.  Click “Add…” and select the folder where your Library Components are located.


7.  Invite each of your team members to the “Common Library Components” project you created in Workbench.
8.  Each team member can create a local folder called “Common Library Components” and follow steps 4 through 6
9.  You’re done!

Now everyone in your organization can use your company’s standard components in their designs.