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.

Workbench right inside SolidWorks

SolidWorks is one of the most popular CAD systems among GrabCAD users, so GrabCAD launched Workbench for SolidWorks in January.  The SolidWorks add-in creates a seamless and fully integrated solution ensuring a combined design and file management environment.  Users no longer have to manage multiple applications to get instant notifications of file changes.  As soon as any member on an engineering team submits a change to the repository, all team members are instantly notified with a quick glance of the SolidWorks Task Pane.

Key file management tools at your fingertips

Along with a non-distracting HUD (heads-up design environment), we’ve been able to take advantage of the SolidWorks API set.  This allows a better understanding of the part or assembly structure of a design prior to pushing the design to the GrabCAD Workbench Cloud.  For example, all configurations of a single part or assembly can be pushed to the cloud so that non-engineering users without CAD can view and collaborate on any configuration of a design.  Users can “check in” and “check out” files to ensure they have the latest version and that no one else is working on the same file at the same time.

Viewing SolidWorks configurations in Workbench

If you are unfamiliar with SolidWorks configurations, they allow users to create multiple variations of a part or assembly model within a single document.  Workbench recognizes these variations, allowing anyone using Workbench (not just SolidWorks users) to view, markup, and comment on each of the configurations.

Get started with SolidWorks configurations in Workbench

Follow the three simple steps below to ensure all your configurations are published into Workbench…

 1.  Right Mouse Button on the top level Part or Assembly the Feature Manager.

2.  Select Rebuild/Save Mark.

3.  Select Add Mark for All Configurations

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 Now you can Upload your SolidWorks file with configurations to Workbench with a single click!

What’s next for Workbench for SolidWorks?

Keep your enhancement requests coming!  What is the next thing you want to see GrabCAD build into Workbench for SolidWorks?