Let’s just admit it, CAD files are messy, especially when we get into assemblies. Although reusing parts is generally beneficial, it can cause problems if you’re not prepared.
Part Reuse Has Its Ups and Downs
Part reuse is great because reusing parts saves time and money. If you can use the drivetrain assembly on the XJ27 that you used on the XJ23, that’s one less drivetrain you have to design. That saves you money and speeds up your project. But it also means that when you change a part you need to track down all of the places that it's currently being used. Otherwise, the great improvements to your drivetrain (or the fix to some critical flaw) won’t make it into all the other designs that rely on it.
Part Reuse Is A Headache With Manual File Management
If you’re using a manual file management process, you’re in trouble. With a manual process, you end up with extra copies of the part squirreled away on PCs and servers all over the company. There’s no way you’re going to track down all the assemblies that are affected. You end up sending around emails warning people of the change and hoping other engineers remember that they used that particular part in their design. Not a reliable solution.
GrabCAD Workbench Offers Cloud-based Where-Used Reports
However, if you’re using GrabCAD Workbench as your PDM, you’re in good shape. Workbench now has a where-used feature that’s really easy to use. At any time, right click on a part to see where it’s used in that project, or choose “all projects” if you want to search in all the projects to which you have access.
Part Reuse Is Easier With Standard Part Libraries
But how can you get the entire team to use the libraries and possibly even maintain them? Any Workbench project can be turned into a Library Project, which automatically adds everybody in your account to the projects and supplies those files as references to other projects. You can have as many library projects as you want, making part reuse easy for everyone.
Design With Confidence
With Workbench, you can design with the confidence that the parts you’re reusing are up to date, and anyone who re-uses your design will have the latest version. Spend your time on creating an amazing design, not on tracking down the right file versions. And please let us know how we could make our where-used reports even more useful.
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