3DDrive is the storage application that sits on the
3DEXPERIENCE platform. As a basic comparison it is similar to Dropbox, OneDrive
and Google Drive, and in fact these three programs can also be intergrated into
3DEXPERIENCE. Each user you invite to join your platform will consume a license
and be given 5GB of storage space within 3DDrive.
If you haven't seen Part 2 - Dashboard Creation, then you can watch it here.
Within 3DDrive, each user can upload their own files
which are only accessible to them unless they choose to share the files, or the
parent folder with colleagues. Each user is therefore likely to have access to
a mix of their own data, and files from shared project work. In our scenario,
we have the 4 users working on the “Red Bull Soap Box” project, and in the
previous post where a template dashboard was created and shared, a central holding
folder in 3DDrive was created and made available to the rest of the team.
Chris MANAGER sees this folder under “My Files” with the
other users seeing it under “Shared with Me”
Management of 3DDrive
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Either by launching the “Drives Control Center” app (North part of the Compass for Admins), or using the Platform Management option from the main toolbar pull down, you can review the “Content” for each user and manage their settings to allocate the amount of space on a user basis.
3DDrive Desktop Application
You can use 3DDrive
exclusively within the platform where you can preview, share and attach files
across other applications. You can also download any files locally (but at this
point they will not be synchronised). When you move between computers and login
with your 3DEXPERIENCE Passport the same files will be available to you. There
is, however, also an option to install a desktop version of 3DDrive which will
synchronise with what is in the online platform for you to have access- this
would be ideal for SOLIDWORKS files for you to open and work on them.
From the previous post and
video, ‘Chris MANAGER’ setup a template dashboard and shared to the rest of his
team. Within this dashboard he added the 3DDrive app to the left hand side as pictured.
He also shared the “Red Bull Soap Box” folder with his team so they could
access the project files.
There is not much in there at
this stage, but each user who logs in gets the option to “Install 3DEXPERIENCE
Drive for Windows”
This will download an
installer which runs from the system tray in the bottom right corner of your
It will install the software
in the usual way and can be found in your PCs Programs and Features
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in the System tray there is a new icon available, which gives you a quick
preview of some of the recent files, as well as a settings button where you can
designate the local working folder the 3DEXPERIENCE will synchronise with
(typically c:\users\<username> ….)
In that specific folder, any
files already in the platform will be download locally and you will see icons
indicating whether the files and folder are fully up to date. You can copy/drag
and drop more files into this local directory, and they will be uploaded and
synchronised to the platform. This folder will be the one used as a working
folder within SOLIDWORKS when using the SOLIDWORKS Connector Add in that we
describe in blog 6 of this series.
Adding files to 3DDrive
To add further content into
3DDrive there are a few options. In the web browser Platform within the 3DDrive
App you can use either the UPLOAD button, or the down arrow next to “My Files”
and ADD CONTENT. You will then be shown a browser where you can find the files
from your local machine. As soon as the files get uploaded any users with the
3DDrive desktop application that have had the directory shared with them will
see the new files appear and synchronise.
Likewise, if files are dragged
into the local Windows Explorer directory they will be synched and will appear
in the platform. You get handy status symbols on files (green tick and blue
arrows) to show whether the synchronisation has completed.
Sharing content within
Once you have built up some
content, the next step is likely to share this will other members of your team.
Sharing has to be done within the web platform as oppose to the desktop
application/explorer folder. For an individual file you can select the file in
the web platform and use the down arrow next to the preview to find the SHARE
You then see a selection of
options for full control over the sharing capabilities. From top to bottom you
can share to an individual or group. Publish into a community for all invites guests
to see and review, or send a direct URL link to people that may not have been
invited into the platform.
Those you share with can be
given view rights, or full Editing rights, with the latter also allowing an
option for the recipient to be able to share the file to their own colleagues.
For SOLIDWORKS assemblies you
need to ensure “Share the Selected File with All Links” is used to ensure all
references are maintained. You can then add a message to the recipient.
When you share by link, to
ensure you still have a degree of control beyond the platform, you can be
explicit in who receives the link, and the Platform Admins can revoke access
further down the line:
is probably more likely that you would share an entire folder with your
colleagues so all content can be readily accessed. To do this, simply use the
dropdown arrow next to the folder name and use the SHARE option. Here I use
this to share to the rest of the “SOAP BOX” team. I also allow the team to
further share the folder if they need to.
As a result, one of the other
team members sees the notification and can begin interacting with these files:
3DDrive is not a data
management solution- it is purely a storage area with the ability to share with
your colleagues and use within the context of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. When
renaming SOLIDWORKS files, you may be warned about the potential to break
references so you need to be careful in this respect. Also whilst 3DDrive will
keep records of older versions of files, they are not truly revision managed.
You can roll back to an older version if needs be, but for a scenario like a
SOLIDWORKS assembly or drawing, rolling back one of these parent references,
won’t automatically rollback the children (i.e. parts) to the same equivalent
You cannot review versions
using the desktop version of 3DDrive so must do this within the platform
itself. With a file selected- click the Information (“i”) icon and the first
tab called Properties.
You can then expand the File
History and see the versions listed in date order- any of these can be restored
as the active file using the drop down arrow:
We will see in a future post
how your SOLIDWORKS models are likely to be used within the task pane of
SOLIDWORKS itself, but for now, you can see how easy it is to upload and share
your files and ensure you have the latest data, regardless of whether you
review files from within the Platform (web) or the desktop folder.
Further learning videos for
3DEXPERIENCE Business Innovation can be found here in the MySOLIDWORKS Community, and general
online help can be accessed here.
By Adam Hartles
Customer Support Manager