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Data Management: 10 Tips to Mastering SOLIDWORKS PDM

Wednesday September 20, 2023 at 8:00am

SOLIDWORKS PDM is a vast and powerful tool that lets you manage your CAD data easily.

As a highly configurable and secure system, it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the most popular SOLIDWORKS CAD data management software solutions.

We’ve asked our expert data management consultants what tips they’d recommend to those users who want to unlock the secrets of SOLIDWORKS PDM or are ready to get started with SOLIDWORKS data management.

Check out these top 10 tips that will help you master SOLIDWORKS PDM.

Top 10 Tips for SOLIDWORKS PDM

  1. MAXIMISE PREVIEWS

    In SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can use preview tabs to get information about a file, including a full eDrawings view.

    We recommend turning off the card display so you can expand preview tabs to full screen for a clearer view of a selected tab and its information, making it easier to see more information quickly.

    Turn off the card preview under Display > Card Preview.

  2. VISUALISE FILE STRUCTURES

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional offers a graphical Treehouse mode to visualize these references in a graphical hierarchy.

    Through the Contains and Where Used tabs, you can quickly see what other files are referenced by the selected file.

    Access Treehouse mode under the View dropdown in the top right corner of these tabs.

  3. CLICK THE BLUEBERRY

    What’s a blueberry? Well that blue PDM icon with the arrows in the top left corner of your vault.

    It turns out that clicking on that PDM blueberry allows you to jump back to the top level of the local vault view, regardless of your current location.

    Who knew?

  4. SET PRESENCE NOTES

    Presence notes are PDM’s version of an out of office email or an MSN status filled with your favourite lyrics.

    You can use presence notes to inform colleagues about your current activities or location, which is helpful for communication within the team.

    Set your presence note by clicking on the user icon in the vault view.

  5. NOTIFICATIONS

    SOLIDWORKS PDM lets you alert your colleagues when files change state and progress through the workflow with notifications.

    But did you know that you can also set up notifications to nudge yourself?

    These can be set up to let you know when a file is checked back in or reaches a certain workflow status.

    Select a file and head to Tools > Notify to customise your preference.

  6. QUICK VERSION COMPARISON

    Within the history of a file, clicking on the view icon will open that version of the file in eDrawings.

    You can use this to quickly compare multiple versions of a file, without having to update the cache.

    This is super helpful to visually check in on changes and modifications. With SOLIDWORKS PDM Pro, you gain access to a more powerful Compare tool to compare models in context.

  7. COPY LINKS TO FILES

    The 'Copy Link' option allows you to send a link to a colleague via email or integrate it into your ERP or MRP system.

    If the recipient has view access and the PDM client installed, then clicking the link takes users directly to the correct file and version.

    It also means you aren’t duplicating files when sharing by taking them out of your PDM vault.

  8. PASTE AS SHARED

    Avoid creating duplicate files in SOLIDWORKS PDM Pro by using the 'Paste as Shared' option, which creates a shortcut to the original file in a new location.

    This also gives users access to the file from multiple locations, without creating duplicates.

    Note that this function is suitable for any flat document (like an ECN), but should not be used with CAD data.

  9. PLACEHOLDERS

    Virtual files can be used as placeholders for project and part numbers.

    File formats can be described in a virtual file before a file is created, meaning you can anticipate production.

    Create a virtual file through the Right-click Menu> New > Virtual Document.

    Virtual files are easy to replace when the new file is ready by selecting the replace command on right click and browsing to the file location to import the document.

  10. ASSOCIATE FILES AS REFERENCES

    You can use the 'Paste as Reference' option to link two files together as references, which is useful for tracking project data and connecting related files.

    Link ECNs to the affected files, data sheet to bought-in components, or consumables to assembly BOMs.

    Copy a file and right click on a checked-out file. Then you can select ‘Paste as Reference’ to link the files.

These tips should help you on your way to mastering SOLIDWORKS PDM.

Have you tried this? Saving animations is made easier with these simple settings for SOLIDWORKS…

Take the Next Steps...

Master data management with our CPD-accredited SOLIDWORKS PDM training courses. Our friendly and expert Trainers have first-hand experience of implementing and using SOLIDWORKS PDM in industry and are ready to help you get started, either online or in a classroom near you.

Why not take a deeper dive into SOLIDWORKS PDM and learn how PDM can work for you and your business?

Or get in touch with us directly to discuss your specific solutions today on 01926 333777.

As part of the TriMech Group, we can not only implement SOLIDWORKS PDM, but support you and your users throughout your design journey with our expert Technical Support team, helping to give you a smooth experience and keep your projects on track.

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