EPDM Document BOMs

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM offers a number of ways to work with BOMs (Bills of Materials).  In EPDM 2008, SolidWorks introduced the Item Explorer, along with Items and Item BOMs.  Although many in the community welcomed this addition to EPDM’s BOM capabilities, EPDM users should not overlook the possibilities inherent in the EPDM Document BOM.  Here are some of the key capabilities of, and possibilities for, using EPDM Document BOMs: 

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SolidWorks Assembly Mates for Design Automation

When creating your SolidWorks assembly master models and preparing them for automation, a lot of decisions need to be made in developing the best mating schemes. One important consideration in this development is the creation of the relations between components. The design intent in your models can be established by parameters that are driven by your automation tool, or by relations within SolidWorks.  Let’s dig into this a bit deeper to uncover some an important design automation best practice related to SolidWorks mating.  Continue Reading


SolidWorks Enterprise PDM offers a number of ways to work with BOMs (Bills of Materials).  For a while, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (and its previous incarnation, Conisio) offered only EPDM Document BOMs.  However, in EPDM 2008 (aka PDMWorks Enterprise 2008), SolidWorks introduced the Item Explorer, along with Items and Item BOMs.  This logical extension of Enterprise PDM functionality was applauded by the EPDM community, but still causes a bit of confusion regarding how to use both EPDM Document BOMs and EPDM Item BOMs.  Continue Reading

SolidWorks BOMs and EPDM BOMs

Bills of Materials (BOMs) are a tricky subject since different industries, and companies within those industries have unique standards for how their BOMs and parts lists are documented.  SolidWorks Corporation has done quite of job of creating different tools to support different types of BOMs and BOM methodologies.  There are tools in SolidWorks itself (the CAD tool), and a number of additional capabilities in Enterprise PDM (the data management tool).  Here is an explanation of the various types of SolidWorks BOMs and Enterprise PDM BOMs.  Continue Reading

DriveWorks Service Packs Released

DriveWorks recently published service packs for its DriveWorks 6 and DriveWorks 7 platforms, one for each major version (DW6 SP8 and DW7 SP4).  With the release of these service packs, the transition from DriveWorks 6 to DriveWorks 7 as the platform-of-focus becomes increasingly clear.  There are no major enhancements in DriveWorks 6 Service Pack 8 as DriveWorks spends “the vast majority of [their] development effort” on DriveWorks 7.  Continue Reading

Organizing CAD Models for Design Automation

The purpose of a design automation system is to control different aspects, or parameters, of your CAD models. These could be dimensions, features, component instances, and more. Creating a truly powerful and profitable automation requires a good number of parameters. Keeping track of these parameters can get tricky, so some CAD model organization techniques are in order.  Continue Reading

Dassault Announces Beta of DraftSight

DraftSight, a new 2D drafting program from Dassault Systemes, is available in public beta for free, and to enterprises for a small fee (to access extended features and support).  It can be downloaded here.  The tool is meant to offer all of the same functionality in AutoCAD, and to read and author data in DWG files just as AutoCAD does.  Despite similarities to SolidWorks’ DWG Editor product, DraftSight is altogether separate and different (based on different technology).  Continue Reading