Creating Revisions with 3DEXPERIENCE PLM

There are several ways to generate new revisions with the 3DEXPERIENCE Data Management tools. Some manual and some fully automated. This is great because it gives each company the ability to be as simple or as complex as they want with their formal change process.

Keep in mind that these capabilities could be limited to just certain users or groups of users, or could be opened up to anyone, all depending on how things are set by the platform administrator in your company.

First let’s take a look at the two manual methods and some variations on those.

1. MANUAL – Inside of SOLIDWORKS, create a new revision BEFORE making changes

The 3DXEXPERIENCE PLM add in right in the task pane in SOLIDWORKS gives you the capability of creating a new revision BEFORE making any changes to the model. With a part/assy open that you would like to modify, just right click on it in the task pane and choose New Revision.

You will be prompted with a dialog box to add a revision comment and you will see that the next revision in your company’s revision scheme is being chosen (in this case A.2).

The only thing you have to be careful/mindful of with this method is it does NOT put you in that new revision.  It keeps you in the original revision. For all it knows, you maybe just wanted to create the new revision and then move on to some other file… Most likely, however, you want to now make changes in the new revision that you just created. If you know where to look, the 3DX PLM task pane is telling you that a newer revision exists for this file and you are not in it. This is indicated by a “+” sign in a column called Is Latest Revision.

Using this method of creating the revision before the changes you then have to manually switch to that new revision before making the changes. Otherwise you are changing the A.1 revision in this case!  You switch to the new revision by right clicking on the file in the 3DX PLM task pane and choosing Replace by Revision

Another window will come up allowing you to choose which revision you would like to work on.

You would then make your changes to the part/assy. The status icon in the task pane shows you that you have made changes in your session and they do not match the version on the server.

Then you would Save (right click on the file in the task pane) the changes up to the platform.

This method of creating a revision before making the actual changes in SOLIDWORKS can also be done without using SOLIDWORKS at all. Anyone who has the correct permissions could use the web interface to create a new revision. This is done in the Collaborative Lifecycle app by clicking the down arrow next to an existing revision and choosing New Revision. The idea here then is that the SOLIDWORKS user would search for and open up that new revision, work on it, and then save the changes to it. To me this is the more likely scenario that you would create a revision before making changes. When it is a non cad user creating the new revision.

2. MANUAL – Inside of SOLIDWORKS create a new revision AFTER making changes

Because of the extra hoop you have to jump through (and possibly forget to do) of switching to the new revision in the previous method, this is definitely my preferred of the two manual methods.

In this case you would have a part/assy open that you want to modify and you would just go ahead and make the changes. Then upon saving back up to the platform you would use the Save with Options button(right click on the file in the 3DX PLM tree) and in that dialog choose to create a new revision and enter a comment.

To me, this is much easier and has less chance for mistakes than the first method.

3. AUTOMATED – Change Action (and optional Issues)

A formal change process can automatically create revisions for you. This change process can be fairly complex including Issues to identify problems, Change Requests to evaluate the problem, Change Orders to assign and monitor the progress, and Change Actions to actually implement the change. Or it can be as simple as just doing the last step of creating a Change Action. Issues and Change Action is something that everyone with the base roles on the platform can participate in, and those two steps are the method that we feel most small to medium sized companies are going to want to implement.

With Issues, a user on the platform can raise/report an ISSUE right on the 3D Model using the web interface. You just tag a part/assy graphically on the screen and enter in the details of what you think the issue/problem is. There is even a place to attach photos or screenshots to get your point across. Other users can then see this Issue and comment on them.

If it is then decided that an actual change is needed, someone (with the proper credentials) can generate a Change Action directly from an Issue. This Change Action then can create tasks for users (like dishing out who is going to be changing the CAD models), notify users of the pending change being made, and automatically create a new revision for the file!

As I said before, the act of creating new revisions and making changes can be as simple or as complex as you would like, which is great flexibility for many different companies! CATI is here to help you implement any of these processes to tailor the 3DExperience Platform to your needs.

Did you know CATI has a 3DExperience User Group with monthly webcasts/meetings?

Find out more here and sign up for the next webcast!

Randy Simmons
Sr. Application Engineer, Strategic Solutions
Computer Aided Technology

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