Managing SOLIDWORKS toolbox files in PDM

When it comes to managing SOLIDWORKS toolbox files in PDM there are 2 aspects to consider.

  1. Should I use SOLIDWORKS PDM to manage my toolbox files?
  2. How do I set up SOLIDWORKS PDM to manage my toolbox files?

Let’s start with the first question. Some of the reasons you would want to manage your toolbox files in PDM:

  • The need for all SOLIDWORKS users to access the same toolbox data instead of each user having their own, separate, toolbox.
  • Capturing additional metadata, such as custom part numbers or manufacturer information.
  • The need to limit who can modify toolbox information, as well as record who made changes.
  • Performance improvement over accessing a toolbox on a shared network drive.
  • The need for non-CAD users to have access to toolbox files.

So now, the next question. How do you accomplish this? A general outline of the process is:

  • Configure your PDM vault for the toolbox files. This includes, among other things: data cards, workflow setup, vault folder storage location and user/group permissions.
  • Copy/move your toolbox data into your PDM vault and check the data in to the vault.
  • Update the settings in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool to reflect that PDM is now managing your toolbox files.
  • Update your CAD users’ settings in SOLIDWORKS to point to the new, PDM managed, toolbox location.

Detailed technical information on how to manage your toolbox in your PDM vault are provided in your PDM documentation. Additionally, InFlow offers help and expertise to assist setting this up, including some best practices on how to configure the vault in preparation. Once toolbox is setup and being managed inside of PDM, all users will be accessing the same toolbox information with control over who can make changes, while having the performance of having toolbox files on their local hard drive.

Clay Mosher
PLM Services Manager
InFlow Technology

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