Search for Dimensions in EPDM

Great Aunt Eleanor can do many amazing things. She can name and describe all RAID configurations, she can rewire an HDMI connection so her old black and white movies will be black and white again (she curses Ted Turner the entire time) and apparently she is the lead elf in her WOW guild…but she can’t cook. The lady can [and has] burnt water. Thus apparently it would be logical for her to buy an Indian restaurant.

The nice thing about Indian dishes is that they are pretty easy. Every thing is brown, crazy spicy and all the food is cut up into simple hexahedrons. The only thing different about the hexahedrons is their length, width and height.

Great Aunt Eleanor has decided she wants to use SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM to be able to store her food cutting guides. She wants to be able to enter in a few dimensions in a search window and have EPDM return all the food pieces that meet the search criteria. This is her datacard:


Pretty nice, though since Great Aunt Eleanor is always playing with the sizes, she wants to link the dimensions of her SOLIDWORKS models to the datacard. So if the food size changes, the datacard updates automatically.

Here is how I linked her dimensions to the datacard values.

Dimensions 620x699

I created the three custom file properties (height, width, length), then for value, I used this format: “Dimension Name@Sketch Name@File Name”. I usually find it easier to click in the “Value/Text Expression” column and then click on the dimension. SOLIDWORKS build the required format for you. (Note: the dimension names were renamed by me, typically they will have a “D1”, “D2” type format.)

FileProperties 620x57

Now your file properties update as the dimensions update, all that is left is to connect your EPDM variables to your file properties, and thus as your model dimension change, your EPDM database updates automatically!

Next Great Aunt Eleanor stored this file as a SOLIDWORKS template, so when she comes up with a new food type, (perhaps something brown-ier?) she starts with the template and the settings already to go.

Another tip, make the controls in the datacard read-only, that way they only way they are updated is via changing the SOLIDWORKS model.

Now Great Aunt Eleanor can quickly use SOLIDWORKS EPDM to search for the exact size of food she needs.

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