SOLIDWORKS: Advanced Component Selection Tool

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When working in large assemblies, sometimes it is useful to be able to select all instances of a specific type of component. This is a scenario where the ‘Advanced Component Selection’ tool can come in handy. Before diving into the advanced component selection tool, you will find there are some useful predefined selection groups. These are located right under the cursor menu at the top toolbar of SOLIDWORKS. Simply click the drop-down arrow on the cursor icon as seen in […]

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Stop Designing with Obsolete Files

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Found an interesting letter in the mail bag this morning: Dear Engineering Specialist Man,  Due to your continued brilliance in SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM, I am compelled to question you yet again.  I’m trying to hide components in a particular state from users, but I want them to be available to open when required in an assembly. Is there a way to do that? The application is purchased components that are discontinued. We still need them for legacy assemblies, but I […]

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Where did that command go?

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Have you taken time to discover the hidden gem call “search commands”?  This has been a very helpfultool for anyone just learning SolidWorks, or for the veteran that just wants to know where they moved my tool.   The “Search Command” allows you to find and run commands in the user interface. Results are filtered as you type each keystroke. Run the command from the search window.  SOLIDWORKS will remember the commands you useand place them at the top of the […]

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EPDM Search Options Quiz

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Let’s mix things up a bit. Typically you come here to see what I know, now I want to see what you know. How well do you understand the behavior of these popular EPDM search options? Question 1: Checking the option below will give you: A. Every version of every file since being in the specified state (i.e. some files may be listed more than once) B. All files that have ever been in the specified state, but only the version that […]

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EPDM’s Content Search with OCR

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SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM’s Content Search gives you the ability to search for files based on the content of a document, not just its properties or datacard values. It uses IFilters and Microsoft’s file indexing, so it is a great way to find Office or PDF documents knowing nothing more than a few keywords within the document. Yesterday I noticed, built into Windows, is a TIFF IFilter that uses OCR (optical character recognition) to index documents! This means that when you […]

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Enterprise PDM Search

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Efficient Data Management One of the advantages of using a Product Data Management (PDM) tool such as Enterprise PDM (EPDM) is that it ensures all users are accessing a centralized vault of their engineering data.  This helps promote design reuse, saving time that would otherwise be spent recreating design data.  In addition to the time savings for design, when assemblies share common components, the cost of manufacturing, quality assurance, and purchasing decreases substantially.  Let’s take a look at how EPDM […]

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Simple EPDM interface

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“Everyone knows Windows Explorer.” No, not everyone knows Windows Explorer. Some people find the Explorer interface too complicated. If you think about it, there is a lot of things displayed there. Then when you think of all the additional information SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM adds, it may be a bit overwhelming to new Windows/computer users. For those people who are not very good with Windows Explorer, make a simple search like the one above, drag the middle pane down so it completely covers […]

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Find the status of your EPDM search

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Remember back in SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM 2011 when you did a search the results of the search would appear in the bottom left hand corner of the search window? Then when EPDM 2012 came out and they integrated the search tool within Windows Explorer, we thought it was lost? I really missed it, oftentimes I wanted to know how many files were found in a search. What once was lost is now found. In Windows 7’s Windows Explorer, go to […]

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Feature Tree filter not working

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Have you experienced any glitches with the filter at the top of the feature tree not finding items in you assemblies.  I recently went thru this issue for a customer an they found a rather unique work around for this issue.  Try isolating the part using the isolate command, then shut off the isolate command.  Regenerate you model, and try the filter function again.  This may not work everytime, but it did work for our customer!

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Searching for NULLs

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Sometimes in EPDM you want to find all files that do not have a value for a field in the datacard. Your first thought may be to use a datacard to search but that doesn’t work because any fields left blank are not considered in the search criteria. You have to search on the variables. Set it up like this: (The “value” column is empty.) For this example, all files that do not have a value for “Title” will be […]

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