What’s New in SolidWorks 2009 in Louisville…I think

October 9th, 2008


You know that joke where the singer in a band has the city he is in written on the back of his guitar so he doesn’t accidentally yell out: “Springfield ROCKS” when he is actually in Akron? At least I always thought it was a joke, but here we are –half way through our “What’s New” tour and I only have a faint idea where I am and where I am going.

During my presentation today I had a thought. [I’ve done the “What’s New in SolidWorks Enterprise 2009″ presentation so many times, I can now think of other things as I am talking.]

In SolidWorks Enterprise 2009, they introduced a way that you can see the BOM tables in your drawing and assembly files within the Enterprise interface. The good thing with this ability is that you can see the BOM in your file without having to open it. Additionally, if you spend a lot of time making your BOMs the way you want them in your drawings (and assemblies) you should be able to take advantage of this work in Enterprise.

The more I think of this feature the less I like it.

First, our goal should be to not use these BOMs in the files in the first place. Why “spend time” goofing with these BOM tables in your files when you get a calculated BOM from Enterprise with no effort at all?

Okay, okay, I hear you arguing that you need to have the BOMs on the drawings for the poor guy assembling this file who apparently doesn’t have any electricity and thus has no access to Enterprise. Fine, fine, keep your old 1870’s technology, but let me give you a warning: The new BOM tables as shown in Enterprise can be wrong! Consider this scenario:

  1. Check in a drawing of an assembly that contains a BOM table, but leave the assembly checked out
  2.  Modify the assembly in a way that the BOM would change.

Now, if you open the drawing in SolidWorks, the BOM would be correct – because the BOM table rebuilds as soon as it loads. However the BOM table in Enterprise is still what the BOM table looked like when the drawing was checked in. [Also be aware if you open this drawing in eDrawings, the BOM table is dirty as well.]

Sure there are work-a-rounds -or this problem could be alleviated with user training, but IMHO, the risk to benefit ratio of this new ability is pretty high.

At today’s “What’s New” in Louisville, Vik Vedantham was wearing charcoal gray slacks with his blue 3DVision shirt. For those of you have been asking…I have no idea if that is his real hair.

No groupies at today’s event.

Off to Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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2 Responses to “What’s New in SolidWorks 2009 in Louisville…I think”

  1. Jeff, the problem you mentioned can be workarounded by maintaining business rule between operations not allowing check-out/in assembly and drawing and not leave it to methodology.
    Does it make sense?
    -Oleg

  2. Jeff Sweeney says:

    Oh yes, you are exactly right…work arounds and user training could make this a nice tool but anytime users can mess things up it seems like they do — and it could be a rather costly mistake.

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