Archive for January, 2012

What am I supposed to ignore?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

After all of these years of Great Aunt Eleanor giving me the silent treatment, you would think I would be the world expert on being ignored. However it has always been hard for me to remember how SolidWorks Enterprise’s “Ignore permissions in previous states” option works.

The help file leads you to believe it is a simple issue -basically saying when this option is off, EPDM will remember and use the rights from previous states. In reality, it is much more complex.

What makes it hard is that some workflow rights from previous states are used, some are not. To compound the confusion, you can have different behaviors depending on the rights in the current state!

So get out your crib sheets, here is how to calculate what rights you will have in a state when the “Ignore permissions in previous states”option is off.


  • Delete“, “Move” and “Increment Revision” rights are what I call negatives. If you have ever lost this right, you will not have it in this state even if this state specifically grants it to you.
  • Read file contents“, “Permit or deny group-level access to files” and “Share files to another folder” are positives, if you ever have had this right, you will have it in this state even if this state specifically does not grant it to you.
  • The “Checkout file” and “Rename” rights are not affected by this option. You will have this right if the current state permits it.

A state where the “Ignore permissions in previous states” flag is turned on, provides a temporary override of the above rules…kind of like “base” when playing tag. Once that file moves back into a state with the ignore option off, the above rules come right back into play.

Crazy powerful, and if you stop to think about it, this is the way most companies work. Thus the default is correct, most of the time this option should be off.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies – February Webinar Series

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Join us for one or more of this month’s featured webinars.
Each webinar is free and will feature a specialized 3DVision Technical Expert. For the full list of upcoming 3DVision events, Click Here.

Dynamic Balancing of Machinery
When: February 7, 2-3pm EST
What: Webinar
Rotating imbalance is a common source of vibration. In this webinar you will learn how to simulate this imbalance on rotating components using SolidWorks Motion. This imbalance can be graphed out over time or cycles. Design changes can be implemented using SolidWorks configurations, and the effect of these changes can be studied by duplicating studies.
To register for this free event, Click Here.

An Introduction to the Simulation Suite in SolidWorksWhen: February 17, 10 – 11am EST
What: Webinar
Do you constantly face engineering challenges and product quality issues? Are you fighting a lot of ECOs and warrenty battles? If so, come join us on a one hour introductory presentation on how to leverage functionality within SolidWorks that have helped a lot of companies score in these areas. Learn how much traditional analysis has progressed, and how it is no longer a specialist’s forte, but a tool that every engineer should have and use.
To register for this free event, Click Here.

Surfacing – Advanced Modeling TechniquesWhen: February 21, 9 – 10am
What: Webinar
Have you already mastered the basic SolidWorks modeling tools? Are you looking to take your modeling skills to the next level? Sign up for this webinar to break down the mysterious wall of surfacing modeling and learn practical tricks that you’ll be able to utilize on a daily basis.
To register for this free event, Click Here.

Solving Valve Problems using CFDWhen: February 28, 10 – 11am EST
What: Webinar
Join us for a webinar where we explore how to build a virtual flow bench to monitor the above parameters right inside SolidWorks. Leveraging the power of configurations and easy flow setups, the audience will learn how to determine these critical values in hours without building a single prototype.
To register for this free event, Click Here.

3DVision Technologies is committed to providing engineers, designers and their design teams with the products and solutions needed to design some of the world’s greatest products. For more information on 3DVision Technologies full suite of products and solutions visit us at or call us at 1-800-745-3136.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

Free DriveWorks Solo Online Training

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Not often is free training offered but DriveWorks Solo is offering a live online class being presented by a DriveWorks Solo Applications Engineer next week.

What is DriveWorks Solo?
DriveWorks Solo allows you to create custom products quickly and easily AND generate all the detailed manufacturing information automatically in SolidWorks.

What are the benefits of DriveWorks Solo?
– You can create customizable forms to aid selections
– Preview Results – 3D Models, Drawings and Document
– Re-use Existing Company Data
– Template Documents for Responding to Sales Inquiries
– New Files Created Automatically

Session Schedule:
Session 1 Covers: Model Capture, Creating Forms, Building Rules, Running your Project, New File Names and Locations
January 24 11am – Noon EST

Session 2 Covers: Replacing Files, Tables, Form Navigation, Improving your Forms, Driving Replacement Files, Controlling Custom Properties
January 25 11am – Noon EST

Session 3 Covers: Documents, Controlling Drawings
January 26 11am – Noon EST

Sign up for all three sessions to get the full training course. Register today!

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

SQL – Convert to Hex

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Often times when getting really down and dirty with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, I need to know a document’s ID value in hex format. Back in the old days [yesterday] I would do a SQL query on the document’s table and then manually calculate the hexadecimal value.

However I found a SQL function that will do the conversion for me:

Cool eh? Thus a SQL statement like this:

SELECT DocumentID, CONVERT(varbinary,DocumentID) as IDHex, Filename FROM Documents where Filename like 'Big Tuna%'



Yeah, SQL rocks.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Assembly Visualization – the search for the missing file properties

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Releasing your drawings to the machine shop with missing information makes a machinist angrier than a baby boomer looking at a teenager that doesn’t have his pants pulled up all the way.

As we all know, looking through a large assembly, checking file properties can be a tedious task. (At least that is the excuse I always use.) I’ve found Assembly Visualization can be a great tool to quickly skim through your assembly’s components looking for missing information.

Here’s how I could use it to find any parts in my assembly without material specified:

1. Start the Visualization tool (it is either on your assembly or evaluate toolbar by default)

2. Right mouse button click on any of the headers (except “File Name”) and choose “Add Column”, or find any column with a little black arrow pointing to the right.AddColumn

3. Click on that arrow and choose “More…”


4. Choose the property you want to examine. (Check it out, you could work with formula too!)


5. Now you can sort by this property by clicking on its heading and your parts with missing information will come to the top. You can quickly see I haven’t assigned a material to my “crank-knob”missing

Thank you for attending “Jeff Sweeney’s SolidWorks tip of the randomly selected interval” please tune in next time, at a time to be determined when I feel like it, to learn more cool SolidWorks tips and tricks.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

DSOFile beaten by SolidWorks Document Manager

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Hey macro lovers! Have to change a lot of SolidWorks file properties, but don’t want your code to have to open each file one at a time?

Most web searches are going to point you to use Microsoft’s DSOFile. It’s a good solution, but using it means you need to install it on your client machines (and watch out there is a 32 and 64 bit version out there!) or create a release package. Neither option is very fun if you are just writing a quick SolidWorks macro.

Luckily, the SolidWorks Document Manager is a great option. It gives you write access to many properties inside of a SolidWorks file.

Add “SwDocumentMgr 20XX Type Library” to the list of your macro’s references and your wish is the Document Manager’s command.


IMHO, the documentation is a very “tedious” so here is a little VBA snippet showing how easy this COM object is. This snippet will add the custom property “Material” to the file and assign it the value “Adamantium”:

Dim swDoc As SwDMDocument12
Dim swDM As SwDMApplication
Dim mOpenErrors As SwDmDocumentOpenError
Dim objClassfac As SwDMClassFactory
Set objClassfac = CreateObject("SwDocumentMgr.SwDMClassFactory")
Set swDM = objClassfac.GetApplication(<This is a string/key that you need to request from SolidWorks>)
Set swDoc = swDM.GetDocument(strDocFileName, SwDmDocumentType.swDmDocumentPart, False, mOpenErrors)
swDoc.AddCustomProperty "Material", SwDmCustomInfoType.swDmCustomInfoText, "Adamantium"

Just as easy as DSOFile, and more powerful -if you are wanting to update configuration specific properties, DSOFile is going to let you down.

DSOFile is still the best tool for working with file properties of other OLE type (read: Office) documents but when it comes to SolidWorks documents, all the cool kids are using the SolidWorks Document Manager.

By the way, if you are looking for a way to impress your date, read more about the Document Manager. It gives you more control over your SolidWorks files than just messing with file properties. With it you can write applications that emulate file management tools to perform such tasks as renaming, replacing, and copying SolidWorks documents -you don’t even have to have SolidWorks installed!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies is pleased to annouce the new uPrint SE 3D Print Pack

Friday, January 6th, 2012

uPrintSE_Bundle_with_PartsThe new uPrint SE 3D Printers are powered by Stratasys’ patented FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology. It’s the 3D printer on which thousands of design engineers test their designs.

uPrint SE 3D Printers build accurate, stable 3D models in ABSplus plastic. They’re ideal for determining form, fit and function in everything from ergonomics to manufacturing processes. These aren’t fragile lab beauties either. ABSplus is stronger than materials typically used by competitive 3D printers.

By producing models in house or Shanghai Housing instead of outsourcing to a service bureau, you can keep your most ground-breaking product designs confidential.

With the uPrint SE 3D Print Pack you get everything you need to start printing immediately. No hidden costs. Nothing more to consider. Just un-box and print.

The uPrint SE 3D Print Pack includes everything you need to start making durable, accurate 3D models in ABSplus plastic.

The uPrint SE 3D Print Pack includes:
– uPrint SE 3D Printer
– WaveWash Support Cleaning System
– Start-up Kit

With prices starting at $15,900 companies are now able to take advantage of low monthly lease payments for less than $300. For many organizations, this monthly lease payment requires no capital expenditure approvals and is less than purchasing a single part build from a service bureau.

To learn more about the new uPrint SE Print Pack, click here for more information.

3DVision Technologies

Your destination for design and manufacturing technology

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