Many SolidWorks users prefer, or even consider it to be a best practice, that the SolidWorks file name be the same as their company’s part/item number. There are advantages and disadvantages to this that would make good material for a separate newsletter article. However, what if your company has decided that it does not care what the SolidWorks file name is and to have SmarTeam automatically generate the file name. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach as well. This article will cover an approach to displaying the part/item number in the SolidWorks Feature Manager Tree (FMT) rather than the automatic file name given by SmarTeam.
NOTE: The information provided here is based on SmarTeam V5R19 SP3 using PLMDB with SolidWorks 2008 SP5.0. It also assumes that you are NOT saving SolidWorks part/assembly configurations as separate objects in SmarTeam (one SolidWorks file = one SmarTeam object).
The goal in this walkthrough is to have the Item Number attribute from SmarTeam be displayed in the SolidWorks Feature Manager Tree.
The first step is to setup or verify that a file custom property mapping is setup in the SmarTeam Integration Tools setup utility for the SolidWorks Integration. A user with SmarTeam administrative rights will need to modify the existing mapping or create a new mapping under the SolidWorks, Mapping Group Types, Custom Properties tree. In PLMDB, there is an existing mapping named “Part Number” that will be used for this example. Right click on it and select “Add” to create a new mapping attribute. From the mapping attribute dialog, select the Design class, Item Number for the attribute, the desired number for the Display Size and click OK to save the changes. By doing this, SmarTeam will create and/or update a custom property named “Part Number” in all SolidWorks files saved to SmarTeam with the value entered in the Item Number attribute on the profile card.
The second step is to modify the SolidWorks system options. Within SolidWorks, select Tools, Options. In the System Options tab, select the General item in the menu. For the option “Custom property used as component description”, type in “Part Number” and click OK to save the changes.
The third step is to modify your SolidWorks part, assembly, and drawing templates so that the default Tree Display setting for the FMT is set to “Show Component Descriptions”. This setting is not a system level setting. By modifying the SolidWorks templates, any new documents created will have the option set properly. Older documents can be updated as they are modified.
To test this, create a new SolidWorks part and save it to SmarTeam. Let SmarTeam automatically provide a file name for the part. When prompted for the profile card, enter a value in the Item Number attribute that is different than the file name. Once the save is complete, the Item Number attribute value should be displayed in the SolidWorks FMT. Also check the File, Properties, Custom tab with the file open. Ensure that a custom property named “Part Number” exists.
In summary, this approach is simply using SmarTeam to create and update the custom property values in the SolidWorks files and then using SolidWorks options to display the custom property values in the Feature Manager Tree. With some SmarTeam scripting, you could have a concatenated value of the Item Number and Description from the SmarTeam profile card used to populate a custom property so that it is displayed in the FMT. If you would like more information on this, please do not hesitate to contact us.