Tips for Managing your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Vault

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 24, 2021


SOLIDWORKS PDM is awesome for storing your files and making sure that everyone follows the rules to get products into the customer’s hand. In SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can locate files by searching for them using the information stored in the database. Even with this searching ability, some companies prefer to have folders to organize their files. So, what can you do to keep your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional vault organized?

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional provides tools to help you organize your vault:

Using SOLIDWORKS PDM Templates

First off, you can use templates within SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. What are templates, you ask? Templates are commands that let you set up a folder structure or create a file from a right mouse click. Users can start a project by right-mouse clicking in the vault and selecting New Project.

New Project


Folder Sets

This will create a known folder set with a specified name (maybe a project number) at the location you want and whatever folders you need inside that top-level folder. So, the next time you start a project, a new set of folders will be created that match the first set. What’s even better? The user that creates the project may not have the ability to create new folders. They only have the ability to start a project. No more random “New Folder” folders in the vault!

Known Folder Sets

SOLIDWORKS PDM Known Folder Sets

Locating Files

By starting a project from a template, you can prompt users to fill out the information that is important to the project. For instance, you can provide a list of customers, production sites, descriptions, etc. This information can be pushed down to the files that are saved in these folders. By pushing folder information to the files, you can now search for that information. This makes finding files much easier.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Folder Information

SOLIDWORKS PDM Folder Information

Searching for PDM Files

Even if you have the cleanest vault in town, it can be hard to find a file when you’re new to a company. We’ve all had that problem where you are assigned to change a part but have no idea where the existing 3D model is. Someone handed you a PDF and you ended up recreating it. Not a good solution. What can you do? Use the search tool! By using the search functionality, you can search for keywords that you know. Have the part number? Type the part number in. Have the manufacturer, type that in. It goes on and on. Just add what information you have and SOLIDWORKS PDM will help you narrow it down. What if you know what assembly it is in? Great! First, search for the assembly then go to the Contains tab and right mouse click on the file and look under Browse to. Now you can find the file you were searching for.



Don’t forget, you can access search from Windows Explorer, or from the File – Open window as well.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Windows Explorer Search

SOLIDWORKS PDM Windows Explorer Search

By using these powerful and intuitive tools provided by SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, you can keep your vault organized with folders and not have duplicate parts created when someone couldn’t find the information needed.

Watch the on-demand webinar

Learn all the details on how to organize and find your data in a PDM environment with templates and searches in this on-demand webinar:

Related Links

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.