3DEXPERIENCE Platform: 3DSpace vs 3DDrive

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated July 13, 2022


3DEXPERIENCE Platform offers two ways to store files in the Dassault Cloud. While Cloud storage offers many benefits, the two protocols (3DSpace vs 3DDrive) employ very different ways in how files are shared and tracked.

At the heart of 3DEXPERIENCE is data management. With data, the Platform can offer a rich experience connecting users across the world with a myriad of possibilities: design, communication, project management, lifecycle operations, etc. The Cloud has provided immediate benefits to design teams of all sizes and in all sectors.

First, the primary storage mechanism in the Platform is 3DSpace. One can liken this to a vault in a traditional sense. All history, versioning, sharing and collaborating amongst your internal design team happens here. In a recent update, there now is additional capability to share with external stakeholders, without being named (licensed) in your tenant for quick interaction with someone like a vendor. One can publish a package, share with the vendor, allow the vendor to do work (edit), and then import that structure back into a 3DSpace.

Seen below is the 3DEXPERIENCE add-in inside SOLIDWORKS, which allows for lifecycle operations directly inside the software. There are several CAD connectors that support several different applications. In this interface, users save directly to a defined vault, called 3DSpace.



When it comes to 3DSpace, companies can create as many as they wish; however, it’s best practice to keep the count minimal. In most cases, only two 3DSpaces would be needed. The first 3DSpace would be for revisioning of files for designed products that are tracking through change. There is a myriad of manners to track change, but that’s for another blog. The second 3DSpace could be for standard parts. This would be for nuts and bolts that don’t need to change and hence those items can directly show released in their lifecycle.

Seen below is a newer capability to export the package, which allows users to work with external collaborators easier than in the past.

capability to export the package in 3DSpace

New capability to export the package

Best Practices for 3DEXPERIENCE

I have seen clients create a new 3DSpace for every project. In most cases, this is redundant and extra work for the Platform Administrator. The purpose of the 3DSpace is to control who can see what files and when people have access to data (true intent of a vault). The more 3DSpaces there are, the more difficult it is to properly manage permissions across multiple users.

Another best practice comes to customization in a dashboard. A dashboard is a layout of apps that run in a web browser. The only reason to have a 3DSpace app present in a dashboard is to manage and create more 3DSpaces. However, finding a file would be best done through Bookmark Editor, which is much like navigating through a familiar interface Windows Explorer. It is through Bookmark Editor where users can easily find files through a structure, lifecycle those files and objects, and consume all the objects’ metadata. For further information on Bookmarks and differences with 3DSpace, it’s best to complete our Training Classes. Additionally, you can find a blog just on the Bookmark Editor tool.

Seen below is a simple dashboard layout. While viewing data, only Bookmark Editor (for structure and quick access) and 3DPlay (for viewing/marking up) are visible below.

Simple dashboard layout

Simple dashboard layout

Storing files in 3DDrive

The second mechanism to store files in 3DEXPERIENCE is 3DDrive. This app will work like many Cloud service providers’ apps today. This is a lot like a personal Cloud redundant drive. Again, there are abilities to share both internally and externally with this app. One can install a Windows based app, and once the app is installed, there is ability to mirror files from the user’s local disk up to their 3DDrive (Cloud). Or, one can simply upload to the Cloud Drive via the web browser and not install the application.

Since I have installed the 3DDrive application in Windows, I am able to save files to local disc and have them quickly ‘mirror’ up to the Dassault server. This is great for redundancy. There is ability to share these files, but sharing happens after the fact, not as its primary purpose.

Seen below is 3DDrive mirroring files as seen in Windows File Explorer.

3DDrive mirroring files

3DDrive mirroring files

Getting access to 3DDrive and 3DSpace

Now that you better understand the 2 ways to get files in 3DEXPERIENCE, it is important to note how to get access to these apps.

3DDrive is included in Collaborative Business Innovator which is the first prerequisite role- everything starts from this role. This role is required for a named user to login to 3DEXPERIENCE. The next role is Collaborative Industry Innovator. This is the role that includes 3DSpace and subsequent vault apps. With these roles, a user brings 25 gigabytes of storage into the company’s tenant. If a company has ten users that have a collection of roles, but at the least, there are ten separate named users in that tenant, the tenant will have 250GB of data shared across the tenant.

Understanding the options to where files live in 3DEXPERIENCE is critical to storing, sharing, and versioning files. These are the starting steps within the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

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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.