Configuration de la boîte à outils SOLIDWORKS : Meilleure pratique pour la gestion des paramètres utilisateur dans un environnement partagé

Article by David Arthur, CSWE-S updated November 6, 2023

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SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup

When sharing a SOLIDWORKS toolbox between multiple users in an organization, it’s important to make sure that everyone is using consistent settings. One of the most important SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup practices to ensure consistency is choosing whether the Toolbox uses Configurations or Copied Parts, making sure the Set the same for all users option is set, and setting permissions on the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox settings so users can’t change them. The default behavior for the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is to allow individual users to change their settings, so the CAD Administrator must take action on this, or the users will have the ability to change the settings which can cause issues down the road when users start collaborating on designs.

Sharing a SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in a multi-user setting can provide several benefits.

  • Consistency: A shared toolbox ensures that all users within an organization have access to the same standardized set of components promoting uniformity in designs and preventing discrepancies.
  • Collaboration: Allows seamless sharing of standardized components.
  • Version Control: Centralizes version control ensuring that all users have access to the correct and up-to-date versions of components.
  • Reduced Duplication: Users are less likely to create duplicate components. Reduces redundancy and promotes efficient use of resources.
  • Saves Disk Space: This avoids the need for each user to have a local copy of the entire toolbox.
  • Easier Updates: Updating components, adding new standards, or making changes to the toolbox configuration is easier. Updates can be applied centrally ensuring that all users benefit from the lates changes.
  • Simplified Backup and Recovery: Regular backups can be performed on the shared location ensuring that critical data is protected.
  • Improved Security: Administrators can manage user access ensuring that only authorized personnel can modify or delete toolbox components.
  • Simplified Technical Support: Since all users are working with the same configurations, or parts depending on settings, support efforts can be more focused and effective.

To see these benefits come to fruition, the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox must be configured properly, and safeguards added to prevent users from changing how the Toolbox files are managed.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup: How will Toolbox components be managed?

One decision that should be made early on, preferably before using SOLIDWORKS Toolbox in a production environment, is how the components should be managed.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup: User Settings

Create Configurations

This is the default option. This, however, does not mean that this setting is superior to the Create Parts option. The Create Configurations option causes new configurations to be made within a given master part file for each variant of a particular Toolbox part. For example, if the master part file is a socket button head cap screw_ai.sldprt, then all of the different sizes of the screw that a user chooses to use will result in new configurations getting stored in that single part file. This results in the creation of fewer individual files and therefore fewer files that a user needs to keep track of. However, for Toolbox components where many different sizes are used, the size of the master part file will grow large over time. This is because all configuration data for all configurations must be permanently stored in the file to make sure the data is there for any assemblies that use it.

Créer des pièces

The Create Parts option results in individual part files of a smaller size because each variant of a particular part saves as a uniquely named part file that contains only one configuration. Some customers prefer to have the one-to-one relationship between part numbers and files. The Create Parts option creates many individual files when compared to the Create Configurations option, but they are relatively easy to manage. If the user needs to swap one fastener in an assembly for another, they use the Edit Toolbox component, select the different size, click OK, and SOLIDWORKS automatically swaps out the previous fastener file for the new fastener file transparent to the user. In some technical support situations, it is easier to troubleshoot assembly reference issues that relate to Toolbox parts when using the Create Parts option. This is because this option removes the variable about whether the correct configuration is being referenced.

Create Parts on Ctrl + Drag

It is recommended that you do not use the Create Parts on Ctrl+Drag option. This option can result in inconsistent use of hardware within the company.

Permissions

To ensure that everyone using the shared Toolbox is using the same settings, the CAD Administrator should use the Permissions section of the Toolbox Settings tool to enable permission controls. The following image shows the Permissions dialog box with the recommended setting for User Settings. The customer will need to determine which of the other options are required for their use case.

IMPORTANT: When sharing the Toolbox or managing the Toolbox in SOLIDWORKS PDM vault, it is especially important to specify the Set the same for all users option. This option prevents the possibility of some users running in the Create Parts mode, and others running in the Create Configurations mode.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup: Permissions

The CAD Administrator will have to set a password to enable the options above. The password is stored in the SWBrowser.sldedb database. If it is necessary to retrieve a lost or forgotten password, you can submit a Service Request to SOLIDWORKS Technical Support.

For more information on SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Setup in a Shared environment please click here.

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David Arthur, CSWE-S