A key feature that’s appeared on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with the FD02 and FD03 releases in 2022 is the ability to import and export CAD packages.
If you’ve worked collaboratively in SOLIDWORKS, you’re probably familiar with Pack and Go. Packages on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform behave similarly in that they allow you to bundle the CAD files that are referenced in an assembly into a single zipped folder that can be shared outside of your organization.
If your copy of SOLIDWORKS is linked to the platform through SOLIDWORKS Connected or the Design with SOLIDWORKS Connector, you can import and export packages from the 3DEXPERIENCE tab in the task pane under the Tools menu.
When you launch the package export, right away you’ll see some capabilities that you don’t see in Pack and Go. For one, it keeps track of the revision state of each of the files. So, it’s not losing that lifecycle that you’ve been maintaining for your file set. In fact, when you receive the package back, you’ll be able to run a comparison of the before and after states and apply the changes to your original files if they pass inspection.
The second thing you’ll notice is the ability to set a purpose for the files, which will allow you to control the Read & Write access for each of the individual files. This ensures that there won’t be any unintended changes to files that you want to preserve. You can choose, read-only, or edit.
A feature that’s been added in FD03 is the ability to include drawings. This will search for any drawings that are referenced by the models and will include them in the exported folder. Here we can see that two drawings were found, one for the vice assembly and one for the saddle component. Again, we can set these to read-only or edit. We are now ready to export this .sldpkg file. We have the option to save the package to a local Windows folder, which would be a logical option if we wanted to attach the file to an email. Or we could sync the package to our 3DDrive folder. A benefit to doing this is the ability to create a share link which may be more convenient than having to deal with a file attachment.
On the end-user side, if the recipient is connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, they can import the package from the same 3DEXPERIENCE tab that we used to export the package. If the end-user is not connected to the platform, that user can open the package using the free 3DEXPERIENCE Exchange for SOLIDWORKS Add-In, which can be downloaded from SOLIDWORKS.com. Once they’ve made changes to the desired parts, they can use the same Add-In to export the package again.
Another feature that’s new to the FD03 release is the ability to export packages from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the web without ever having to open SOLIDWORKS. This can be done from the Product Structure editor, which comes with the Enovia 3D Product Architect role.
To export a package, as before, under the Tools menu, select the dropdown next to export and select CAD file. You can choose to include associated drawings before exporting. From here you can download your zip file to a local folder and keep track of the history associated with exported packages.