SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 447 - Managing CAD Data


Managing CAD Data:

This podcast covers the chore of managing CAD data since it comes with the overhead of references. File references, as most of us know, come with a number of challenges in management as well as in process activities.  Topics covered: 

- Common challenges with keeping up with CAD data

- Definitions of features related to CAD data

- Understanding SolidWorks' reference search algorithm  

- Tools to assist in references management

- Common methods without PDM

- Alternative management tools

- What PDM can bring to the mix

After 12 years of consulting and implementing PDM and dealing with managing CAD data, there are some common pitfalls that seems to resonate with me.  In this show I hope to echo these common pitfalls and give some insight to ways to alleviate these issues.     

If you have ever been faced with the "Would you like to find these references" message when opening up an assembly in SolidWorks message, you will be interested in the number of steps SolidWorks actually goes through before asking you for assistance.  I think you might be surprised.

I thought this was a great topic since I have spent the last 2 weeks dealing with issues related to file references that stemmed from bad practices.  SolidWorks provides a number of tools (non-PDM) that can give you a head start with managing CAD file references that can get out of hand in a hurry. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 421 - Configurations: Cache or Purge


Configurations: Cache or Purge:

This podcast covers the new configurations management feature built right into the ConfigurationManager inside of SolidWorks. Topics covered:

- Overview on the new functionality in Configuration

- Understanding icon feedback and options

- Effects with version interoperability

- Usage models and tips

Configurations are one of my favorite and most used, foundation features of SolidWorks and have not had much enhancement since the introduction of Display States.  Anyone who uses configurations knows that as the number of configs goes up, so does the file size.  Finally there is a way to keep the file size down and have full control of which configurations have quick access.

After using this, one of the best parts about the new configuration management feature is it works on not only 2013 files, but when you convert an older file to 2013, all these management features are in play.  That means those large assemblies with configs that take forever to open can be trimmed down and improved for the next time.

Today we will break down the features, what icons mean what and explain how this can be a great tool to clean up your current data and speed up access times.  This also plays a part in how 2013 files are accessed and viewed inside of 2012 SP5 using the new version interoperability feature.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 385 - SolidWorks CRUD

SolidWorks CRUD:

This podcast covers tips and tricks on options for CRUD: Create, Read, Update and Delete (dropped D and substituted P for Pack and Go) methods in SolidWorks. Topics covered:


- New SolidWorks docs

- Customize Template Tabs


- Open SolidWorks docs

- Open dialog options (

- Open from recent list (and folder link)

- Drag and Drop (even Zip files)


- Save and Save modified

- Save As (watch out, when it doubt, save as copy)

- Close and Close all

- Close from open documents menu


- Pack and Go vs. Save-As references

- Pack and Go from Windows Explorer

- Other SolidWorks WinEx options (Rename, Replace.... and now Move!)

CRUD is a methodology in programming that I believe applies to much that we do on the computer and so this show is a back to basics to refresh how you think about doing these interactions with SolidWorks.  For a few years now, SoildWorks has added some nice additions to the way we interact while doing these fundamental activities, as we do with most computer applications.

With new releases of software, many of us don't have the time to modify how we use SolidWorks.  We all just want to use SolidWorks to get things done and we fall into our "ruts" of how we interact.  Create, Read & Update actions are all we are doing so getting a refresh of alternative methods can give an an "ah ha!" moment.  This show talks about some of these new methods and other tips to make these frequent interactions more efficient.

Sometime getting back to basics allows us to re-evaluate new functions and methods to ultimately alter our (especially mine) set ways of using SolidWorks.  If you have some interesting modification suggestions, please leave a comment.  ~Lou

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