Viewing Designs

SolidWorks Series
May 16, 2022

As we think about how hardware collaboration has changed, we start to notice the different stakeholders involved in the decision making process. Oftentimes, people believe that tools like SolidWorks are primarily used by mechanical engineers. While mechanical engineers may engage in CAD design tools, there are many more individuals that leverage CAD designs and data to influence and drive decisions. However, many of these collaborators don’t actually engage directly in SolidWorks and therefore rely heavily on mechanical engineering teams to present designs for their review. In the past, we’ve discussed how synchronous reviews that consist of CAD spins and endless meetings, lead to lower engineering bandwidth and slower product development. In this post, we dive into how collaborators can leverage existing and new tools to help alleviate the barrier around viewing and reviewing CAD.

Traditionally, when collaborators want to review models they rely on having a designer walk through CAD spins. This is because only designers have access to a CAD license to be able to open up models. More recently, companies have offered collaborators the option to purchase additional viewer licenses, but they are few and far between. Even these viewer licenses across all the collaborators can add up to a hefty cost burden on the organization, leaving them with no ability to independently review designs. This process ends up limiting who can review designs, and can lead to a siloed and risky design process.

Tools like SolidWorks PDM say they help drive change in this process through more accessible viewer options. However, teams quickly realize there still is a cost associated with collaboration on SolidWorks PDM. And because there are no project management features or review tools in SolidWorks PDM, teams do not find the value to procure additional software or processes just to view designs. The “yet another tool” feeling hits other teams, and the required effort to change processes is far too much than just continuing to annoy designers.

But what if there was a tool that fit into the process of existing workflows, that integrated already in the tools collaborators use, that didn’t overwhelm the organization with extra costs, and most importantly was built for both designers and collaborators? That’s what we believe in and is our driving goal at Bild. With Bild, designers are able to leverage PDM to host designs, manage versions, and share with collaborators. For collaborators, viewing models have never been easier and more intuitive. With a simple cloud native interface that’s easier to use than Google Drive, collaborators are able to view the central repository and render models directly on the web. It’s just as simple as viewing PDFs or Word documents on Google Drive. No need to download the models, no need to have access to SolidWorks, no need to learn complicated tools.

Best of all, as collaborators are viewing designs, they can instantly provide feedback right on top of designs! This frictionless workflow enables collaborators to view designs, review them for specific factors, and instantly send designers feedback.

For designers, viewing designs on Bild means you can quickly render native SolidWorks, Creo, AutoCad, Catia, and more. From the viewer, designers can take measurements, cross sections, and more, all without loading it into SolidWorks. Models take less than 10 seconds to render.

With any other PDM system in the market, the storage application is separate from the PDM, which is separate from the viewer. This legacy process requires teams to adopt many tools, cumbersome processes, and additional costs.

Ready to view native CAD directly in your browser instantaneously? Book a demo to see it in action!