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Unread 04-19-2018, 11:44 PM
cadmaster86 cadmaster86 is offline
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merging different file versions

My team is currently using solidworks as our modeling software and grabcad workbench to sync to all computers. it works fairly well because there are only a few people working on it, but even with only a limited number modifying the cad, we still had a few problems with syncing. if 2 people wanted to make separate changes to an assembly, there was no way for use to upload/merge them, which meant that only one person could work on one assembly at a time. Is there any way to merge the files? I feel like some piece of software should be able to recognize that the changes to the assembly do not overlap and do not impact each other, but maybe I'm being overly optimistic. If not is there any way we can avoid this situation? what do people do in the industry?
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Unread 04-19-2018, 11:50 PM
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Re: merging different file versions

Some form of version control would be helpful here. The ability to have files checked out to certain people is a great way to ensure there are no conflicting changes.

I believe solidworks has their own PDM software but I've never used it. That could be worth a look.
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Unread 04-20-2018, 12:05 AM
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Re: merging different file versions

I don't think merging software like that exists, especially since so many things can be indirectly affected. Instead, if you're often making multiple changes to one file that don't affect one another, maybe it shouldn't be one file. Each subassembly can be individually worked on, and the final assembly (only one person allowed to touch at a time) can be very sparse.
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Unread 04-20-2018, 12:09 AM
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Re: merging different file versions

yeah I mean thats what we do now, we just say joe is working on file X and suzy is working on file Z. but the real problem is assemblies. even though we have subassemblies its still annoying. I'm not sure if we can get the solidworks thing for free with our student licence
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Unread 04-20-2018, 12:14 AM
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Re: merging different file versions

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Originally Posted by Chak View Post
I don't think merging software like that exists, especially since so many things can be indirectly affected. Instead, if you're often making multiple changes to one file that don't affect one another, maybe it shouldn't be one file. Each subassembly can be individually worked on, and the final assembly (only one person allowed to touch at a time) can be very sparse.
yeah thats what we do. In our 2018 bot we had 8 subassemblies. it just seems like we end up in each others ways because we are usually only working on one or 2 assemblies at a time. maybe we just need to have better project/people management in terms of cad work.
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Unread 04-20-2018, 07:44 AM
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Re: merging different file versions

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadmaster86 View Post
My team is currently using solidworks as our modeling software and grabcad workbench to sync to all computers. it works fairly well because there are only a few people working on it, but even with only a limited number modifying the cad, we still had a few problems with syncing. if 2 people wanted to make separate changes to an assembly, there was no way for use to upload/merge them, which meant that only one person could work on one assembly at a time. Is there any way to merge the files? I feel like some piece of software should be able to recognize that the changes to the assembly do not overlap and do not impact each other, but maybe I'm being overly optimistic. If not is there any way we can avoid this situation? what do people do in the industry?
The issue you are describing is not unique to FIRST Robotics, trust me. I can offer some thoughts to help make it easier with the software you are using; which happens to be what my team uses as well:
  • Take advantage of the Lock capability of GrabCAD. This will notify other users that you have the file locked (aka you are editing the file).
  • Only upload the parts you actually made changes to. A lot of times SolidWorks wants to rebuild an entire assembly and subassemblies when you only changed one part; only upload the part/assembly you changed.
  • If only a few people working on it, have a group chat (slack, hangouts, fb messenger, etc) to communicate with each other.
  • Create a Google Sheet that has a running list of all parts and who, if anyone, is working on them

I use a different configuration management software at work (PTC Windchill) and have dabbled briefly with SolidWorks PDM (the software mentioned in the thread). Honestly, they are very similar to GrabCAD; but GrabCAD is simplified and easier to learn and use. It accessible just about anywhere and you don't need any special software for people to look at the files/designs.

We switched to GrabCAD in 2016. I was developing a Windchill training program prior, but PTC stopped supporting non-PTC products in their PDV software to teams. We were still using portable hard drives (horrible) as our school blocked the required ports for SolidWorks PDM at the time.

Feel free to ask questions you may have.
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