One question that often comes up from users of SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional (formerly SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM) is how to handle the simulation results files? This can be a difficult question to answer not always knowing different company’s policies. However, we do have some recommendations for using the two applications together.
One recommendation is to always save results files to the local machine when solving. The simulation results save location will default to where the part/assembly file is opened from. So, with PDM this would be your local cache folder. The results save location can also be changed in the study properties for a specific study already setup. Or, the location can be set in the simulation options for any new studies that are created.
So do you save the results in PDM? If the studies take just a few minutes to run, we recommend that you do not save results to the PDM vault. All of the study setup is saved with the SOLIDWORKS part or assembly file. So, opening the files and clicking run for each study is all that is needed to regenerate the results.
However, if the simulation studies take some time to solve (e.g. over 30 minutes) and having prompt access to the results is important, you would want to consider saving the results. The solve time threshold is up to you. Saving the results is best done using a SOLIDWORKS pack and go operation and saving the part/assembly files along with the simulation results to a zip file. The zip file can then be checked in and managed in SOLIDWORKS PDM. PDM will need to be configured to handle zip files of this type, i.e. a data card and workflow will need to be assigned to zip files so the vault will accept the check in operation. We recommend that you minimize workflow activity on these types of files to reduce the number of file versions PDM will create.
When you do the pack and go, the parts and assemblies will save at the current version and results will be saved in the archive as well, so you don’t need to solve the study again. If you try and keep results with the part/assembly files and manage these separately outside of the recommended pack and go zip file, any changes made to the part/assembly will require results to be regenerated.
One other consideration is regarding server disk space for the PDM vault server. If your IT group is concerned that saving large zip files to your vault will take up too much space, you could manually save the zip file in a location outside of the PDM vault. With either option, you can choose to create a simulation results report which is a Microsoft Word file. This file can then be checked into the vault and attached to the SOLIDWORKS part/assembly file via paste as reference to the version of the file that was analyzed.
Hopefully this clears up some of the questions you have when using SOLIDWORKS Simulation results with SOLIDWORKS PDM. If you need further assistance, contact our Alignex Technical Support team. Plus, don’t forget to for content like this delivered straight to your inbox.
Written by Eric Weber
Eric Weber is an Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. When Eric isn't working with customers or teaching a variety of Simulation courses, you will most likely find him building a Quadcopter Drone or experimenting with Arduino microcontrollers.