If you’ve set up Dropbox to work with Solid Edge & configured Solid Edge to work with Dropbox, the next logical step is to take advantage of the data management capabilities built into Solid Edge.
1. Define Your Vault Directory Structure in Windows Explorer
The first thing we need to do is define the location of your CAD vault, this is simply a folder in Windows where all of your managed Solid Edge files will be stored.
I decided on the location:
(I named it beginning with 000 so that it would appear top of my Dropbox folder in windows explorer)
Next we need to define subdirectories within our CAD vault corresponding with the different product lifecycle stages. I decided to go with the following naming scheme, again the numbers were placed in the folder names so they would appear in a logical sequence in windows explorer.
Typically design work would be performed within the “02InWork” folder. You may create any folder structure you want within this folder. Below is an example of how my working folder has been structured, with each job getting a dedicated folder.
I also find it helpful to create a template job folder which is populated with frequently used empty subdirectories, this can quickly be copied and renamed in order to set up a folder for a new job.
2. Create a Location to Save Your Vault Definition in Dropbox (Optional)
This is totally optional, I will go into the reasons for doing this later in the article (skip ahead to section 4, if you’re curious). I created the directory structure:
3. Define a Dropbox Vault
From the application menu on Solid Edge, navigate to Solid Edge Data Management. This will open the data management section in Solid Edge options.
Provided everything went well when configuring Solid Edge to work with Dropbox, your settings should resemble the picture below.
Next we add the directory we created for our vault ( C:\Dropbox\000CadVault ) to the Vault Definition. Also, if you have standard parts installed it is a good idea to add them here too. This will add these directories to the Windows search index & drastically improve search speeds within Solid Edge.
Your Vault Definition settings should appear similar to the image above. If you need to set up a document controller you can do this here (more info available from Solid Edge help on this). I would also suggest enabling the options to automatically revise drawings and detect duplicates. We then click apply to save all settings.
4. Move Vault Definition to Dropbox (Optional)
Our vault definition has been stored in the text file FastSearchScope.txt within a subdirectory of the Users folder of the PC, in the case of this example, this file saves the location of:
This should work fine in its’ current location, and any user could easily be set up by going through this process again on each of their PCs.
We can move this file to a location on Dropbox, then any other user can point to this file on Dropbox for their vault definition. This has the added benefit that if for some reason a directory was to be added or removed from the vault definition, all users would be automatically updated over Dropbox.
To move this file we will click to customise our FastSearchScope.txt file location.
This will open a window to choose the new location for FastSearchScope.txt. Before we navigate to the desired location, this window opens in the current location of FastSearchScope.txt. Right click on the file & select copy.
Next we browse in windows explorer to the directory we created to save the file to, right click in the directory and select paste. If all has went well, FastSearchScope.txt should be within our new folder.
Now we can return to the Solid Edge window prompting us to “Browse for the Vault Definiton File”, we navigate to the directory we have just copied the file into, select FastSearchScope.txt and select open.
That is your Vault Definition set up, click apply to save your settings in Solid Edge.
We will skip setting up custom properties for now, it is something we can revisit in the future if there is sufficient demand. Next we will move on to setting up a document naming rule.
Credit goes to Scott Wertel’s excellent article, which was a great resource for setting up data management within Solid Edge: https://designandmotion.net/siemens-plm/siemens-solid-edge/solid-edge-st9-built-data-management-part-1/
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