SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM – Managing Paper Drawings

Have you ever printed a drawing for review or just to mark it up and somehow that drawing ended up on the manufacturing floor and was accidentally manufactured? Or the drawing ended up in the purchasing department and was purchased? Then, when the component was inspected, someone realized that the drawing actually was neber released’ Oops’

With SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM you can streamline the process and you can add Watermarks to the SOLIDWORKS drawings on a particular transition. So, how do we do that?

First we need to have a variable in the Vault called Watermark set as shown below:

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Drawing Data Card needs to be set with a Watermark Field for user visibility.

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Watermark Field is set as Read-Only so that the user will not inadvertently make changes. Additionally, I had the checkbox ‘Defaults Overwrites’ checked so that any new SOLIDWORKS file that I place in the vault will inherit the property Watermark ‘ Not Released. Also, if you are using Copy or Save As, the property will always be Not Released for the new file.

On the SOLIDWORKS side, we need to make sure that we update the drawing templates with a Note that will be added to the sheet format and connected to the SOLIDWORKS property ‘Watermark’. Size, color, placement, etc. should be in accordance with company standards.

Important: Existing drawings in Enterprise PDM will not be automatically stamped with the Watermark unless a manual update of the sheet format is performed. Alternatively, custom programing could be developed to update the sheet format automatically.

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In this simple workflow, I want to add the Watermark to the SOLIDWORKS drawings when the file transitions from ‘In Design’ to ‘Pending Approval’ and then remove the Watermark when the file gets to ‘Released’.

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To set the Watermark, a Transition Action needs to be added to the Transition as shown below:

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The same Action needs to be added to the ‘Release documents’ transition with the Value field being Empty.

Note: The Action of removing the Watermark is performed before the PDF generator is automatically creating a PDF of the SOLIDWORKS drawing.

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The same process can be followed to the ‘New Release’ or ‘Rejected’ transitions to add additional Watermarks.

This way, even if you just print your drawing in the mist of your design, there is no question of what the state of the drawing is, reducing confusion and possibly costly errors in manufacturing or purchasing.

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