Quick and Easy: A Look Inside the New PDM Branch and Merge

[fa icon="calendar"] December 07, 2017 / by Steve Ostrovsky

In today's Three Minute Thursday, we're walking you through an exciting new feature in SolidWorks 2018 called Branch and Merge. In this scenario, we want to make a few design iterations of the protective guard in the support frame.

I often get asked by users how to do trial and error work within the PDM vault. We typically come up with simple to elaborate methods with various workflow, folder and permission setups. With Branch and Merge in SolidWorks 2018, I think these will all be a thing of the past and help to streamline the process. Let's take a look.
One of the simple ways to get around this problem is to do your design iterations outside the vault and then copy and overwrite what you have checked out in the vault. I don't really want to copy files out to my hard drive since I would rather keep track of these designs in the vault. However, many vaults require part numbers to be assigned to new part models. (So you can see where the head-scratching might start). I don't want to take out new part numbers just to test out a few design iterations.
Let's take a look at how easy it is to create branches if you know how to use copy tree. Then you can create these branches. Simply give the branch a name along with the branched file and you're set. Now I'm going to quickly create two branches so we can test a few design variations on this protective guard. It doesn't get much easier than this to create design variations. If you need to go back and see how many you have and where they are, simply look at the associated branches from the source file.
Once you've finished your design iterations, then you can merge your documents back in. The process is almost identical to creating branches. Simply select which branch you want to merge and decide if you want to merge it using the as-built or latest version.
A few quick notes... Make sure your branch files in source file are all checked in. Otherwise the system will bark at you. Also you can exclude which folders can be barred from branch operations in the group settings.
We hope you've enjoyed this Three Minute Thursday on SolidWorks PDM 2018 Branch and Merge.



Topics: SOLIDWORKS, Three Minute Thursday

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