SE File Folder Structure

Are there any how-to's or tips on how to create a folder structure for models, drawings and assemblies?


We are currently using AutoCAD(2D) and are moving to use SE much more for models and drafts. We currently use drawing numbers such as 001-001-001-001-001 RA where each 3 number section corresponds to a product line, product model, and then to sub assemblies, where each one increments up as we create a new part. Revisions are saved with RA, RB, RD, etc. as revisions are added. We update the drawing and save the old drawing to a 'revision' folder within the drawing folder.I would like to keep this folder structure if possible.


I have a few quetions:


With a SE draft, if I 'Inactivate drawing views' and then save the drawing to the revision folder, will that disconnect all associativity with the models?


Is there a way to do that with an old assembly or part file? I assume if I save the old revision it will still update when you open it if it contains other parts that have been updated.

Also, if I move an old model to the revision folder, an assembly using that part won't be able to find it, and I will have to re-establish the link.


Re: SE File Folder Structure

I'm interested in hearing how other folks handle this situation. I've worked where if we did a revision change, we saved the old revision draft as a pdf.

Go FAST, or go home.

Re: SE File Folder Structure

I had considered that as well, I was just unsure whether losing the actual functionality of the .dft would be a problem.

Re: SE File Folder Structure

BoatTech wrote:

I'm interested in hearing how other folks handle this situation. I've worked where if we did a revision change, we saved the old revision draft as a pdf.

We store the old revision PDF to an obsolete folder, with a light gray "OBSOLETE" watermark in diagonal from the bottom left corner to the top right corner.


Re: SE File Folder Structure

[ Edited ]

These are good ideas, I've struggled to come up with a way of keeping old drawing versions also, It would be nice if Solid Edge could be set-up to automatically generate a dumb drawing ("Convert to 2d?") whenever a drawing revision is made; that way it would still be somewhat editable.




edit: Thinking about this a little more, maybe an option in the save menu to "Create New Revision" that would automatically do this would be fantastic.

Re: SE File Folder Structure

Keep in mind that windows has 260 character string max for path+ filename! I'd recommend looking at a PDM system to manage your data for version/revision and workflow states. Within workflows you can assign tasks to obsolete and watermark older documents.

Re: SE File Folder Structure

I work in a way I developed for myself. This may not be a good fit for others.


First off, I have a few major directories:

Parts: Used for anything that is a static part with a single part number:

Under this I have a few different systems: One for in house fabricated parts, one purchased parts, that sometimes gets subdivided by vendor.

Jobs: The jobs get one sub folder for each product..see below. Parts are referenced in. I have some parts that are used on over 1000 files. The collections of products use for a job get labeled with this job number.

Quotes: Same thing as job, but different model and drafting requirements.

Products: This is where the time goes. Setting up products. Because of the nature of my company, in a nut shell, I have one directory for each draft. That draft is linked to one assembly, and assembly driven parts. For me, each draft is a sheet metal box of some design (Tank, multi-tank, cabinet, etc. I also have frame driven designs. All of my "products"  parts are assembly plane driven and set up to automatically update it's draft file.


When making a job or Quote, I copy the draft and related file using revision manager, making sure to not copy any "part" that is not required to maintain all links.


If I want to copy an entire job or quote, I use windows explorer, and just copy everything (unmanaged environment)


The resultant PDF's are all on the server using the same directory structure.


The one problem I have with this method of working is that I can only have one draft/assembly open at a time because almost all my models use some of the same parts. each part can only be open once. I think a managed environment is a solution to that, but that also creates other headaches.


I'm a one man show, so I do everything on my local drive because I have 3ms seek times.

I would recommend 1000T+ optical connections to the server.


For a network setup, you also need to decide where your frame profiles, annotation notes, and template files will live for all to use.


Taking a step back from the directory structure, here are some important things to consider:

1. Are you going to use the same style parts list for everything? Look at the standard information that get embedded into each file. then decide up front what you will need custom. Play around with various formats of the parts lists for various types of drawings (Std part, Sheet metal, frame, imported model, etc.....)

2. Are you going to use the built in system for standard parts, are you using the fundamental version of SE? I decided to go for fundamental and create my own cross sections for frame design. This saves on the annual maintenance costs.

3. I made the decision up fron that I don't model any fasteners unless they are welded.


Re: SE File Folder Structure

I am wondering what are your desired results? Your question is a bit vague and may be the reason we are not seeing many responses. Are there differences in your part numbers, CAD file names and drawing files? Does your design process or product start with a template and is then configured? Or is each product a unique product? Do you want to share data between products? Do you need part search and where used functionality, etc.


Here's my response base on what you have provided.

In my experience, the document of record for most CAD data files is a pdf. The pdf file is the document that is used and shared with the customers- both internal customers and external customers.

The CAD data and structure is used for many purposes but rarely as the document of record.


It has been well over 15 years since I have had to work in an environment that is still using folders and file locations. In the past, when a file is moved from one folder location to another the assembly files that the part is referened will fail to find it. This is true when you rename a file as well which you will be doing with your revision scheme.


You have the opportunity to look at your full process and determine what processes can be improved or automated. I'd highly advice this if you wish to get a "quicker" return on investment that you look at a bigger picture (i.e. Product Data Management PDM tools). These tools, when defined and implemented correctly, take care of the file management issues related to versions and revisions, file "locations", etc.

Re: SE File Folder Structure

Sounds like a few of you guys should definitely consider PDM of some kind. Maybe just Insight. Trying to revise, release, and obsolete files while maintaining links to released files in active assemblies, etc. in an unmanaged environment is a nightmare. In my opinion and experience.


Also I agree that using PDFs to record releases is probably the best way. Making dumb editable drafts is much more difficult. And why would you want to edit released drawings anyway?


In a previous workplace (unmanaged) when a project was released the convention was to use revision manager to copy the whole model, even standard library parts, and all drafts to an appropriately named folder in which the files were zipped. It wasn't pretty and problems often ensued when these projects were copied out to use in new projects which were similar (a frequent practice) mostly having to do with duplicate file names which actually contained parts with differences than other projects so you never knew which was the correct one.

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: SE File Folder Structure

In my case. I was starting from nothing. Not a single 3D file existed when I started using SE.


Also, the products are all custom and the "base line" or standard products are evolving quickly.

My main goal is to minimize required baggage and procedures yet maintain control and document the exiting design. The existing documentation was flat patterns nad overall dimensions more than anything else.


Starting from this point, and for a small company with under 20K parts. Un-managed and Significant numbering systems are the way to go. At some point that will become a problem, but that's a growing pain. For now, being able to change a design detail on everything as fast as possible then being able to re-size the design, then create flat pattern and folding tables. All as fast as posible......damm the torpeedoes, full speed ahead.


I have created about 15,000 pages of PDF's in 2 years using SE.