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Migration of Legacy 2D Cad files


Hi all,





For many years, all our designs were documented in 2D dwg files (using AutoCAD LT). Over the last few years, we have moved to Solid Edge, and are now creating all new designs in 3D. We recently implemented Teamcent Rapid Start. As we get closer to letting our engineers into Teamcenter for the first time, I am trying to come up with a plan for managing legacy 2D AutoCAD data. 



Here are some details:



We have about 20,000 drawings that we think should be kept live (22gb of data). The desire for legacy drawings is to bring them into Teamcenter with basic functionality. They would be brought in as documents that can be checked in/out, opened by double clicking, and searched by ID or item name. Some of our drawings have links to other drawings (ie a drawing sheet may be attached as a back page to several drawings). We must maintain those links. We do not have any custom properties to map. Over time legacy designs will be replaced with Solid Edge designs.


The challenge:


-AutoCAD LT is not listed as compatible with a Teamcenter integration (please enlighten me if it can be done).
-We are talking with our reseller about paying for a migration where the drawings are brought in as attachments, and it is VERY expensive. 
-We have consumer users (salespeople) that need drawings in PDF form. Currently AutoCAD is set to automatically save as in DWF format when a file is saved. THe consumers then use free autodesk software to convert to PDF.


Options we are considering:

-Pay for the migration ($$$)
-Buy a single seat of full AutoCAD, as well as licenses for TCAA and use the bulk loader tool. (we would still need to figure out how consumers get PDF's)
-Don't migrate AutoCAD files (problematic for many reasons)


What other options do we have? Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.


Re: Migration of Legacy 2D Cad files

Gears Phenom Gears Phenom
Gears Phenom

There are many ways to do this, including what you've listed. I think it all depends on what you want at the end of the migration and how much time or money you are willing to spend vs what you are willing to give up to get there. Do you want to pay someone that knows how to do it? Or do you want to spend time to learn how to do it? There is a huge risk involved to make sure that data is still correct after migration. This is why data migration cost money. You are paying for experience and tools to migrate the data. Data migration isn't an easy. 


My experience when I was CAD Manager at Robbins, I did migrate Acad files into TC. We treated the DWG's as a flat files and opted for no integration into TC. We used explicity check-in/check-out of the files from TC. We purchased seat of AutoDWG to bulk convert DWG's to PDF's for the migration. Because our Acad files were managed in an access type database, we could use that metadata with the file path and transform it to load into TC. 


1. Define how you will extract your data. If it is file folders, how to read it? How do you match up metadata? Where is the metadata stored?


2. Define how to transform the data. You need to define the TC data model and apply it to the extracted data.


3. Load the data. Will you integrate with TCAA and use that bulk loader? Will you treat them as flat files and load with TCXML?


4. Validate the data. Make sure it is what you expected in TC and it works.


I'd suggest getting more than one quote on data migration. Make sure you compare what they are offering for their data migration services for their price.





Jamie Griffis | PLM Solution Architect | Engineering USA

Re: Migration of Legacy 2D Cad files




Thanks for the advice. We will definitely quote out another vendor or two for migration before proceeding. 


I'm curious: you mentioned converting all your dwg's to pdf prior to import into TC; Was this for historical purposes only, or did you have some other method of maintaining the drawings going forward? That's one of our challenges: most of our dwg files are still considered the "design", and it will be some time before we replace them with good 3D data.



Re: Migration of Legacy 2D Cad files

Gears Phenom Gears Phenom
Gears Phenom



All non-engineering staff wanted to use PDF's only. Solid Edge was already saving PDF's by default and this is what started the issue. They were tired of requesting these PDF's to be created as needed from the DWG's. We were just trying to make it as easy as possible for all users. 



Jamie Griffis | PLM Solution Architect | Engineering USA

Re: Migration of Legacy 2D Cad files

Solution Partner Esteemed Contributor Solution Partner Esteemed Contributor
Solution Partner Esteemed Contributor
@PXHUNTER (Aaron), if DWG files are critical to your business (and not just PDF's for viewing) then you may want to rethink your approach to include the software that generated them. If it were me then I'd reach out to the vendor to find a way to get AutoCAD LT files to open and be editable in a version that is supported by a Tc integration (TCAA or TCAI) AND to preserve the links you refer to. The manual effort of creating a "dummy" BOM for the DWG where the BOM contains the links to others is too steep.

Are you sure you need AutoCAD LT integrated in order to use it with Teamcenter? Explicit checkout/checkin and 2xClick dataset to open the AutoCAD LT isn't enough?

Randy Ellsworth, Teamcenter Architect, Applied CAx, LLC
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