We've touched on this subject before in various CAD-in-the-Cloud blog posts, but I still get questions every day about how best to distribute data derived from CAD, but not necessarily CAD data. Sharing SOLIDWORKS files is complicated enough due to the myriad file references and massive assembly file sizes. Sharing a PDF of a drawing, or a STEP file with a CNC operator shouldn't be that difficult, right? Think again. Luckily we have Flatter Files to help automate creation of this non-CAD data, and distribute it to the appropriate team members.
Here at Converge, we've been focused on enabling remote access for CAD teams for years. This concept has been at the core of everything we do since the beginning, and now with this global pandemic, it's more important than ever. With designers, engineers, and IT professionals forced to manage their entire workload from home, some companies are scrambling to find and implement a remote Cloud-based solution to keep their CAD users working during the stay-at-home order. However, every one of our current clients who utilize EpiGrid's Cloud-hosting services for SOLIDWORKS are equipped to weather this storm with access to the tools they need regardless of where they're forced to work.
There are several ways in which life will change forever after this Corona-virus pandemic has subsided, but I'd like to talk about the one way in which design firms and manufacturers can no longer back-burner provisioning a remote option to keep their designers and programmers working. The way we work has evolved tremendously over the past 5 years, and the Cloud has finally realized its potential as "the next big thing" and is now modus operandi for several business essentials - Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoho CRM, HubSpot Marketing platform, the list goes on. But CAD software tends to lag behind when it comes to "the next big thing", and CAD adoption of the Cloud has been slower to the party.
We are living in unprecedented times with lots of uncertainty. Companies are hyper-vigilant of any extra capital expenditures that will not immediately affect the bottom line. However, if your design firm does not have a data management solution in place for all CAD files, then your most valuable asset, your Intellectual Property, is at risk. SOLIDWORKS PDM provides a bevy of tools to make sure all CAD data is secure and accessible to the whole team. Deploying SOLIDWORKS PDM can be complicated and costly, and is only a silver bullet if it's deployed and administered properly.
If there's one lesson we can learn in the beginning of this global pandemic, it's that you shouldn't lose access to the tools and data that are essential to performing your design/MFG tasks. We have the capability to enable an entirely remote CAD team this exact second with our Cloud-hosted CAD infrastructure, and the benefits of Cloud-hosted SOLIDWORKS PDM or GPU-enabled Virtual Desktop Instances go far beyond just allowing your workforce to continue working from home without interruption. However, for the purposes of this article, we'll be focusing on how Cloud-hosting for SOLIDWORKS can alleviate the specific pains of this unique situation - where the entire team is forced to design, validate, and distribute CAD data from home.
We want to take a moment to address the Covid-19 crisis and let you know how Converge can help your organization during this challenging time. First, our thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain the virus.
In case you haven't heard, we have some exciting news to bring you regarding expanded training opportunities for SOLIDWORKS users with a subscription to MySolidWorks Professional. MySolidWorks Professional has always been an amazing source for information on how to become a better SOLIDWORKS user. However, the MySolidWorks Professional resource has been given a huge shot in the arm in 2020, making it a no-brainer investment for those who haven’t experienced MySolidWorks Professional yet.
Choctaw Defense Manufacturing LLC (Choctaw Defense) is a manufacturing facility owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Choctaw Defense started out as a finishing company building components for the Department Of Defense (DOD) over 20 years ago. They still provide those original units today, plus numerous other products that end up in the hands of the DOD. The majority of Choctaw Defense's DOD business is "build to print" where they bid on a contract to build an existing product currently in production for the DOD. Since those early days, Choctaw Defense has grown to become one of the largest Native American owned DOD contractors in the US. They are a designated Prime Contractor for three self-designed/fabricated products for the US Army, Navy, and Marines.
We try not to get too deep into the nuts and bolts of SOLIDWORKS PDM licensing, because there's actually a lot that goes into that license fee that you might not be aware of. But one of the important components to SOLIDWORKS PDM is the database that drives PDM's ability to recall all of the pertinent info we need without having to open up the file in SOLIDWORKS. The database in the case of SOLIDWORKS PDM is Microsoft SQL Server (Microsoft SQL Server Express for PDM Standard, and SQL Server Standard for PDM Professional). This is a near-ubiquitous database that is both powerful and flexible.
Here at Converge, we're proud to serve every one of our clients on a daily basis. When we were invited to participate in this year's SOLIDWORKS User Advocacy Day event at the SOLIDWORKS headquarters, we were given the daunting task of choosing one of the thousands of clients to participate with us. For the past 5 years, SOLIDWORKS has invited 20-30 members of the national community to participate in a day of networking and hobnobbing with SOLIDWORKS developers and executives. This year is the first year that SOLIDWORKS has invited a representative from each client's VAR to attend and help select the participant the event as well.