Alternatives to Toolbox

Solidworks 2004 SP1 We are sharing toolbox between 3 users. We have had many problems. Here are a few:
-speed over a network (using a 4th pc and sharing off the hard drive)
-large parts (even though the configuration has been created) -"already in use in another location" (this one is new since SP1 upgrade)
I have a couple of questions.
1. Whats better, the "Always Create Copy" or "No Copy" (Always use master part file)? We have tried both and it seems both have problems ("Copy" option doesn't always work with smart fasteners. Couldn't edit the fastener. Or the configuration had to be created first to work with Smart Fasteners).
2. Are there any alternatives (maybe other programs) to Toolbox. We have the Solidworks Office pack, but the Toolbox is the only thing we are using from it (at the moment).
It would be nice if we could keep toolbox local and some how update the configurations when a user has added one to their toolbox.
Derek
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Has anyone tried placing the "Feature Palette" Parts, Assemblies, Features, SheetMetal Punches on a server and then dragging and dropping the parts as needed?
Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell www.3-ddesignsolutions.com
/DIV>Solidworks 2004 SP1<BR>We are sharing toolbox between 3 users. We have had many problems. Here<BR>are a few:<BR><BR>-speed over a network (using a 4th pc and sharing off the hard drive)<BR>-large parts (even though the configuration has been created)<BR>-"already in use in another location" (this one is new since SP1<BR>upgrade)<BR><BR>I have a couple of questions.<BR><BR>1. Whats better, the "Always Create Copy" or "No Copy" (Always use<BR>master part file)? We have tried both and it seems both have problems<BR>("Copy" option doesn't always work with smart fasteners. Couldn't edit<BR>the fastener. Or the configuration had to be created first to work with<BR>Smart Fasteners).<BR><BR>2. Are there any alternatives (maybe other programs) to Toolbox. We have<BR>the Solidworks Office pack, but the Toolbox is the only thing we are<BR>using from it (at the moment).<BR><BR>It would be nice if we could keep toolbox local and some how update the<BR>configurations when a user has added one to their toolbox.<BR><BR>Derek<BR><BR><BR>-- <BR>Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - <A href="http://www.Mailgate.ORG ">http://www.Mailgate.ORG </A></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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although what i'm about to describe may seem convoluted, it works for me. basically i'm using the toolbox to generate the fasteners i use from a library of oem parts. never had much success with smart fasteners, so i'm not using that feature.
a) keep the toolbox local (it's used as a fastener generator) b) everything else on the server; parts, assy's, drawings and library (oem stuff, fasteners included). the library files, not the folder are read only (some manual effort needed here)
1) use fastener from library if it exists (drag 'n drop from feature palette), otherwise proceed to #2
2) in an assy, after each "size" of fastener (from toolbox) is inserted, open one of them and do a "save as" to the library (this "save as" must be after each size is inserted, so that you don't populate the same fastener name (i.e. socket head cap screw_ai.sldprt) with the same size),
3) you should still be in the new library fastener just created from step 2. delete all configurations except current. delete all equations. you can even delete features which will no longer be used. in config properties, specify a new name for bom. save and close.
it's actually quite simple once you get used to it. by saving fasteners to a unique name it's easier to deal with in pdmworks.
kenneth b
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I've used this method ever since SW bought Toolbox and it works very well. Toolbox is nothing more than a quick hardware/fastener generator.
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I ditto the last two responses. We use toolbox as really a template to create copies of the parts we need. We do not place these copies in the "Copied Parts" folder in the toolbox directory. We place them with our projects that we are working on and the files are named by their part number. Each copied part has one configuration - the only one necessary for that part. The parts can be customized as much as we want - material, part number, color, description, approved source, etc. We also use PDM/Works and this method works very well with it. We check these parts in as we do with any other part, there is nothing special about them. Once in the vault, we can rearange the parts into folders so that someone browsing for a screw, for example, could find one easily. By placing information on file properties, it can be real easy to search the vault for what you want. If the part exists in the vault, all the user has to do is drag and drop it into their design. If not, they can generate it with toolbox and make it available to all by checking it inot the vault. Simple. Thats the way we like it, especially when you get involved with PDM. Another benefit, is that you don't really have to worry about your files when you upgrade toolbox, because your copied files are in no way linked to the master database anymore. There seem to be many questions as how to correctly update the toolbox. I have not seen a clear and concise answer to this question, even ones I have seen from SolidWorks themselves (Check out Eng-tips or SolidWorks discussion forum). The upgrade process seems to somewhat problematic IMHO when you use the master database for you toolbox parts (Don't create a copy).

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