With the Bill of Materials, there is an underlining concept of level of details you want. Depending of whom is going to use the BOM, you need to adjust the zoom level. To each line in a BOM corresponds something that you need to get with one way or another. Buying it or manufacturing it yourself won’t be done with the same level of details. This is the concept of the Scope of Supply: the more you zoom, the more lines you have in your BOM, the more components you have to source yourself.
A component is a generic name that you can give to anything in SolidWorks. It can be an assembly or a part, having a geometry or be empty, being a virtual file or an external file, having or not having a related drawing and a related Bill Of Materials. This term is used a lot on this website when the subject applies to any classes of SolidWorks or real world entity.Continue reading
The most important properties of a component are the ones that permit to define it unequivocally. This should be accomplished with the minimum information for clarity and simplicity. In your Bill Of Material you want to have the minimum number of columns that display information to identify a component.Continue reading
Components have to be uniquely identified in some way to avoid information collision. Having different things with the same unique identifier could lead to confusion and inconsistency and create a nightmare for stock inventory or accounting in the real world, but also for file naming or database query in the virtual world for example.Continue reading
It is possible to customize the Excel Add-in to fit your needs. The settings are presented as a datagrid where the variable names can be modified and some application settings can be enabled or disabled.Continue reading
Several file formats can be imported into SolidWorks but some are more effective than others. When you have the choice between multiple formats, you should pick the best one: the one which contains the most information. One should not just simply import a model into SolidWorks, there are good importation practices to follow.
The main purpose of an assembly is to show the components assembled together which translate into the Bill Of Materials with some kind of chronological order. Accordingly to the assembly drawing, to consider a top level assembly complete, you need to have assembled all the sub-assemblies, and each sub-assembly cannot be complete without having assembled all its sub-sub-assemblies, etc… Thus, it is possible to use an assembly not only to make sure that everything is assembled following the right sequence, but to sequence anything!
There is a feature in SolidWorks that is not particularly advertised but which is quite convenient when you don’t know what to do with certain components inside an assembly. It is the ability to make any component inside a parent assembly virtual.
To make a modification to a component, the most logical way is to add some features directly in it and make a drawing to describe the modifications. A note can be displayed to identify the source component. But in the Bill Of Materials, the unaltered component never appears which leads to a high risk of forgetting to acquire it in the first place.