Uploading models  

Reviewing models

Publishing models

Maintaining models


Uploading models to your Supplier Services account on 3D ContentCentral is effortless and free of charge. You can add any parts or assembly files to 3D ContentCentral using the Web-based File Upload tool.

You can create a supplier account on 3D ContentCentral Supplier Services, and then just drag, drop, and click to upload your models.

Before uploading, you can associate category keywords to individual models or groups of models, choose a model display name, and add optional tags and model descriptions, all within the File Upload tool. You can also specify these configuration settings after uploading the files, using the tools on the 3D ContentCentral Supplier Services site.

For more information on using the File Upload tool, click here.

Supplier Services

Click Supplier Services on 3D ContentCentral to view your Supplier Services home page, or Dashboard.

All users can view and manage account and content information, and can publish their product catalogs directly on their company website with Models on your website.

Note: To use Supplier Services, you must have a Supplier Services account.

Account Information

Account Information shows:
  • Member since
  • Disk usage -- All users have 15 GB of disk space.
You can manage:
  • Profile
  • Members
  • Settings

Content Information

Content Information shows:
  • Publishing status (# Files Published, # Files Unpublished, Total Files)
  • Activity on your files (# Views, # Downloads)
You can:
  • Upload files (File Upload tool)
  • Manage uploaded files (Uploaded files)
  • Publish models on your website (Models on your website)
  • Download publishing tutorial

Models on Your Website

Models on your website lets you access your 3D ContentCentral models so that you can publish them directly on your company website.

You can access:
  • Automatic product syndication, such as RSS feeds, that automatically updates your website showing your current catalog at all times. For more information, see Automatic Product Syndication in the Maintain documentation.
  • Excel-based update that you use to manually update your website. For more information, see Excel-Based Update in the Maintain documentation.


Model Building and Publishing Guide

The Supplier Services area in 3D ContentCentral lets manufacturers display 3D models and 2D drawings that the community can view and download over the Web.


Considerations When Creating Models and Drawings

As a model builder, you should determine the features, default orientation, textual attributes, and drawings that are required to display the model realistically and completely.


Specifying Multiple Configurations Using Configuration Publisher

SOLIDWORKS 2015 provides the Configuration Publisher to simplify the preparation of model configurations for 3D ContentCentral. This interactive tool lets you drag controls and set attributes to create rules that define the configurations. You can preview the interface in Configuration Publisher to see how it will look in 3D ContentCentral.
Note: To use the Configuration Publisher, you need a complete design table with all of the configuration data or a simplified design table with only the model variables. The Configuration Publisher will prompt you for variables and create a design table for you if one does not already exist.

For details about using Configuration Publisher to create configurations for 3D ContentCentral, see the SOLIDWORKS documentation. (In SOLIDWORKS, click Help > SOLIDWORKS Help and look for Configuration Publisher under Configurations.)

After you create the model and its configurations, you upload them to 3D ContentCentral.

Specifying All Configurations

If you have a reasonable number of configurations for your model, you can enter the set of values using Configuration Publisher with a complete design table.

Specifying Model Variables

If you have many configurations of your model, you should use Configuration Publisher with a single row design table that includes the model variables and creates configurations as they are selected.


Miscellaneous Design Table Guidelines

When creating and using a design table for 3D ContentCentral models, consider these guidelines.

Note: The Configuration Publisher will create a design table for you and allow you to choose which existing variables to include. You can also create additional variables within your design table. For more information about additional variables that can be added manually, see Summary of Design Table Parameters in the SOLIDWORKS online help.

  • Do not use quotation marks for parameter names.
  • If you rename the assembly and all its references, the design table does not automatically update.
  • Ensure that column headings refer to actual parameters. Column headings should not include non-existing parameters or names that have changed.
  • When preparing models or assemblies that include configurations:
    • Use the part number as the configuration name.
    • Specify the configuration name in the first column of the design table.
    • Specify groups or part families, if applicable, in the second column of the design table.
  • Test components required for an assembly by activating some or all configurations.


Part Number Creation and Behavior

You can use a $PARTNUMBER column in your design table to automatically generate all part number combinations for your model's configurations during the upload process when you upload using the SOLIDWORKS 2015 Configuration Publisher. The generated part numbers are searchable on 3D ContentCentral and correspond to the associated configurations.

You can upload the model without generating part numbers by uploading directly to Supplier Services (not using Configuration Publisher) or by uploading through the Configuration Publisher and clicking Cancel in the Calculating Part Numbers dialog box.

Note: Verify that the part numbers for your configurations are unique.


Associating Multiple Drawings to a Configurable Model

You can use $PRP@3DPSDRAWINGFILE in your design table to associate drawings to configurations.

To associate multiple drawings to a configurable model:

  1. Add $PRP@3DPSDRAWINGFILE to the header row in the design table for your configurable model.
  2. Add the drawing file name, for example Test10-32Straight.slddrw, as the value under the $PRP@3DPSDRAWINGFILE column heading. In a single-row design table, the file name can be dynamic, if desired. In a multi-row design table, list the drawing file names to be associated with each configuration row. Each row in the multi-row design table should have a value.

  3. Create a ZIP file containing the configurable model and all the referenced drawings.
  4. Upload the ZIP file directly to Supplier Services (not using Configuration Publisher).
Note: Multi-row design tables must have a Default row. The Default row can be any row, but the word Default must appear in the first column.


Protecting Intellectual Property with Defeature

You can use the SOLIDWORKS 2015 Defeature command to remove details representing intellectual property from your models. You can then upload the model with defeature properties stored for processing prior to download or you can upload the simplified model resulting from defeature. You can choose to preprocess models prior to upload by manually removing sensitive information if you do not have access to Defeature.

To enable predefined defeature schemes or make models featureless:

  1. Select the models from the model grid by checking their selection boxes.
  2. Click . Excluded appears in the Features column when you specify the download as featureless.
    Note: Selecting a model that is featureless (Excluded in the Features column) and clicking again reverts the model to featured (Included in the Features column).

Example of Featureless Download

In this example, the file on the left was downloaded when Features was set to Included, enabling the SOLIDWORKS Defeature properties, and the file on the right was downloaded when Features was set to Excluded. If defeature is not defined for a model or assembly, excluding features converts the model or assembly to a surface model with external features only.

Note that the features shown in the model on the left are hidden in the model on the right.


Which Product Features Should Be Visible?

When allowing customer downloads of models, suppliers should consider what dimensions or features are necessary for their customers to design using the supplier's models. A more complex model might seem more realistic, but might impact file size and reveal too many proprietary product details. A simpler model might not provide enough information for potential customers to make informed design decisions.

Necessary Model Details

These might include, but are not limited to:
  • Overall component size
  • Component shape
  • Mounting holes
  • Alignment and interface features, couplings, and connections
  • Port sizes and locations
  • Lubrication joints
  • Fan vents
  • Flanges
  • Keyways and keys
  • Textual attributes indicating or explaining properties that might be useful to the potential customer
Optional Details

  • Branding/Logo features
  • Cosmetic detail and features
  • Cosmetic detail, such as fillets and rounds
Details to Exclude

  • Internal details and parts specific to the internal functionality of the component
  • External features that might reveal proprietary supplier information or intellectual property
  • External features not used by potential customers
  • Complex detailed features not used by potential customers

Too much detail increases file size, which can impact your catalog size. Potential customers might add these models to large assemblies, so a simpler model might be better for them.


Single Parts and Assemblies

In most cases, a single part can represent an entire product. However, sometimes a multiple-part assembly includes options such as switches and mounting brackets that are easier to add as components in an assembly rather than as features in a part.


Using 2D Drawings

2D drawings are not required, but can give customers the ability to incorporate the product geometry into other 2D drawings.

The model builder and supplier should decide what views and dimensions to include in the model.


Specifying a Default Orientation

In 3D ContentCentral, models are displayed in 3D form, so the standard isometric view should depict an easily recognizable image of the product.


Designing Models for Easy Uploading

There are no set rules to determine whether a file will upload to 3D ContentCentral easily; however, there are some general guidelines that might help.

  • 3D ContentCentral is unable to upload files that are too large or too complex.
  • Models must be free of rebuild errors.
  • Parts should open and rebuild in SOLIDWORKS in less than 90 seconds.
  • Parts should contain less than 200 simple features or 100 complex features (for example, surfacing).
  • Assembly ZIP files should be smaller than 15 MB.
  • Assemblies should contain fewer than 20 components.
  • If the model is too large, consider deleting configurations specified in the ConfigurationManager (keeping the definition specifications in the design table).


Preparing Models for Uploading to Supplier Services

3D ContentCentral requires that models to be uploaded follow specific naming, building, and archiving guidelines.

To prepare a SOLIDWORKS model for uploading:

  1. Verify that the part or assembly rebuilds correctly in SOLIDWORKS.
  2. Follow these naming conventions for components and assemblies:
    • Use alpha-numeric characters for the component or assembly names.
    • Avoid special characters in top-level assembly names. For example:
      ~ tilde
      < > less than or greater than
      * asterisk
      $ dollar sign
    • You can use Pack and Go to collect all SOLIDWORKS files for an assembly into a single directory location.
    • While the File Upload tool can upload SOLIDWORKS files directly, you can upload a ZIP archive file containing the SOLIDWORKS files instead.
      Note: The ZIP file name must have the same root as the model or assembly file name. For example, a ZIP file containing a crnkshft.sldasm file must be named crnkshft.zip.
  3. When preparing configurations that include drawings, select the Use model's "in-use" or last saved configuration option in SOLIDWORKS.
    This option is in the Drawing View Properties dialog box, under Configuration information on the View Properties tab.
    Note: To upload a ProEngineer assembly, you must zip the assembly with all referenced components in the ZIP file.


Adding Models to 3D ContentCentral Using the File Upload Tool

Once you have created parts or assembly files that are ready for publishing, you can add them to 3D ContentCentral using the File Upload tool.

These steps assume:

  • You have created a supplier account in 3D ContentCentral Supplier Services.
  • You understand how to configure and use Supplier Services accounts and the File Upload tool.

To add models to 3D ContentCentral Supplier Services:

  1. Login to your Supplier Services account.
  2. On Supplier Services Home, under Manage your content, click Upload files to access the File Upload tool.
    Note: You may need to install Microsoft® Silverlight and Java the first time you run the File Upload tool.
  3. Drag the SOLIDWORKS model files (or a ZIP archive containing SOLIDWORKS files) from a Windows folder onto the Drag & drop your files here to upload area.

    These files appear in the Upload Queue.

    Under File Details, you can specify 3D ContentCentral properties for the files.

  4. Click . When the files are uploaded, the Confirmation window appears.
  5. Click Close to close the Confirmation window. The models are uploaded into the Supplier Services account on 3D ContentCentral.

These models are not yet published. For details, see Publishing Models in Supplier Services


Publishing Models in Supplier Services

Once you have uploaded model files to a Supplier Services account, you can publish them, making them visible to the entire user community on 3D ContentCentral.

To publish models uploaded to Supplier Services:

  1. Login to the Supplier Services section of 3D ContentCentral.
  2. At the top of the page, click Uploaded files.

    The Uploaded files page displays a listing of all uploaded model files. The Publish Status column indicates either Published or Unpublished.
  3. For unpublished models, if there are properties marked Required for Publishing (for example, Display Name or Categories), make the necessary changes.
    1. Select the file.
    2. Click Edit .
    3. Modify the part parameters, by typing values for the various text fields, adding categories, and so on.
    4. When you are finished, click Save.
  4. At the top of the page, click Back to Grid View to return to the part listing. There should be no fields marked Required for Publishing.
  5. Select the model in the list and click . The part is published to the 3D ContentCentral community, as indicated by the Published value under Publish Status.