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Designer's life could be so much easier

Designer's life could be so much easier

Mar 12, 2018 12:00 am (CET)

Ever dreamed of getting rid of annoying routines: keeping track of part and file names, creating bend sheet drawings, searching for different parts, making PDFs, updating your ERP and so on? Read on.

CUSTOMTOOLS automates SOLIDWORKS routines

CUSTOMTOOLS is an add-in application for a popular CAD software SOLIDWORKS. During a computer aided design process, a lot of data is produced. CUSTOMTOOLS optimizes the data management and automates the routines involved. It helps the designer during the whole process starting from the beginning of the design until the product is ready for production.

Work smarter, not harder

There are a lot of tasks designers have to do manually one by one. Using CUSTOMTOOLS many of the these tasks are executed with just a few mouse clicks. Most of the things it can do, can be done manually in SOLIDWORKS too, but CUSTOMTOOLS makes them automatically - considerably faster and without human errors.

Adjusted to you

When CUSTOMTOOLS is installed, it will be configured according to customer's needs. That means you don't have to change the way you work, but CUSTOMTOOLS will be adjusted to fit your workflow instead. With every company the workflows and needs will be different and CUSTOMTOOLS will be configured differently.

Bring consistency to the teamwork

During the design process, a lot of data and a lot of files are produced. With more than one designer, the need for consistency will become very important: all the designers need to know where to store all the different files and what kind of rules to follow in naming parts and files. CUSTOMTOOLS automates storing and naming conventions, so that everything will be in their correct place and easily found by everyone.

Part properties for all parties

With CUSTOMTOOLS any designed part can have plenty of custom properties: whether the object is manufactured in-site or purchased from elsewhere, who has made the part, what is the material, how to paint it, what is the colour of the part etc. This data can also be connected to the company's ERP system.

You can define your own dictionaries, so if you need to produce a drawing in a different language, you can do it just by selecting the correct language. One can also define the production process for a part: will the operation be done by a machine or a human, what is the manufacturing operation, how long does it take to complete etc.

Finding things has never been easier

If you need to find a specific part you have created in the past, it can be very difficult without a product data management (PDM) application. Luckily CUSTOMTOOLS' search function can be used to find different parts by name, by project, by date or by any custom property - without ever leaving SOLIDWORKS.

Automatic converting and exporting

Typically, when a design project has been completed, plenty of documents need to be shared for production and elsewhere outside the design team. CUSTOMTOOLS can automatically create drawings for laser cutting or for sheet bending. It can automate the file conversion to PDFs, DXFs, JPEGs etc. with all files neatly organized in folders. It creates a single multipage PDF from all the drawings related to a SOLIDWORKS assembly by just a few mouse clicks.

Effortless ERP export

When moved from design to production, the design data needs to be saved into the company's ERP system. Without any integration this has to be done manually, but with CUSTOMTOOLS' integration the data can easily be exported to ERP. From the assemblies it will create all the items and bills of materials (BOMs) without forgetting a single object. If done manually, it would take days of even weeks. With CUSTOMTOOLS it'll only take minutes.

Summary

CUSTOMTOOLS is a bunch of different utilities that will save money due to less errors made and less time used in design. It will automate manual tasks, bring consistency to the design team, share data with other parties, update the ERP and much more. It will make everybody's life easier.

Writer:

Mika Hanski, Project and Communications Manager

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